The sport of cheerleading is not just restricted to the gym or the mat. If you have ever been around any combination of cheerleaders, you would know that they are always moving. They are constantly doing motions, stunting and tumbling – everywhere they go.
Most coaches will tell you that if your athlete wants to improve, they need to not only practice with the team, but also at home. One of the most common questions I hear from cheer moms is, ‘which tumble track should I get for my athlete?’ Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing a tumble track for your athlete:
For your convenience, I have included links to the products I use in this post.
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NAME BRAND VS “OFF BRAND”
While most people refer to all tumble tracks as simply “air tracks,” there is a more well-known brand called “AirTrack.” I haven’t tried multiple brands, so I can’t make a direct lumbuy comparison, but I will say that the Fb Sport Tumble Track we bought our daughter from Amazon got her through her level 5, 6, and now her college-level tumbling just fine. I’m skeptical of name brands making a huge difference.
HOW LONG SHOULD THE TUMBLE TRACK BE?
The length of your tumble track will differ depending on if your athlete wants to hone their skills in standing or running tumbling – or both, if they’re working from home. For athletes with Level 1, 2, or even 3 running tumbling skills, they won’t necessarily need the full 20 feet of mat at home since they can always start running from off the mat and do their tumbling tricks onto the mat itself. Plus, you can always get a longer tumble mat and make it serve double duty as a slip ‘n slide for when they’re feeling playful!
HOW WIDE SHOULD THE TUMBLE TRACK BE?
The size of the tumble mat will also be based on the skill level of your athlete. A good rule of thumb to follow is that the lower the skill level, the wider the tumble mat should be. This is because they need more room to make mistakes while they’re still mastering basic skills.
HOW THICK SHOULD THE TUMBLE TRACK BE?
The thickness of the tumble track will affect how much it will “give” when in use. If you are a cheerleader competing at the All Star level, you will need a bouncier floor mat called a spring floor. High school and college cheerleaders will need a more firm mat called a dead mat. If you want your tumble track to feel closer to a dead mat, choose a thinner and firmer option.
As a general rule of thumb, the lower the level, the wider and softer the mat should be. If your athlete wants to do more running and tumbling at home, then you’ll want to get a longer mat.
Of course, there are other factors to consider before making your purchase, so be sure to check with your athlete’s coaches to see what will work best for him or her at home. Hopefully, this article has given good impression for you.
I’ll give you a heads up though – your favourite lamp is at risk of getting broken and your living room might turn into your personal gym if you don’t have a tumble track!