MAG L4 critique, especially HBar...thx

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Men's Artistic Gymnastics
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Proud Parent
Jun 6, 2008
OK, he did an awesome job and got 1st BUT...
This meet, his routines were not as good as his last....( I thought..)

What is wrong with the High bar.....I know he is arching a lot on the back of the swing....does his hop have to be really high, or will any hop do? I think his swings look powerful and that should be a plus right???

His floor was not his best....nor was pbars....mushroom was a bit sloppy...

Rings were better....

I was told that power IS this true?

Thanks for looking

YouTube - gasparilla 2009
FX: short hold on his HeS, bent arms on back ext roll

HB: he's tapping way too early but that's because he never is hollow in his back swing even with head in. his swings are flat and they arch down. handhop is supposed to be a noticeble change from the normal hand shift they do in their swings. he fails to complete his 1/2 turn in a hollow body as well. His HB swings are beyond what's specified in the routines but I wouldn't say I would give them virtuosity. I'm not exactly sure what the L4 judges thoughts on that are though.

he also arches in his chest in his pullups on both HB and SR and his body swings.

SR: head out on front swing, lack of turning the rings on the back swing. I wouldn't credit the BL since it doesn't show a stop though it might have gotten credit for where it was. he also wiggled before he released from the german hang.

there is no amplitude bonus anymore, just virtuosity. I might award him virtuosity on his pommel horse and floor routines but I'm not sure I would give it for his mushroom circles but I might have higher expectations of what L4 circles should be. I would not award him virtuosity for his HB, SR, or PB.

I like his vault but like my vaulter who vaults powerfully, he pikes his hip in the flight to land.
Thanks Blairbob...
Well yeah....he manages to still pull through with top scores but, yes I see what you are saying...He is 8...hopefully the HB swings will improve.

Like I said, I thought his last meet he look more...'on' and there he got 3rd, but it depends on your group.

SR I thought for swings, arms straight is more important that turning the rings out. Are his swings good? he has worked hard at getting them high like that...He used to look like a fish shaking his tail! thought it got virtuosity? He hates floor and suffers through it. It is always his worst event....He is not very flexible...and is scared of back tumbling...he won't do the back handspring unless he is spotted....What is virtuosity exactly????
Funny thing, we all know he can do ROBHS...he has it sometimes but its a fear thing....when he is worried he asks for a spot...He says his head still gives him a red light...A few weeks ago, his coach told him to either do it, or leave class...he did it perfectly....this has been going on for MONTHS!
He does TRY his hardest on floor however.:)

I guess this is the wonderful sport of gymnastics!!!
Tying for, but never achieving total perfection.

Thanks for commenting, I always appreciate you honesty...
Wish him luck at the FL State Championship next weekend!
Virtuosity is excellence. I dunno maybe his FX could get virtuosity compared to my boys. Maybe that's just because of how displeased I am with theirs. It ain't pretty but it's come a long way in 3 months.

As for ring swing, I prefer they develop swinging with straight arms and head in but the routines still want to see ring action. I didn't see any and might have seen slack in the arms in the back swing so they kind of bent. I would probably be very annoyed as his coach that his head isn't in when he is swinging in the front. This is one of my pet peeves with compulsories to getting their basics down and that means head neutral or head in when they are supposed to. Overall, they are good but just need to be refined. L4 height is 45 under horizontal. It's not like many L4 or L5's in general have beautiful swing on HB or SR.

Good luck at State. I'm about to go to L4 State in just 2 hours. And then...the off-season. :p
Well, I was judging this exact meet, so maybe I can give you a few pointers. Unfortunately, I did not judge the Level 4's because they only wanted six judges for the two level 4 sessions, and I had a five hour drive back home. So, I voted to be one of the judges who got to leave early.

Floor Exercise: (1) First handstand is arched and his head is sticking out; (2) Feet have to finish perfectly together after cartwheel step-together; (3) Didn't hold the headstand; (4) Legs came apart on the rebound.

Pommel Horse: (1) Head down on swings; (2) Form on mushroom.

Still Rings: (1) Legs apart on pull-ups; (2) Form on swings; (3) Proper extension in front of swing; (4) Hold the skin-the-cat and don't pike before releasing.

(1) Arched in the air, and then piked before landing.

Parallel Bars:
(1) Should do a straddle-L hold and then press his legs into an L-sit, not just slide his legs on the bars; (2) Legs apart on swings.

High Bar:
(1) Legs came slightly apart on both the pull-up and the pull-over; (2) Bent arms on the cast; (3) Legs apart on all swings; (4) Hop was way too small - should be able to fit a phone book between the bar and his hands; (5) Tapping too early.

Power can definitely be rewarded! For extraordinary swings as a Level 4, I always award virtuosity.
Thanks, Shane, I'll look again at the routine and see if I see those. It will be a good learning experience.
he also arches in his chest in his pullups on both HB and SR and his body swings.

I'm new to coaching MAG and was just looking for some more explanation in regards to the above. What exactly do you mean by 'arches in his chest'?


Thanks Shane,

I appreciate the feedback!

Were you at the Fl State meet?

I see all of the things you say.....
Parallel bars.....isn't the straddle travel supposed to be fast if you are not showing pressing action??

I think this is one that I am miffed by...I see kids doing a myriad of different presses off the bar and press handstands....What is actually expected....

My son has an arched kind of is hard for him to stay 'hollowed'

Floor is his WORST...he was extreemly pleased with his 14.70 in the State

In Fl State he came in 1st AA for L4 8 yrs....He had THE highest Pommel score in entire L4...
We are still shocked....:)
I know there is always room for improvment....L5....bottom of the ladder!

His State meet is on Youtube...I will post the link...
thanks for commenting!
Looks like some pretty good talent to me, jadams. :)

This discussion raises some new questions, though. With only one season under our belt, I'm still unsure about this virtuosity thing --
His HB swings are beyond what's specified in the routines but I wouldn't say I would give them virtuosity. I'm not exactly sure what the L4 judges thoughts on that are though.

there is no amplitude bonus anymore, just virtuosity.
Can you over-do some things? Although my boy (older L4) got good comments from the judges on his HB swings (even got one of those special judge's awards), I've heard talk that you can go too far with such things.


Can anybody comment? Bob? Judge Shane?

- Harv
NZ level 4 boys

Wow, thanks for posting that link. I loved the form on P-bars and pommel.
I am in charge of the MAG programme at a gym in southern NZ.
I amazes me how different our code is in NZ. Our code is based on the AUS code with strange ammendments. (like a dive roll vault down a slope in level 2? which doesn't seem like a logical progression.)

Our level 4 seens to be technically more difficult however our level 4 boys are slightly older. Level 4 is our first national level. My boys are currently lacking a lot of form, however they are not elite boys and I really like the fact that they enjoy gym because they are not too worried.

I will try to get some vids of my boys doing their thing this season to post. Currently I have 10 level ones, 6 level 2's and 2 level 4's. I am slowly but surly strengthening the MAG programme at our gym, (when I arrived there were 5 comp boys). Because my background is obviously in WAG I have joined these forums hoping to gain some technical knowledge in MAG.

Thanks all.
Hayley, Valentin Uzunov is another New Zealander on many forums and in MAG.

Harv, swing is big, body is arched. Is that the top as he is swinging up or dopwn. Sometimes they will hold an arch on the way down.

archy pullups:
BlairBob -

Thanks for your excellent critique, but I probably shouldn't have included that picture, since it just serves to distract from the question I was trying to ask. In fact, I didn't ask it very well. :p

The issue I was trying to address was about the extent to which a gymnast should go in order to garner virtuosity points. Is it possible to swing too far? Rebound too high? Be too agressive? Show too much enthusiasm?

In other words, is there a point at which an eagerness to impress the judges can actually become counter-productive?

- Harv
JAdams - Yes, I was at the state meet. Judged Vault again.

Harv - As a judge, we like to see gymnasts who are able to separate themselves from the competition. We definitely see some good, normal routines, but once in a while we get that great routine, and so we are awed. Virtuosity bonus is not awarded unless the gymnast goes beyond expectations in whichever skill.
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