- To remember, repeat and link combinations of actions.
- To use their bodies and a variety of equipment with greater control and coordination.
- To choose skills and equipment to help them meet the challenges they are set.
- To recognise and describe what their bodies feel like during different types of activity.
- To watch, copy and describe what they and others have done.
- All children have experience of the basic skipping movements.
- All children have experience of moving a rope successfully over their head.
- are physically active for sustained periods of time
- engage in competitive sports and activities
- lead healthy, active lives.
- Pupils should develop fundamental movement skills, become increasingly competent and
confident and access a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and
1. We recommend that children get into the habit of tying their ropes around their waist the moment they are given a rope which prevents them from skipping while there are other children too close. With younger skippers you may find your own system to ensure the children only skip when they are in a suitable space as they may find tying ropes around their waist too challenging.
2. When a mistake is made by a skipper, it is crucial that they step through the rope to get it into the position they need it to be in to start skipping again, rather than swinging it over their head.
3. Children must bounce on the balls of their feet with bent legs. Straight legs and landing on their heels can place unnecessary stress on muscles and joints in the back and legs. It is worth listening out for children who are landing heavily and noisily on their feet as this is the most obvious sign of incorrect jumping.
- Find a space at least two metres away from the nearest person.
- Marching on the spot with pumping arms.
- Small bunny hops on the spot.
- Hopping on the spot – favourite leg.
- Hopping on the spot – other leg.
- Rope position
Handles must be held correctly and for a forward double bounce, hands should be waist height and in front of the skipper. A common mistake is throwing the rope from above the shoulders like a football which will impede the skipper no end.
- Rope length
The rope is the right length when the handles reach just below the armpits while standing on the centre of the rope. Ropes can be shortened by tying knots a couple of centimetres below the handles.
- Start with children spaced out two metres apart and holding their ropes in the correct manner.
- Look out for children who are holding their handles upside down.
- Arms should be placed in front, waist height, almost completely straight.
- Children should be standing upright.
- On your first lesson you will see children already standing with their hands behind their ears, ready to throw the rope. Stop them before they skip and ask them to assume the correct stance.
- The arms are moved down, back, up and over to complete a circle starting and finishing in more or less the same place.
- Once the rope is over and has hit their feet, they step over the rope and repeat. skip-hop coaches will ask children do this over and over until one by one they begin to grasp the idea.
- At this stage, breaking at the wrist to help bring the rope over is not essential and is something the children will find out for themselves as they learn ways to minimise the movement required to get the rope in motion.
Note to the teachers: each time the children bring the rope over their head and it hits their feet, encourage them to step over the rope to get it into the starting position. The sooner children get in to the habit of stepping over the rope and not swinging it over their heads, the better.
- Children stand with the rope in front and with their arms pointing out to the back. (Coaches usually explain this by asking them to adopt the “penguin position”).
- The arms are brought up and over their head in a smooth, slow manner.
Note to teachers: You will instantly notice how easy children find this movement. This is the opposite movement to the forward skip and doesn’t put any pressure on joints, even if done in an improper way. Consequently, children often learn to skip backwards before they can skip forwards simply because it is comfortable.
- Practice jumping. Small, springy jumps on the toes and on the spot.
- Listen out for children who are jumping noisily and heavily and especially look out for children who might be landing on their heels. Please see safety notes above.
- The jumping of the rope at the right time is something they have to discover themselves but all the above will help with their confidence, timing and technique.
Raising their arms instead of lowering them. This results in a very commonly seen problem of placing the hands behind the ears and throwing the rope as if removing a jumper or throwing a football. Try to reinforce the importance of turning the rope slowly and their hands in a circular movement. We suggest you repeat this exercise at the beginning of each skipping lesson.
- Where should your hands be?
- How do you know that where you are skipping is safe?
- Are your legs bent at the knees?
- Are you bouncing on the balls of your feet?
- How could you improve your performance?