STORY, PIX, VIDEO: Spring loaded: Marco power tumblers pack a punch

Benefits are fitness, self-confidence

Video

They're athletic, committed and determined. They're Marco's power tumblers, who hone their skills weekly at the Marco Racquet Center under the tutelage of former power tumbling ace, Lyndsi Koszo.

They're athletic, committed and determined. They're Marco's power tumblers, who hone their skills weekly at the Marco Racquet Center under the tutelage of former power tumbling ace, Lyndsi Koszo. Watch »

Ellie Bennett prepares flips as instructor Koszo gives her a little lift at the end of her back tuck. Quentin Roux/Staff

Photo by qr

Ellie Bennett prepares flips as instructor Koszo gives her a little lift at the end of her back tuck. Quentin Roux/Staff

Instructor Lyndsi Koszo watches carefully as Haley Havemeier prepares to execute a back tuck. Quentin Roux/Staff

Photo by qr

Instructor Lyndsi Koszo watches carefully as Haley Havemeier prepares to execute a back tuck. Quentin Roux/Staff

During a break in jumping,Teagan Havemeier playfully stares down a young friend while Sierra Prange exhibits a little animation of her own. Quentin Roux/Staff

Photo by qr

During a break in jumping,Teagan Havemeier playfully stares down a young friend while Sierra Prange exhibits a little animation of her own. Quentin Roux/Staff

They sprint forward along the mat and launch into back tucks with all the facial and physical intensity of a Shawn Johnson or a Nastia Liukin.

Sometimes their fellow tumblers screech with delight at a particularly good landing, just like the Olympians do.

If not, well, there’s always another chance to do better.

The place is the Marco Racquet Center, and in the air-conditioned comfort of the racquetball courts, instructor Lyndsi Koszo puts the group of pre-teens through their paces.

A former power tumbler who attended the national championships in her time, Koszo has been running classes for about a year, and loves seeing progress.

“They start with simple forward rolls, and end up doing back tucks, which are amongst the most difficult tumbles,” Koszo says.

And, it’s a great confidence builder, she says.

Classes generally follow the same routine ... stretching, tumbling and then conditioning at the end.

Teagen Havemeier, 7, enjoys the whole weekly experience, particularly the conditioning.

“We do frog jumps, push-ups, x-jumps,” that kind of thing,” she says.

Although tumblers are generally petite of physique, Koszo says size doesn’t really matter.

“It’s all about control; kids can be tall and thin and also strong,” she says. “A lot of it is mental, too.”

Koszo holds classes for beginners Mondays at the Racquet Center, with advanced classes on Mondays and Fridays.

Tiny tumblers (tots), have their chance on Tuesdays.

Koszo says one of her plans is to start a competitive cheer leading squad on Marco Island, and is working in conjunction with former NFL ace kicker Mike Vanderjagt, who has similar plans for a number of other sports for youngsters.

Koszo’s contact number is 298-1599.

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