Ever wanted to take part in trampolining? Whether you're an avid fan or you just want to find out more, read on… NK caught up with Boris M
NK: What is trampolining like?
BM: Trampolining is very intense. If you have ever played a musical instrument or a sports match you know what it is like when you get nervous and people are watching you. But in trampolining you also have the added fear that if you mess up you have the risk of injuring or killing yourself. It makes things a lot more nerve wracking!
NK: Do you train?
BM: Every Wednesday I train at trampolining for an hour at Marriotts School although most people in my group train more than one day a week. We then do a routine to get stronger and more flexible called circuit ten. It involves running 300 metres, doing 20 V-Sits, 10 back pullovers, 20 squats, 20 lunges and 5 leg lifts.
“You have the risk of injuring or killing yourself”
NK: What are the age categories?
BM: These are weird. There are normal categories you might think of like 11-12 and 7-10 as well as 13-17 (seperated in boys and girls) but here is the weird part (which I found out the hard way). For example, if you are 12 and the year is 2023. You had your birthday last year so you would expect to be in the 11-12 category, right? Wrong. They take the age you will be this year. So if you turned 12 last year but you are still 12 next year when the competition is you will be in the 12-17 category. But if you turned 12 that year you will be in the 11-12 category. An easy way to remember it is that the age you will be on December 31st of that year is the age that you will be categorised by.
NK: What are the routines (you are doing)?
BM: There are different routines that you will learn and if you are advanced enough (you don’t have to be doing the highest level of routine) make your own. You also don’t have to learn two routines, you can just learn one and perform it twice although they knock off marks for that. The higher routines will get more marks. All of the routines have 10 skills. I am doing routine level two and three.
NK: How are marks decided?
BM: Unlike what people think, marks are not just looking pretty and doing complicated moves although that is a factor. They time how long you take to finish it. They have a timer and the higher you jump, the longer it takes. So if the whole 10 move routine takes 15.2 seconds then they add 15.2 to your score. There are a few sections on the trampoline. Two in front of you and behind you, one in each corner and two on the sides from the centre. If you jump on the first section in front or behind you, they knock off 1 mark from the overall score.. If you go on the side, you lose two marks. If you go one the sections near the corners then three marks are lost. The corners have the highest penalty with four marks going down the drain though. On top of this if you manage to land in a specific position when you finish and keep it there for three seconds without stumbling or stepping then you get 0.3 marks. And, on top of all that to remember, there will be five judges who give you a score out of 10 (including decimals). So, there is a lot more than people think there is going on behind the marking.
“A common injury is biting your tongue”
NK: What are scores like?
BM: In the competition I have been to so far, the 13-17 are on average to 40-45 and the 11-12 average to about 25-30. The most competitive category was the female 13-17 with about 30 people competing in it. The problem is you need to get used to jumping high before the competition as if you jump higher than normal there you will get nervous and most likely mess up.
NK: So what are the different things you do at the competition?
BM: So, there is the trampolining that I talked a lot about. But there are also the tumble runs. You need to run down a little strip onto a trampet which is like a very tiny trampoline. You then need to do the best skills possible when you go on. There are many different moves, including: forward rolls, V-Sits (like a V-Sit but with one leg), straddle folds, pike folds etc, all performed in mid-air.
NK: What does it feel like?
BM: You get nervous and then scared. Even the slightest change in the middle of a skill can make you feel uncomfortable. You need to try to jump in the middle of the trampoline and high. At the competition I don’t think about jumping high as I will get too scared and I vaguely think about jumping in the middle. I don’t jump high in general.
NK: Have you ever been injured?
BK: Yes, but only once and fairly recently. A common injury is biting your tongue in the middle of a skill as sometimes if you don’t think about it your tongue sticks out. At the time I was thinking how long the pain would last but also “hmm, that was quite overdue”. Once I didn’t land as I wanted and landed on my face - I couldn’t do a skill as I started panicking and I was already quite low. So, after thinking quickly I decided that I should stick my hands out. My right arm was completely okay but I couldn’t move my left arm for 1 week without it hurting almost unbearably. It’s fine now, though.
NK: Thanks! I think NK will stick to tiddly-winks!