WAG Catching a bail/overshoot on bars

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Livelovegymnastics

Gymnast
Fan
Mar 20, 2022
64
Hey everyone! My competition season is quickly approaching and I have almost all of my skills, except I can't seem to get the hang of a bail by myself. I have been doing them for a long time with spot and by myself with extra mats. But I have a hard time doing it by myself on the real bar, my coach always has to save me from falling. Does anyone have any tips or advice for this skill? How do I always know I am going to catch the low bar and not the air? Any tips are greatly appreciated, it would be nice to hear from another point of view that is not my coach.
 
Nov 15, 2022
46
Hi! Former gymnast here who competed a pretty solid shootover handstand in level 9.

First of all, trust your instincts with this skill, especially if you are only doing a shootover to hollow position. Your hands will instinctively grab the bar if it is within arms reach. (It might not be pretty, but you will grab the bar.) The good news about shootovers is that you can mostly maintain eye contact with the low bar during execution, making the low bar easy to find when it comes time to catch it. When you are doing drills (e.g. with mats) be mindful of what you're looking at. Say to yourself, I want my hands to land there, and try to spot that location at you follow through with the skill. Training situational awareness in a low risk setting (especially after you're mastered the mechanics of the skill) will help you gain confidence in higher risk settings.

Another nice thing about shootovers is that gravity is your friend. When performed correctly, this is a relatively low-effort skill. (It was my favorite skill in my routine because it gave me a few seconds to breath and "take a load off," so to speak.) Since you are scared of this skill, you are probably hesitating and tensing up. Maybe you're closing your shoulder on the long hang swing, maybe you're letting go too soon or too early. All of this is making your life harder. Yes you want a strong core, straight legs, straight arms, etc. but the swing into the release should feel organic and weightless. When you are doing drills with mats, make sure you are leveraging the full potential of your swing and not resisting gravity or forcing a twist.

Ok. But let's say you are consistently, fearlessly, and gracefully performing shootovers on a mat and with a spot, but you still can't do it by yourself. I went through this phase in my learning journey, as well. For me, the biggest mindf*** was seeing all that empty space surrounding a really small (and hard) landing surface. My irrational brain concluded: that is a lot of room for disaster and very little room for success. How I worked through that fear was setting the low bar to it's lowest setting, moving the bars closer together, and stacking two 8-inch mats below. Doing these "baby" shootovers minimizes the stress of clearing the low bar while also training you to catch the bar with no spot. Incrementally, raise the low bar and widen the bars as you gain confidence. This exercise also trains your body to catch the low bar in a variety of circumstances. In reality, each shootover is unique, and you can increase your chances of success by learning how to dynamically adapt your hand position. Again, most of these micro adjustments are instinctive, but you can overcome your mental block by intentionally putting yourself in situations where you have to adapt to your environment (e.g. putting the bars on a different setting).

BTW, my favorite low-maintenance warmup drill for shootovers was to stand on the floor, jump from my left leg kicking the right leg as high as possible, at the peak of my jump, I would turn toward my left dropping my left arm and doing a half twist down to a pushup position. This simulates the quick half turn you do in a shootover and trains you to keep a nice tight hollow body position while bracing for a hard landing.

GOOD LUCK!
 

Livelovegymnastics

Gymnast
Fan
Mar 20, 2022
64
Hi! Former gymnast here who competed a pretty solid shootover handstand in level 9.

First of all, trust your instincts with this skill, especially if you are only doing a shootover to hollow position. Your hands will instinctively grab the bar if it is within arms reach. (It might not be pretty, but you will grab the bar.) The good news about shootovers is that you can mostly maintain eye contact with the low bar during execution, making the low bar easy to find when it comes time to catch it. When you are doing drills (e.g. with mats) be mindful of what you're looking at. Say to yourself, I want my hands to land there, and try to spot that location at you follow through with the skill. Training situational awareness in a low risk setting (especially after you're mastered the mechanics of the skill) will help you gain confidence in higher risk settings.

Another nice thing about shootovers is that gravity is your friend. When performed correctly, this is a relatively low-effort skill. (It was my favorite skill in my routine because it gave me a few seconds to breath and "take a load off," so to speak.) Since you are scared of this skill, you are probably hesitating and tensing up. Maybe you're closing your shoulder on the long hang swing, maybe you're letting go too soon or too early. All of this is making your life harder. Yes you want a strong core, straight legs, straight arms, etc. but the swing into the release should feel organic and weightless. When you are doing drills with mats, make sure you are leveraging the full potential of your swing and not resisting gravity or forcing a twist.

Ok. But let's say you are consistently, fearlessly, and gracefully performing shootovers on a mat and with a spot, but you still can't do it by yourself. I went through this phase in my learning journey, as well. For me, the biggest mindf*** was seeing all that empty space surrounding a really small (and hard) landing surface. My irrational brain concluded: that is a lot of room for disaster and very little room for success. How I worked through that fear was setting the low bar to it's lowest setting, moving the bars closer together, and stacking two 8-inch mats below. Doing these "baby" shootovers minimizes the stress of clearing the low bar while also training you to catch the bar with no spot. Incrementally, raise the low bar and widen the bars as you gain confidence. This exercise also trains your body to catch the low bar in a variety of circumstances. In reality, each shootover is unique, and you can increase your chances of success by learning how to dynamically adapt your hand position. Again, most of these micro adjustments are instinctive, but you can overcome your mental block by intentionally putting yourself in situations where you have to adapt to your environment (e.g. putting the bars on a different setting).

BTW, my favorite low-maintenance warmup drill for shootovers was to stand on the floor, jump from my left leg kicking the right leg as high as possible, at the peak of my jump, I would turn toward my left dropping my left arm and doing a half twist down to a pushup position. This simulates the quick half turn you do in a shootover and trains you to keep a nice tight hollow body position while bracing for a hard landing.

GOOD LUCK!
Thank you for the reply, I will keep this is mind when I'm at practice later today!