After watching the Disney movie “Jump In!” many people are starting to try Double Dutch for the first time and they are looking for help. I’ve heard many people ask “What is the secret to jumping in Double Dutch?” Ask any Jump Rope instructor and they will tell you the same thing. The turners are the key. It doesn’t matter how good of a jumper you are, your turners will make or break your routine. Anyone that can jump more than two inches off of the ground at a fairly consistent beat can jump in Double Dutch, as long as they have good turners.
The question people should be asking is: “What is the secret to turning Double Dutch?” Here are some tips that should help.
- Keep your hands on the Chalk Board: Pretend you are standing in front of chalk board with a piece of chalk in each hand. Keep your elbows at your side and bend your arms at right angles with the chalk pointing forward. Step forward until the chalk touches the chalk board. With your left hand draw a circle clockwise and with your right hand draw a circle counter clockwise. When your left hand is at the top of the circle, your right hand should be at the bottom of its circle and vice versa. This is important: never let the chalk come off of the chalk board. You should always keep your hands on that plane. If you pull your hand off the chalk board, you will pull the rope tight and cause your jumper to miss. Also make sure you are drawing something that resembles a circle. Sometimes one hand makes a nice pretty circle, and the other one is drawing some sort of Egyptian hieroglyph. That would make it difficult for anyone to jump.
- Turn at the Speed of the Jumper: A good turner matches the speed of the jumper. If the jumper speeds up, the turner speeds up. If the jumper slows down, the turner slows down. A common mistake beginning turners make is turning way too fast. Encourage your team to start out slow.
- Keep the beat: The ropes should be turning at an even beat. You can listen to the ropes hitting the ground to find out if you are doing it right. You should hear the clicks at the same interval (click..click..click..click) not at an uneven interval (click.click……..click.click).
- Follow the jumper: Sometimes a jumper will start moving around. Always try to keep your jumper centered in the ropes. You may need to take steps forward, backward, or sideways to do this. Be prepared to move.
- Keep your eyes on the body parts touching the ground: Most of the time you should be watching the jumpers feet. Sometimes more advanced jumpers will jump on their hands or even their butts. The point is, you need to be paying attention because when that body part jumps off of the ground that is your chance to get the rope under it. If something stays on the ground too long, you may need to stall the ropes until it gets off the ground.
Those are the very basics of turning Double Dutch. Like anything else, practice, practice, practice. Now, If anybody asks you what the secret to Double Dutch is, your answer should be “good turners.”