For Coaches Leap drills

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The hardest part of doing a good leap is taking off straight and in good posture. This drill work provides a good start.

Do a series of one foot hops the length of the floor ex mat (on a line) and whoever breaks for or loses balance has to repeat 3x. Do left foot, right foot, both feet, and sideways however you can. Add variations of leg positions...... like leg held up in front, or leg held up behind. When you become impressed with the way the kids are working and displaying their ability, it's time to add the leg actions, like split, switch, side split, or whatever.
My favorite drill to do with my girls has always been to take a panel mat folded up and set long-ways (so it would be parallel with the gymnast should she lie down next to it) on the floor or wherever you have a little room. Have them take a few running steps and leap, land the leap on the mat and stick it (like you would do landing a leap on the beam). It's great for working posture (chin up, chest up, back leg up, no bird-hops at the end), and it keeps them from doing that ugly I'm-just-gonna-throw-my-legs-out-and-get-no-height-with-this leap that a few of mine seem to particularly enjoy. :)
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This is an on going battle for me. Here are some drills that I do:

1. Leap over carpet square/foam block stack
2. Leg swing, hop onto panel mat
3. Leap onto block on the floor
4. Leap onto panel mat stack on beam
5. Leap over a gap--Ex. Off a cheese wedge into a block
6. Hanging on bar: split swings
7. Wall leap--stand in front of wall and kick leg up and onto the wall
I actually experimented with a new idea for leaps on beam last night and it worked WONDERFULLY! Take bean bags and have the kids put them on their heads. If they drop the bean bag they cannot count that repetition.

Then I had them do 7 of each:
1. Step Kick on Toes
2. Dip Kick on Toes
3. Dip Kick Hop
4. Dip to Leap
5. Step Leap

It forced them to keep their chest up on take-off and to push through their toes. I coached only beam yesterday for level 4-8 and it made a huge difference for just about everybody and they really tried hard because they thought it was fun to use the bean bags. To them, it felt like a game rather than more boring leap drills.
Leaps starting down on one knee. Have them work this on a large incline moving up hill. Makes the legs work harder and ultimately stronger leaps.
Make sure they are pushing from their back leg and kicking both legs. Train lots of split jumps. If they don't have a split they will hardly be successful on leaps.
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