WAG Improving form on all skills - especially back handsprings

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ivyagogo

Coach
May 14, 2010
592
New Paltz, United States
As most of you know by now, my gym has been rec only ever since I started coaching there. Kids were coming once a week for an hour.

I am now starting an xcel team. Girls will be required to come twice a week for 90 minute classes. Most of these kids have pretty lousy form on a lot of skills. The ones that have their standing back handsprings and roundoff back handsprings usually bend their arms and or legs and they simply don't look good.

I could use some drills and advice to get them ready for competition next season.
 
Sounds like a good time to start at the beginning. Hurdle position, 3 steps, proper position on roundoff before even getting to the back handsprings etc. At least that's what DD's coach is always saying. "If you have a bad roundoff, you'll just be adding a bad back handspring and a bad tuck." Basics first!
 
Conditioning in general will help with form. Especially work on the core.

For round off backhandspring: One drill for the round-off: use a folded panel mat. Have them round-off off the long way and rebound back up onto the mat. Next have them do a round-off on the floor and rebound onto their back on a large mat behind them - landing with a tight hollow body.
 
Thanks SCE. That is the drill we use when they are learning the skill. It's just that one hour a week really hasn't been enough time to have them learn real good form (for most of them). I will go back to this as a group once we start team practices.
 
To add to what I said earlier, the biggest mistake in a robhs that I see is that the ro is not scooping under enough and that shortens the bhs, leading to not so nice form. After that is fixed it's not too shabby. Best of luck! It can get aggravating...
 
Thanks SCE. That is the drill we use when they are learning the skill. It's just that one hour a week really hasn't been enough time to have them learn real good form (for most of them). I will go back to this as a group once we start team practices.
One hour a week is quite short. I would utilize stations, so that they are doing a few different drills at each practice.
 
Twice a week 90 minutes is likely not enough to achieve the quality you want and work on all apparatus. I would recommend 2 hours 2 times a week minimum.
 
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Practices are going to be from 6:45-8:15. Team practices will be Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. They are going to be required to come twice a week but can come three times a week. We also have 45 minute drop in classes almost every day so they are welcome to come to those as well.
 
The ones that have their standing back handsprings and roundoff back handsprings usually bend their arms and or legs and they simply don't look good.

Stand behind them and watch them run away from you into their round offs. If that doesn't scare you, then nothing will. Watch them do a bhs jumping away from you, and you'll have the same reaction as you did when watching their round offs, because they'll throw their head (not good), and often will do so on their way into their "sit".

Coach according to your common sense and assume each child wants to, and can, learn "the right way" with your help. Well, unless they have no strength or flexibility, but you can solve that with a little homework or assign work for the drop in sessions. You really don't have time in a 90 minute session to drag the unwilling through conditioning along with the kids that don't need to be dragged. If they do it, that's great, and if they don't, it's their own fault.
 
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