Pre Team - Step Out of Handstand on Beam

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Feb 10, 2010
I am starting to teach my 5 and 6 year old pre team girls handstand on beam and just need some ideas on teaching them proper step out position.

So far, we do front support holds on low/med/high beams to understand hand positioning and balance. That is all we have really done so far. This is a fairly new group of girls, but they are ready to handstand on beam.

I am planning on doing this:
Front Support Holds, then I lift to handstand while they stay tight. From there, I will spot them to split down, and step out.
What is a good way to teach step out, for a 5 or 6 year old to understand??

Feet facing forward, with the front one a little bit turned out? Anything else?

Any ideas, suggestions or tips would be helpful. Thanks.
I have been doing the same thing with my 6 year olds. I have had to really work on their handstands on floor first and the step out there. Now i have started mini needle scales on floor beam. You might call them something else. On one leg but both legs straight reaching down to touch beam and return to stand. Repeat on other leg. This is really working well. I have also been spotting handstand on middlebeam with mats over and under. Next I am trying them kicking half to handstand (not joing legs) and returning to stand on floor beam with mats over. If they have a good handstand step out on floor on a line it should go to floor beam quite easily.
Yup, I agree, start on a line on the floor-the colorful velcro lines are awesome-because you can put a whole group in them. By getting rid of the fear, you can really teach the technique you want to teach.

To teach turnout, I tell the kids to think of their toes on one side of the "beam" and their heel on the other. I would also work the lunge position seperately. Another great drill is to have them hold a T w/ their hands on the wall, and then lever out to the lunge. I also tell kids to "squeeze" a beanbag between their legs when they lunge.

Good luck!
gymnut1... THANKS!! Sounds great.
What do you mean by putting mats over and under the medium beam?

And gymch34, thanks too! I love the ideas.. Anyway, do you tell the girls to pretend they are squeezing a beanbag between their legs while stepping into lunge.. to stay tight?
Also the T hand on the wall to lunge sounds awesome, I think it may work nicely on floor as well.
We put an 8 inch underneath and we have sort of floppy thin mats we drape over the top. If they do go face first it cushions them. We use them for all the beams. I think in america you tend to have beam pad things for the same use.
I do lots of levers with them. A lot of them want to keep their hands on the beam until both feet are on so that is the biggest obstacle to overcome. When I first start teaching them I spot a ton so they get the feel for the correct positions. Work them on floor and low beams until they get the idea and start standing up out with only one foot on the beam. Then you can move up the beams and start spotting actual handstands on the low beam when they get the idea down.
You can also teach step out to hold arabesque for 2 seconds (counting out loud or whatever works) so that they really are on one foot when they lift the chest.

Another useful thing if you have them are those plastic hands and feet shapes. They are usually for preschool but I have used them all the way to BHS on beam as an aiming point for exactly where you want hands and feet to go. If you don't have them you could make them from card or paper.
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