Jumps are always an interesting subject during each instructor training event. Participants have had such varied experiences with them during the classes they’ve attended. Some people have done them in a very “rapid fire” manner while others have completed them in a “three step pattern” which looks like an up-forward-back type of movement. In many ways, it is amazing to listen to the various techniques students are exposed to.
As a simple definition, Jumps along flat roads are rhythmic balanced transitions. Participants are attempting to sustain their rhythmic cadence as they consistently transition between two basic movements (Standing Flat and Seated Flat).
In my opinion, there are three acceptable ways to guide Jumps along flat roads.
The first is my favorite because it is simple, direct, and clear. Simply lead the movement by using action words like up/down or stand/sit. I like this option because the instructor can control the transition lengths. The movements will not occur as quickly. I also like the idea of completing the movements with the students so they have a good visual example of both proper body position and cadence.
The second way to guide jumping is probably the most commonly used technique; counting. Numbers are always a good way to cue movements because they can be repetitive and rhythmic. Many new instructors tell me they’ve been exposed to jumps through the counting of pedal strokes. Others tell me that their instructors have simply used consistently timed transitions like every ten seconds. I like both of these techniques even though I rarely use them. I like the idea that students can predict the transitions every four to eight pedal strokes, but I don’t enjoy talking that much while performing jumps.
The third technique is goal setting. It is for the instructor who is confident that the participants understand the two basic positions needed to complete the flat road jump movement. With goal setting, an instructor can challenge the students to reach a certain number of jumps within an appropriate time span. The students are encouraged to go at their own pace until the goal is reached (or time runs out). Jumps can also be performed for certain lengths of time. For this prompt, an instructor can invite the students to do their best jumps for the next thirty seconds or during a certain section of a song.