I too would love to see your progressions for a HS Front..
I have a girl who runs her butt off who has a hard time turning over..
Im fairly sure it's her block, though.. She does have that super fast turn over, almost so fast that her feet go TOO far over her head.
I am genuinely interested to see what your suggestions are and your teaching method.
Sounds to me like her issues are a matter of improving her board contact and take-off positions.
Much like the glide swing on bars, I feel that most kids contact the springboard in a very poor position and they are losing too much momentum during that phase of the vault. Not nearly enough time is spent in this area.
Ok, Ill bite cause I would really like to help her.
If Im missing something, I would like to know... How can I help her improve that?
I have successfully taught this skill to boys.. I know they are a different animal in many ways... but I would think technique is fairly similar...
Bare in mind, this girl is STRONG, so it's not a strength issue..
To see if we could offset that, we did board drills today as well.. getting explosive upward energy... before doing the drills she "couldnt" jump from the board onto the table - after the drills she figured it out, but it didnt help the HS front much... obviously, it wasnt a power issue... so to clarify, I think it's a use of power issue...
Let me add one more clarification to my original post.
"Straight Hollow" is poorly worded by the JO Committee and I may bring this up. People naturally associate "hollow" with a curvilinear hollow. However, a straight hollow position is simply a straight position with the sternum pulled in slightly so that the thoracic spine is not in extension (i.e. arched). However, the thoracic spine should not be in extreme kyphosis (i.e. rounding) either.
So, better wording for the coaching community would be "straight." And, that's what I advocate. I want my athletes straight and tight with the eyes looking at the hands. So, yes, the head is out a bit.
At that point, I really emphasize board position and entry angle to achieve my desired post-flight. Do you have to arch in a handspring front? Yes, to an extent. But, I want the arch that occurs to happen through hip extension, not thoracic extension. Furthermore, I want this to occur immediately after the athlete has left the table because they will have maximized the vertical velocity due to the reaction force from the table. So, their flight path is now set and any changes in body position (arching, etc.) simply changes the inertial parameters and the resulting rotational (angular) velocity.
In coaching terms, they have now maximized their height after table contact and if they need to flip faster, this is the time to alter body position to achieve such. Furthermore, if the body is straighter coming off of the table, the rotational speed will be greater when they tuck or change position because there was greater resistance (inertia) from the initial body position. I know that I'm wording this poorly, but hopefully it makes some sense. Think of rotating and changing position in the middle of the air from a layout to a tuck versus a layout to a pike. Which is going to spin faster? Certainly, the layout to the tuck because tucking in tightly reduces the resistance to rotation to a greater extent than changing from a layout to a pike.
So, if I'm arched really hard coming onto the table, my body is already shortened and the speed of rotation when I tuck or change into whatever body position will be less than if I were straighter. Furthermore, due to the arch at contact, my center of mass is lower and therefore I will not attain as much height off of the table. My flight path will be a lower and flatter parabola.
Your continual argument of it being a tight arch versus a loose arch is irrelevant. Certainly being tighter will assist you relative to the transmission of the reaction force from the table. But, the arch alters the position of the center-of-mass regardless of whether you're tight or loose. And, the position (angle) of the center-of-mass relative to the line of action of that reaction force is what plays an important role in flight path. The other variables of parabolic motion are take-off velocity (from the board and table) and the height of the center of mass from both the board and position on the table.
If there is still confusion, I'll elaborate more on this later.
Going through this thread again, I realize I did a very poor job of explaining my point, so I'm going to try again.
In a properly done front handspring, you do not have enough time to think about flying through the air in a hollow before hitting the table; the preflight should be lightning fast, and shouldn't give you enough time to do anything but get the heels up as fast as possible. If you are doing everything else correctly but taking the time to try to hit a hollow before hitting the table, you are not going to get the snap you need for higher level vaults.
This being the case, I first start by teaching my kids to aim for a tight, slight arch in preflight, and after that all I really worry about is getting them to turn over as fast as possible on the entry (in other words, correcting the run and hurdle). The chest will naturally be hollow as they contact the board; that's something we rarely if ever have to actually teach; so once they learn to hit the board properly and then immediately think about driving the heels over, they will hit that tight arch JUST as their hands are comming off the table. Which is absolutely IDEAL for a handspring front.
My primary objection to the level 4 compulsory vault is that it scores all the wrong elements of the preflight n my opinion. Because there seems to be such an emphasis on the hollow shape, the easiest way to score well is to move the board way way back from the mat, causing a long, floaty, hollow preflight. A level 4 vault with a long floaty preflight will almost guaranteed score in the 9's, but such a vault has NOTHING to do with a correctly executed handspring vault.