WAG How to NOT cast over

Parents... Coaches... Judges... Gymnasts...
DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members See FEWER Ads!
Join for FREE!
Not open for further replies.


Proud Parent
Mar 20, 2009
Any suggestions on how to not cast over on the high bar? It seems to be a recent issue for DD. I embedded a video from 2 of her recent meets where she seems to go just a little past vertical in her straddle cast. I am also curious what deductions she is getting for not hitting handstand on her low bar cast and clear hip.

I can't tell you anything about the second bar routine because d the angle, but it's reasonable to assume the same things seen in the first routine are causing her to go over in the second routine. I don't have a video editor so the times I place certain actions at are close, but still approximate.

Many kids bend their knees as they press their hips against the bar right before leaving the bar. It's more of a flex than a bend, and should be so brief that it's hardly noticed. In your dd's case she has a follow through after the hip press that continues into a complete knee bending motion........

At 19.35 her knees are bent enough to completely change her center of mass with respect to the vertical line through the bar. The upshot of that is her balance is lost forward enough that she would have to finish her cast with some effort to keep herself from going all the way to the handstand.... just to end up in a handstand. An example of that effort shows up at 41.70 when she begins to drop her head between her arms and then reaches further with her chin to put as much weight possible on the downswing side of the bar (rather than the fall side).

Many beginning and intermediate gymnasts, and their parents, would suggest that she learn those corrective actions and incorporate them into the cast. Sure, that makes sense until you think a little deeper into how complicated that can become. The biggest complication is her balance with respect to the bar is a variable that is largely determined by the amount of knee bend she has from 19:30 to 19:40 (ish)......

The impact of that variable will differ with every change in degree and duration of leg bend. Figuring that her knees bend about 40 degrees in the video, I'd suggest that she could have up to 40 minutely different cast balance point to learn and compensate for. Making matters worse are the additional variations in time spent with bent knees.

In a precise sense, she'll be lucky to predict and hit a handstand exactly as the judges want, and will have to settle for aiming at the 10 degree from handstand mark and take whatever deductions come about when she falls short of the 10 degrees. I doubt she likes training to consistently lose .1 during her routine, so I'll offer a suggestion that's usually greeted with rolling eyes and a sigh of frustration.......

So let me tell your dear daughter the following:

Keep your knees straight with so much effort that the muscles above your knee caps are tired at the end of the day, as that's the only way to eliminate both variables that are complicating the cast. Yeah, I know it's a lot of work because I went through that transition myself. Maybe it'll help you to know that I found after a week of total dedication to straight legs, that every skill was easier to do (other than the effort to keep straight legs) to do, to control, and required far less total energy than the week before. By the end of the second week it seemed nearly effortless and took little mental energy away from my skillwork..... all of which began to require less mental energy because I was no longer had to constantly analyse and compensate.

The total difference is that I went from an 8.5 average to a 9.2 average, starting with an 8.95 the first meet with new leg form. You may shrug and say what's the big deal with a 9.2 average, so let me say that those scores were earned with fig full value routines that were finished with all the power and grace of a running penguin, but still good enough to place respectably at NCAA nationals just 7 months into the new me.

Go up to your coach and declare your intentions to never bend your knees on another cast, and as for help with corrections to help you make the initial deductions. And.... just in case you're thinking you don't have what it takes to do a straight leg cast, you're totally wrong. I've seen what you do, and can say in good conciense that you have every thing it takes to do a beautiful.

You got this!
I thought I'd edit to correct a few mistakes in words and spelling of the last paragraph. The second sentence should have been "and ask for help with corrections to help you make the initial changes."

The next to last paragraph makes fun of penguins, and I hope all penguin lovers will forgive me. What I really wanted to express is that my dismounts were never near the quality of the rest of my routine, and I received deductions accordingly.
For deductions for the LB cast and clear hip, she's probably getting around .2-.3 for the cast and .1-.2 for the clear hip (based on the 1st video, deductions would be slightly more for the 2nd routine).
Though someone else might be able to give better details, I'm just in the early stages of studying for the judging exam.
Her ribs are out in the handstand. Can she hold a static handstand on the floor? If not then that's the coaches fault for not teaching a straight body handstand. If she can do it on the floor for a significant amount of time then she's just not thinking about it when she's up on the high bar in the middle of a bar routine. If she can think hollow without losing the lean she has over the bar then it'll probably keep her ribs from coming out and arching over.
  • Like
Reactions: AlexsGymmyMom
Not open for further replies.

New Posts