Fierce Competition, In Double Time

double dutch cordes CBS

At a pre dawn practice, Coach Ray Fredrick still expects feet to fly.

"The pressure is only what you put on yourself," Fredrick said.

For 22 years the former public school teacher has coached the jump-roping team the Bouncing Bulldogs of Chapel Hill, CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller reports. He doesn't shout, but when he says jump …

"We don't really have time to say anything," said student Mary Benton. "We just get straight to work."

They start in kindergarten, and stay through college.

Tim Martin lept in at age 4. And he might just be the best in the country.

His moves and those of his teammates are featured on the big screen.

"When they think jump rope, they think rhythm and rhymes," Martin said. "when they actually see it they see the athleticism and the talent that we have."

Four years in a row, they've been national champions in the USA Jumprope Federation.

But they've never been number one at New York's Apollo Theatre, where national Double Dutch League holds their Holiday Classic.

"When you think Double Dutch, you think Harlem, New York," Fredrick said.

Born on America's inner city sidewalks, the sport has now spread to the suburbs of the South. And it hasn't stopped.

Double Dutch has become nothing short of an international craze. A sport combing fancy footwork with freestyle acrobatics. And the Bulldogs know their stiffest competition, the team to beat doesn't hail from Harlem.

The Japanese have trumped America's field on their own turf, winning the Apollo Holiday Classic for the better part of ten years.

Jumper Kosuke Ryu calls it the samurai spirit.

So the Bulldogs went to find some of their own. They learned technique and strategy from their Asian rivals. They even shared some of their own trade secrets too. It's all part of Coach Fredrick's big vision.

"The mission is to connect with young people to travel all over the world, and make the world a better place," Fredrick said.

With their eyes on the prize this Sunday, they may just do it in double time.
  • Michelle Miller

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