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Front handspring not clicking

Discussion in 'Coach Forum' started by gymisforeveryone, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. gymisforeveryone

    gymisforeveryone Verified Coach Verified Coach Proud Relative Former Gymnast Judge

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    I've not posted anything in a while but now I feel like I need other coaches' opinions. I have this 10 year old gymnast who is super powerful, built like a real tumbler (Simon Biles type), really muscular overall. She's strong on bars which is her best event and on vault she runs really fast and her hurdle and punch on the board are super good. On beam she is pretty graceful, slow getting skills but when she gets something it stays. On floor she has very good and powerful round off, backward roll to handstand, walkovers, jumps and leaps, nice handstand and other basic skills. So she has all her level C skills beautifully on every event, except her front handspring on floor that she can't get. She's stuck with it, she has trained for at least 1,5 years. Everyone else (others are much weaker in strength and not as powerful as she is) got it pretty easily but she's not getting any better.

    She competed level C last year even if she didn't have this one skill. She scored high 8's on every other event (which is considered really good score here since we use FIG deductions) except floor that was on 7's at best.

    I think I have tried every possible drill I can think of for front handspring with her. Today I spent almost all the floor rotation with her giving her 1 on 1 time and corrections and spotted a lot, but nope, no progress.

    We do the following drills:
    - Spotted front handspring from a spotting block (without a hurdle)
    - Spotted handstand hops on a edge of a spotting block, focusing on kicking up to handstand as fast as possible, then spotting the hop so she end up upside down on my shoulder
    - Regular handstand hops
    - Front handspring using a barrel
    - Front handspring on a trampoline
    - Hurdle and kicking up to handstand, pushing from shoulders and landing on her back on a soft mat
    - Front walkovers from 10 cm mat, doing it faster and faster and almost ending up doing a front handspring
    - Front handsprings landing on a pit

    When she tries this skill alone it looks more like a forward roll. She pretty much lands on her butt or a very low squat on her best. She bends her arms on the push, closes her shoulders and bends the hips. When she's spotted she does it pretty well except her arms still tend to bend.

    She can kind of do the skill on a trampoline but she lands on her heels and has so little arch that it's very undercut.

    Is there something else I can do with her? Today I even made her do some mind exercises after watching someone else do the drills perfectly.

    I feel that something in her brain is just not clicking. I've not been worried at all because I've felt that she's gonna figure it out very soon since she is so strong and I know that could physically do this skill very easily. But there is something that she doesn't get. I think that she has the image of the skill all wrong in her head.

    This is not a fear issue. She's a happy child, always smiling and this one skill doesn't even seem to bother her that much. She's very hard working but also strongly relies on adults and doesn't have any doubts when I say she should not worry about it and that the skill comes soon when her brain gets it right.

    Do you have any thought about what I should do with her or do I just keep doing the same drills and wait?

    Edit: I may be able to get a video tomorrow if that helps to see the problem...
     

  2. ayyyrial

    ayyyrial Coach Coach Gymnast Former Gymnast

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    Sometimes with front handsprings, your instincts really want you to look where you're going, which causes kids to pull the head forward, close the shoulders, and land in a squat. Maybe that's what's happening here - in which case you'd need to work on "eyes on hands"/"head back" stuff.

    Other than that, drills that might help would include reaching long with the arms as she enters the front handspring - i.e. far away from the foot. You can draw a line on the floor or use existing lines to give her a visual focus for where to reach. That can help with getting a nice big block and keeping the shoulders open.

    Also learning to push forward through the hips instead of picking the shoulders up - which can be hard to learn because at first it can feel harder to land. Bridge to stand up can help with this - but not too many since it's hard on the back. I actually think FHS over the barrel hurts rather than helps with this.
     
  3. Jenn75

    Jenn75 Coach Coach Proud Parent

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    2 Things:
    1) Have you tried having her watch videos of what a good FHS looks like and then compare it to a video of what she is doing?
    2) One of the drills that we have had some success with in our gym is to have the girls do FHS down a wedge to a whale flop on a pit pillow. We tell them hips, armpits, hands for the flop. It encourages them to hold the tight arch and keep their hands back as they come forward.
     
  4. CoachSam

    CoachSam Coach Coach Former Gymnast

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    Front handspring are tricky. That is definitely the skill that gives most of my girls trouble. Here are some of my favorite drills that seem to give the most progress. 1) Bounder/fly springs over a sting mat on the tumble trak. 2) front handspring using to panel mats. Both mats are horizontal. The first panel mat is for the hurdle foot to land on. The second panel mat is for the hands. 3) front walkover off the end of a wedge into an immediate hip roll on an 8". They start in a mountain climbers position with hands on the edge of the wedge. They need to load the shoulders (really leaning over the end of the mat the entire time. They should not open shoulders so they end up back over the wedge.) Then front walkover while bringing the feet together into an immediate hip roll. If that doesn't make sense, I can see if I can post a video of it.4) front handspring over an 8" into a Bounder over a second 8".
     

  5. CoachSam

    CoachSam Coach Coach Former Gymnast

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    . Here is a link to that one front handspring drill. It starts at 5:30 if you want to jump straight to it. But I would recommend watching the whole video. There are a lot of good drills for back tumbling too. *Not the owner of the video.
     
  6. gymisforeveryone

    gymisforeveryone Verified Coach Verified Coach Proud Relative Former Gymnast Judge

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    Thank you! I'll try your drills with her today. I think that especially the front walkover drill on the video seems like something we could start with. I usually teach kids only the normal front handspring first and after that the step out. But I think that the step out version would work for her better.

    The fysprings are great, but we don't have a tumble track and the trampoline is too short for flysprings. But maybe a spring board and a mat would work.
     
  7. CoachSam

    CoachSam Coach Coach Former Gymnast

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    You're welcome. I hope some of these drills help! Using a spring board for the fly springs would be a perfect substitute. Another drill I just though of is just doing a running front handspring off the edge of a wedge (same hand placement as the front walkover drill). This way she'll get more air time and hopefully won't rush the landing. Good luck!
     
  8. gymisforeveryone

    gymisforeveryone Verified Coach Verified Coach Proud Relative Former Gymnast Judge

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    Today I had only like 20 minutes to work with her on floor and we did the front walkover rolling to the stomach drill, then the same feet together to the pit and after that I made her try the FHS from a hurdle. She did actually pretty well after the drills. Then she tried it on the floor and the same old mistakes were there again. If anyone is willing to see the videos of her from today I can PM a link.
     
  9. CoachSam

    CoachSam Coach Coach Former Gymnast

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    Don't get discouraged. It was her first time doing the drills. I say give her a couple of weeks (five to seven practice days) of doing the drills. Really try to perfect the drills and get them consistent before putting it all together into a front handspring on the floor. I'll gladly watch the video and try to help out more if I can.
     
  10. CoachTodd

    CoachTodd Coach Coach Proud Parent

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    One drill I can think of that makes a difference for reasons unknown is as follows:
    unfold a folding mat in front of the pit. Make sure it is parallel to the pit. i.e. there will be only about 4 feet of mat between floor and pit.
    Have the kid do the FHS into the pit without stepping on the mat. (some kids may dive onto their hands but most don't)
    I tell them to try to push the mat into the pit and watch their hands to keep from getting the forward roll action.
    Add a landing mat in the pit for the same drill.

    I've done the same drill on floor with kids that couldn't do FHSs. For some reason, the visual of the mat completely changes how most kids do the skill.


    Good luck :) .
     
  11. gymisforeveryone

    gymisforeveryone Verified Coach Verified Coach Proud Relative Former Gymnast Judge

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    I have hard time understanding this drill / set up? Could you post a video or maybe draw a picture if that's not possible? English is not my first language so maybe that is why I don't get the idea :confused:
     
  12. CoachTodd

    CoachTodd Coach Coach Proud Parent

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    basically, turn a mat sideways in front of the pit. I don't really have any videos right now.
    for some reason, the visual of where to put the hands and where not to step gets most kids to do front handsprings.
     
  13. gymisforeveryone

    gymisforeveryone Verified Coach Verified Coach Proud Relative Former Gymnast Judge

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    Ah, now I understand. Maybe it was the folding mat term and pushing the mat that got me confused :D I'll try putting a mat in front of the pit. I'll try anything to make this poor kid learn this skill... I had a kid like her a few years ago. That kid never learned the FHS even if we tried everything I could think of with her and she eventually quit and moved on to cheerleading.
     
  14. gymisforeveryone

    gymisforeveryone Verified Coach Verified Coach Proud Relative Former Gymnast Judge

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    IT FINALLY CLICKED TODAY! Oh God, I'm relieved. I spent almost all of the floor rotation with her again. First some drills to the pit, then some on trampoline, then moved to do it from a spotting block, then on air track... And suddenly she was really close on the air track and with a little bit of cheering and pushing from us coaches and the other gymnasts she landed her first ever FHS! And it was actually really nice one. Then she went on real floor and boom, she did the skill there too! She was all smiles after that. Thank you all, now we can move on to polishing it and she will probably have an awesome high scoring season in level C.
     
    FinGym, coachmolly, CoachSam and 3 others like this.

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