For Coaches Straddle on Sole Circle Dismount

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Oct 27, 2008
Colby, Kansas
This may sound super silly but I am having troubles finding the right place to spot on a Straddle on Sole Circle dismount. We just haven't done them till this point. I have taught them in the past but I have some girls that are having troubles gaining the confidence to get their feet on. I was wondering if anyone had any tips on spotting this skill.
Sep 21, 2008
If you have a floor bar, set it up in front of an 8" mat and have them in a pushup postition, hands on the bar, feet on the mat.

Dip the hips and pop to toes on bar (feet), and have them fall backwards to feel it. This should help with the fear of going backwards, and the feel of falling. Remember, push the feet into the bar, pull the bar with the hands. They may end up picking the bar up off the ground, and that's perfectly fine.

The spot is much like the giant spot. On the low bar (for girls) stand close to the bar, grab their wrist as they fall (under the bar, obviously), and support their lower back as they come through. Their hips should be past your body as they are at the release point, and their legs should not hit you, since the motion is more of an unfolding as opposed to a straddle out. Remind them to keep pulling the bar with their hands, and pressure with their feet to remain on the bar until they need to unfold. When they lose that pressure, they open for the dismount.
Sep 21, 2008
if it is the pop part that you are having trouble with (as in, getting the feet on), do the floor drill as above. When they are ready, put a spotting block (like a p-bar block, or a stack of mats high enough that you have your shoulders at the height of their hips if they did a handstand).

From here, with them on the bar, put your hands on their hips from behind. When they cast, you pull their body to the position they need to be in, and they focus on getting their toes to the bar.


Jul 5, 2007
If it's the straddle on swing down that you need to spot, and the second part is reliable (if they have never done it before, I would start with straddled hang under the bar, swing them a few times, to the release and landing. Once they have that down, then move from doing it from the stand), then I'd probably spot from behind. Set up a block, and hold their hips as they do the straddle on and swing under. Once they have the idea, then I spot less from the side. If they are older kids, then start the back spot from a climb on, rather than a cast straddle on. Move to the cast straddle on later when the whole skill is reliable with you spotting more out of the way. You can spot just that part by lifting them from the hips in front of the bar, but then of course they have to stop at that part. If they're little kids you should be able to spot the whole thing from behind as long as they understand the release and landing part.

Also, for older kids, I've found it helps for them to start the standing up by fully standing up with balance and then doing the skill. Initially if they try to do it as they put their feet on, their feet seem to drop off the bar at the bottom due to a lack of strength or coordination. In high school gymnastics, we used to put the bars close for some people so that from the high bar, they could swing back and put their feet on, and then let go from the high bar to do the straddle off. Some of these girls couldn't do a cast, straddle on, toe off. Of course this introduces another issue of reliably grabbing the bar. How I would teach it would depend on age, size, level, i.e. are they doing USAG or something like high school or a rec league where they could do a different variation (for example going from high to low).


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Feb 5, 2006
You can put 2 blocks or large barrels behind the low bar with the bar a little above the barrels and a space between the barrels. From their they jump to straddle on the bar and then can swing through.

To spot I usually stand behind the gymnast who is in a front support on the bar I grab the back of their thighs and they cast up onto my shoulder. Then I have control of how much they are pulling on the bar.
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