Beginning Jump Rope Skill Progression for 5 to 9 year olds

By RonUsher | Uncategorized

Dec 05
pic of girl jumping rope

We have not mastered the rope over the head part.

I’m working with a student who has an IEP goal of jumping rope. It’s to be able to do it 20 times forward and backwards. It should be pretty simple.

But like most things with kids, when you think they are at one place you quickly find out that they are further back than you expected.

He doesn’t have a lot of core strength and is lacking in coordination. I think he’s pretty typical for a third grader. And so when he jumps he has a very difficult time keeping his feet and knees together.

He prefers to hop over the rope one leg at a time as opposed to jumping with both feet at the same time. He also like to jump very high and far. So quickly, like a kernel of popcorn he’s either a mile away from the rope so discombobulated that he can’t make the jump.

Here is the progression and some verbal cues I’m using to help him.

  1. Jumping without a rope on a line on the playground. Feet together. We are going for 20 jumps (haven’t made it yet).
  2. Same thing but going over the line forward/backward and side to side.
  3. I’m adding the rope so that he has to jump a little bit higher and is aware that he can’t hit the rope.

    In steps 1 and 2 he continues even if he makes a mistake. In step 3 I’ve been stopping the exercise if he its the rope.

  4. The next step is a regression back to step 1. Here he is working on “big jump, little jump”.  This is difficult for him but he likes the singing part.
  5. Now we work on swinging the rope gently from side to side. I have it barely off the ground. One end is tied to a fence and I am doing the swinging.

This progression is going to take a while to master. We do each of the steps every day because I think he needs the conditioning effects of a lot of repetitions. By making changes the progressions become modalities and keeps him interested.

Jumping over the swinging rope is important because he must get used to the timing of the rope as well as the benefits of tracking it with his eyes.

We’ve been doing this once a week for about a month. He is improving but definitely has not mastered it. The best we’ve gotten is 8 jumps over the swinging rope.

I’m sure he’ll get there.

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