Cat Twist

Cat Twist is an good skill in Trampolining to learn correct twisting technique. A cat-twist is a back-drop, proceeded with a full-twist into another back-drop. This fundamental maneuver is an important building block in progressing towards advanced flips with twists later on. Students who cannot perform consistent cat-twists on trampoline will have trouble learning the Full-Twisting Layout later. Reason being, if you cannot perform a full-twist from a backdrop, then it will be difficult to perform a full-twist while somersaulting.

The prerequisite to learning a cat-twist is mastery of Needles. As shown in Figure 1, Needles are also known as continuous back-drops, where the body is tight and straight as a needle near the peak of the bounce.



Once the needle is mastered, there are numerous progressions and drills in order to proceed to a Cat Twist.  The first drill is back-drop, turn to hands & knees drop, and turn once more to a back drop.  It is important to practice this drill without traveling side-ways.  The drill can be seen in Figure 2:



Once the athlete has mastered the Drill A, it’s time to move onto Drill B.  Drill B can be seen in Figure 3, and we are adding one extra skill to the previous drill:  A Front Drop, after the hands & knees drop.



The next drill is shown in Figure 4.  Once the athlete has mastered the Figure 3, we’ll remove the Hands & Knees drop entirely.  The drill will consist of a back-drop, followed with a half-turn to front-drop, followed by another half-turn to back drop.  Ensure that the twisting is done in the same direction for both parts of the drill.


Once the drill in Figure 4 has been performed well a number of times, it’s time to attempt the Cat Twist!  A push-mat can be used to help the student’s confidence and decrease discomfort due to improper landings.


The most common error that is observed whilst learning Cat Twist is having an incorrect angle of the body while twisting.  Students will tend to drop their toes while they are attempting the twist.  This must be avoided, coaches should remind the athlete that the correct angle occurs when the head is downwards, similar to the needles.  This common error can be observed in Figure 6.  The error often occurs because the athlete is rushing the twist.  Make sure that the body angle is correct before you attempt to turn, athletes must remember to relax….there will be enough time to wait and the twist.