For Coaches Teaching little ones the hollow body position.

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Jan 1, 2014
Michigan, Region 5
I always teach my athletes the importance of body positions, and how they are essentially the building blocks for skills. I take extra time to explain the importance of straight position, along with its two variations: tight arch position, and hollow position. Usually there isn't much trouble in teaching them the straight and tight arch shapes, but when we get to hollow, UGH!!! Explaining the shoulder protraction, tight stomach, pelvic tilt, and especially rounding the upper back is always tricky. A lot of my young ones never seem to fully understand it, or it just takes a long, long time for it to click.

I know that everyone learns at a different pace, and some of the basics are the hardest things to learn initially, so I was wondering if anyone has some tried and true drills, explanations, metaphors, conditioning exercises, etc. that work well for them. I want to try some new things with them to see if it helps them understand better and execute the shape more easily.
We always start our little ones with laying down on the floor on their back, legs tucked with their feet flat, and arms by their sides. If you start them stretched out right away then their ribs are going to be out without fail. I say "squeeze tight for 10 seconds" and then go around making sure their ribs are in and their backs are flat. Then relax. Repeat. Relax. Etc. After they are all doing it correctly, slowly let them straighten their legs out and arms out and up by their ears. Same thing with hollow rockers. Start them tucked so they feel their pelvis rolled under without difficulty.
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It's not just little ones, I've had teens who could not figure out a hollow body shape for the life of them. I agree with starting with tucked legs so they can get the feel of holding their ribs in and pushing their back to the floor. I've also had them just lie flat on their backs and work at pressing their lower back to the floor. Once they get the hang of that, you can add in lifting the shoulders and feet. I often do both parts separately- have them just lift their shoulders up while pushing their back to the floor seems to be easiest- before putting them together.
Another option would be to have them start in a tucked v-sit type shape and extend their legs and lean their shoulders back- having them only go as far as they can with their ribs in. Some kids will get all the way into a hollow shape right from the start, others will need lots of time and additional shaping.
And just doing lots of them with lots of help from you is always a good bet. Good for you for starting them youn. It's so hard to work with older girls who have no idea of basic body shapes.
Another option would be to have them start in a tucked v-sit type shape and extend their legs and lean their shoulders back- having them only go as far as they can with their ribs in.

I kind of do the same thing. I have them sit in a tucked position and they balance on their butts so their feet are off the floor. Then they slowly come down and straighten their legs so their shoulders and legs aren't touching the ground. I go around making sure that their backs are round and they are in the correct position. Then when we are on vault and they are waiting for a turn they have to lay in a hollow while they wait. That way we aren't spending FOREVER on hollows but they still are getting a lot of work on it.

Hope this helps!
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Have them hold something (wall or bar and put tension on it) instead of out in the open.
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