Are you a twirling teacher looking for a way to get your twirlers excited, motivated and working hard? Think about adding an all day clinic or practice session to your offerings! Our group calls these our "KTN" or Kids to Nationals practices. While these practices are not limited to the students going to Nationals, most of our competitive, nationals-bound students attend our KTNs.
We love our KTNs because our students love practicing with their twirling friends, focusing on specific tricks or concepts (I adjust the focus based on the time of the year. For example, our KTN in November is focused on finishing new routines, working on new tricks while a KTN in June focuses on speed, all catch routines and smoothness).
Here is how we set up our day...
Arrive at 9:00 am. Stretch, warm-up and set goals. Typically, I have students set 3 goals for the day and then if we achieve those goals, I'll buy them a special treat like ice cream or Starbucks or cookies.
9:15 - Focus on achieving perfect sections of their routine. We break up their routines into opening, finger twirls, rolls, horizontals/flats and ending section. (This also works for x-strut focus on each leg of the routine or 2-baton as well). Twirlers begin working independently on each section and I work with each twirler individually to provide feedback on what is working and what needs to be improved. Twirlers can move through the sections as fast or as slow as they would like until they have completed each section "perfectly" 5 times.
9:50 - Break
9:55 - Pair up with a fellow twirler and perform the complete routine for their partner. Their partner provides 2 things that were done well and 1 thing to work on during the next run-through. I also provide feedback on what to focus on for that routine. Ideas to focus on are twirling on toes, free hand, all catch and speed. Complete two routines.
10:10 - Evaluate the two routines and decide what worked well and what did not work well. Spend approximately 15 minutes working on areas of opportunity.
10:30 - Complete an additional run through of that routine. Did that area of opportunity improve? What can I do to assist? What does the student need to do?
10:45 - Break
10:55 - Work on individual tricks. Focus on highest spin, most challenging trick, favorite trick.
11:30 - Lunch
12:00 - Modeling and Interview Practice
12:30 - 2-Baton, 3-Baton, Show Twirls, Freestyle Routines
We follow the same process listed above for these routines by focusing first on sections, then a run through of the routine, working on individual tricks then reviewing.
1:30 - Perform routines for each other. We have 2 or 3 twirlers perform their routines for each other using tables, twirlers as judges and try to make the experience as real as possible.
2:30 - 3:00 - Focus on any additional tricks or routines that need additional time.
3:00 Congratulations and high fives for a hard days work!
We hope this outline helps you to offer this experience for your students. Download our practice guideline by clicking here.