Okaayyy. so i havent replied on these boards in yeaaarrrssss.. but I thought I might fully answer this question. so this may be long...lol I'm a dance coach (as well as gymnastics coach).. and am currently the Ballet and Leaps and Turns coach at my club..
Split leap full
The first thing you described - a split leap full turn, is essentially a tour jete landing feet together, with an extra half turn to land. The splits reach a flat split position rather than a leaning sissone position.
If the gymnast kicks up their RIGHT
leg first, they will turn towards the LEFT
, complete a RIGHT
leg split, and again turn towards the LEFT
Change leap 1/2 turn
This is a change leap with a half turn into the leap.
If the gymnast first kicks up their RIGHT
leg, they will turn towards the RIGHT
and complete a RIGHT
leg full split.
Drills and Progrssions for Split Leap Full:
At first I am going to assume they can split leap, and have good height and amplitude in their jumps, that they can easily fouette hop and tour jete. I will skip over those progressions.
1) Once they can tour jete, begin working tour jete landing feet together. Stress the importance of keeping the first kick NO HIGHER than 90 degrees, and work on reaching an EVEN split position rather than a leaned one, even if this means the split is only very small.
2) To work on turning of the hips and direction you can work on lots of kick drills mimicing the tour jete action. The gymnast will kick their right leg, swivel turn to the left to turn that kick into an arabesque kick and then pass the leg through to front to kick again. Try to maintain the torso as straight as possible, if the leg is too high in the first 2 kicks this is impossible. I would begin this on a flat foot for balance and only take it to releve once they are very stable.
3) Another kicking drill is to kick the front leg whilst on releve, turn to arabesque, quickly bringing that leg down and place it in front
the other, also on releve, bend, and split jump. (the split jump can turn into a split jump half turn to mimic the entire leap)
4) I also do lots of assemble twisting drills, I don't know if you guys do assembles in gym but in Australia they used to be in level 2 or 3 on beam, i can't remember. but we do them in ballet. A basic asseble is where you do a straight leg hop with your front leg at about 90 degrees and join your feet to land. To help for the tour jete or split leap full if we are kicking up theright leg, we want to practice twisting LEFT. So you would kick, snap the feet together as you half twist, and then land facing the other way. (can also be done with a full turn) The idea is that, like any leg that changes leap, you are still gaining height in the 2nd movement (in this case the twist), so ensure to reinforce this and not just join the feet slowly and twist atthe last minute to land.
The most important drill of those is MASTERING the tour jete landign feet together. Their momentum must go straight up and down, and I can't stress how important it is to keep the first kick and the subsequent 'arabesque' position not too high, or else there is no way that leg will make it back up in fron to 90 so as the gymnast can reach a full split.
Drills and Progressions for Change leap half
One of the things gymnasts find hardest things with a change leap half turn is that in a regular change leap, if they first kick their right leg, they will end up in a left leg split, however this isn't the case with change leap half. To be honest I overcome a lot of this by firstly teaching change leap quarter (change to side), which majority of gymnasts will do by kicking up their 'good' leg first (ie if they like regular split leaps with their right leg forward, they kick this leg first... whereas in a regular change leap they would kick their left first so they end up in their 'favourite' split position). for a change to side, starting with their good leg allows them to finish in a side leap position that leads with the leg they would normally lead with in a normal leap, step, side leap.... (that may have been overly confusing, if it doesnt make sense, dont worry, its not that important)
So, if a gymnast can already change 1/4 (change to side), a change leap half is very easy to master (its just an extra quarter turn). the difficulty here, and we MUST be careful of, is hip placement. If you have an extra flexible gymnast that on the floor can move from one split, to side splits, to the other splits easily with no use of the hands. Then you have a lot mroe room for error in this progression, and they often find it easier to move from the change 1/4 to the change 1/2, simply by thinking of that side splits to front leg splits as they can do on the floor (as described above), ensuring that they complete this extra twist very quickly to finish in front leg splits. (they don't actually hit side splits as such, but explaining it in this matter helps their brain understand quite quickly)
HOWEVER!!!!!!!!!!!! if the gymnast is NOT this flexible, or they have had any hip problems whatsoever, then many drills and progressions should be done before just 'chucking' the change 1/2 (obviously this is best practice to do with all gymnasts, but after a while you can pick the gymnasts straight away that will be able to do it more easily due to their flexibility).
So, what drills do we do.. a lot of the ones I described above actually, but twisting the opposite way.
1) Change leap land feet together. again this inforces that the gymnast must travel UP and not forward, they should not be falling forward out of their landing. Work out which way they are going to be twisting etc for their change leap half (as i discussed above). It may be that they need to work this drill primarily on their 'bad leg change leap'. (as i said before, kicking up the opposite leg to normal will cause them to end in their favourite split leap forward once they add the half turn)
2) Step kick to the front, bring the leg back down, as the leg passes the other foot, turn the hips quickly and finish with a frotn kick facing the other direction.
3) step kcik on releve, place this foot behind the other one, also on releve. half turn on 2 feet. Split jump
4) the above drill can also be one with a step hop at the beginning instead of a step kick
5) assemble twisting towards the leg. They will find this one difficult to maintain height as described above, but it is worth working.
HOpefully i havent made mistakes in there, and that the drills are clear, im much more of a practical person than explaining it in writing.
But please reply or send me a message if you ahve any other queries