Olympic champion figure skater, Elizabeth Manley, recently visited the Battlefords, and her words of advice to young athletes was to persevere. We remember that glorious performance that Elizabeth Manley gave back in 1988, but her career was a long climb before that moment.
It is awesome to watch high level performance in any sport, but we also have to remember all the little six year olds, and 10 year olds and 14 year olds who are going to practice for hours every week chasing the dream and building their skills.
In the sport of cheerleading, it is great to see athletes starting young and committing to the sport. While some athletes have natural talent and fearlessness, tumbling and stunting at Levels 3-4-5-6-7 usually takes hundreds of hour on the mat. There is no other way.
All-star cheerleading has defined levels 1-7 as athletes progress. In the photo, you see a level 1 stunting skill. Yes, there are bases and a top in a stunt group, but the top is not flying though the air. In a level 1 skill the top is close to the floor for safety, and because her bases don’t yet have the strength to lift her any higher in a safe manner.
Level 1 tumbling includes front roll, cartwheel, falling into bridge and back walkover. Level 2 tumbling progresses to faster and more difficult skills like a round-off, similar to a cartwheel except with more power and the tumbler lands on both feet together. This becomes the springing-off position for higher level tumbling in levels 3-7.
Likewise, the Level 2 stunts are higher off the ground, and chin height for the bases, or above the bases heads when tops are attached in a pyramid. Usually, by the time athletes progress to level 2, the bases are old enough to have the strength to lift.