For Coaches Dive rolls

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Aug 26, 2013
Hi there,

I was wondering if and if yes at what level you teach dive rolls?
To my great dismay in our system they appear pretty early on at the same level the girls first learn to do BHC and handstand forward roll.
We struggle with this skill every year. I addition to the girls not yet understanding how to combine a good heel drive with an inmidiate "snap" back to a hollow position, most of that still happens on thin carpets over here, so there's a lot of headache involved. (On both sides, both in the literate and symbolic way).

Any good drills for that?


(Ironically as soon as the girls start to get a hang of them at about your level 3, the dive roll disappears again)
We do not have dive rolls at all, anywhere in our WAG syllabus here in Australia.

They are quite prevelant in the MAG syllabus though.

I like to teach them relatively early on to help gymnasts understand the concept of blocking and rebounding rather than jumping, before we even try to do front tuck saltos. Instead of a run, I will often have the girls do 3 rebounds into a dive roll. I also like them as a method for teaching the gymnasts to stretch out before they quickly tuck in for their roll.

On the down side they can produce bad habits for front tuck saltos, as for dive rolls the gymnast must have their chest in front of their feet in take off and for front saltos their chest is behind the feet. Which I find is one of the harder concepts for kids to grasp.

I may have misunderstood your post. It are you teaching kids these skills on carpets rather than proper gymnastics mats? If so I would avoid this skill altogether.
They aren't in our compulsory routines. If kids don't have anything else for optionals (doesn't happen often, only when they miss a Roundoff). By carpet, do you mean a mat kind of thing? If It is the thing below, put 2 on top of each other. Does wonders for their ankles and knees as well. Good luck!


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I hate dive rolls. I avoid teaching them if at all possible. We have some rec. coaches that try to teach them at the lower rec. levels- essentially a forward roll with a jump. I cringe whenever I see it because most of the kids are lacking body control. But for team track kids, even at the lower levels, they shouldn't be too much of a problem. I just don't see a huge use for them, and I can't imagine doing them at all on a non-spring floor. I like Aussie Coach's suggestion of doing them from a series of rebounds. If they are unavoidable, I would have them practice up onto a landing mat, it makes it harder to roll out of it, but also cushions it quite a bit.
They used to be in the old level 5 (current level 4) routine in the US and they were a pain for many of the same reasons you mentioned. I think by the time a lot of the kids figured them out they were ready to move along to the next level and never do them again. You can have them go over something or have them do it from a springboard, but for both of those options I wouldn't have them landing on a non-spring floor.
I think one of the big problems I've seen is the gymnast leaning forward into the punch- almost hunched over anticipating the roll- rather than keeping the hips open (also seen in front tucks). You can use some of the same drills you use on vault for this.
Unfortunatly I have no choice on wether or not or at what point to teach them. They are in the floor routine of the three consecutive complusory levels 4-6 (we have 10 compulsory levels), I usually skip 4, but we still have to survive 5 and 6. The rules say it has to be from a run.
I just don't see the point in them. True you can learn how to rebound and roll out of a run but the dive roll has a lot of forward motion whereas the front tuck has to go up.

By carpet I mean this:
I let them practice a lot on softer surfaces and after a while they do them fine (not great mind you, after all they are just learning how to controll their bodies in motion) onto a landing mat but when it comes to doing them on the carpet they don't jump and tuck in way to early, leading to a flatter back and thus more pain. I haven't figured out how to transfer that properly yet.
I had them do dive rolls from a springboard onto stacked mats for a while and saw loads of improvement in the dive roll. Unfortunatly they learn handstand flatback at the same time and it absolutly messed up their vault entry, so I abandond that drill.
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Teach them asap. Soft mats. Total safety roll .
Teach them asap. Soft mats. Total safety roll .

Me the foreigner is not quite getting the point of the point of this post. Gonna play the guessing game:

asap - I figuered that means something like "right now"?
I should teach dive roll right now onto soft mats for safety reasons?

If so (although there is a significant difference for me between a safety roll and a dive roll) I've been doing that (see my post above) for a while. The problem is my and the gymnasts inabitlity to transfer them to a harder surface.
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ASAP- As soon as possible :) It's so easy to forgot you aren't a native English speaker because you're English is so incredible.

I think he means teaching them early as a safety roll- a safe way to learn to fall out of skills (roll instead of reaching hands down for the floor). I can see what he's saying, but like you said, I feel like there are some differences between a dive roll and safety roll. While the general concept of rolling with extra speed/height is the same, the dive roll- especially as done in compulsory routines- has a lot more intricacies and I think those little details are what you're trying to address with your kids.
Oh it's an acronym ! One never stops learning ... Thank you coachmolly!
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