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jm_gymmom

Proud Parent
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Apr 21, 2020
23
So my level 3 dd majorly struggled all season on vault. She was so amazing on every other event, 36-37+ AA all season despite going low to mid 8s most of the time on vault. Was told mid season she needed to improve to be able to move up. We even added some vault specific privates to try to help without much success.

Last night we were watching videos from her meet and I noticed she hurdled left for one vault and right for the second. She said she’s never noticed. We went back to look at other videos and she’s been alternating her hurdle leg all season.

Am I wrong for being a little miffed that she’s been going to practice 3 times a week for a year and nobody has noticed? Last private I was told the issues were with her arm circling and not having her arms down when she hit the board. She was told to practice coordinating her arms and hurdle. But shouldn’t she have a consistent leg to hurdle on?
 

goldengirlie

Gymnast
Fan
Mar 8, 2022
22
Not a coach or anything, just a gymnast but I personally have problems with not stutter-stepping, and my coaches will constantly tell me that it doesn't matter which foot you hurdle with. So if it feels normal to her, it's probably not that big of a deal, as her feet come together once she hits the board.

If she's consistently switching legs, you might want to make sure that she doesn't do that on other skills too. We've had some gymnasts in our gym that will use one leg for some skills and the other leg for other skills. This can cause major problems so just double check that she has a "favorite leg" and uses that one consistently.
 

gympoppop

Proud Parent
Feb 27, 2022
39
Does she count her steps? She shouldn't be able to alternate legs if she is using the same # each time and it is helpful for many other aspects of the run (e.g., consistent stride length and no stutter stepping). She should probably be taking 12 or fewer steps as a L3.

I'll also add that my daughter struggled all year with vault in L3 and never scored above a 8.8, but then at the state meet she got a 9.65. Trust in your coaches and the process. At this age and level they can make huge improvements in vault once it finally "clicks".
 

LucyRobinson

Gymnast
Feb 27, 2022
133
Does your daughter start her run on the same spot each time? The runway should have numbers. In L2/3, my coaches weren't the best about giving us a spot to start (you hurdle off the springboard and run the opposite direction of the vault to get a number.) So I ended up just starting where it looked right. Get to a meet... you end up too far away on the run...you don't hit the board in the right place and there goes your good vault. Her run should be about 10 steps. I start at 68 ft, but I am a higher level and likely taller than your daughter.

Vault was never great for me in L3 or 4. By the end of L5, I was scoring nines. As you get taller/heavier that can also help.
 

huronvalley93

New Member
Mar 28, 2022
3
43
Following! My level 3 dd is in the same boat! Scores well on the other events and struggles on vault. She also alternates her hurdle leg; one of her coaches noticed and instructed her to work on using the same leg, which at first reduced her to tears because she apparently felt like each leg was as natural as the other ‍♀️ She now slows down significantly as she gets close to the springboard, which obviously costs her a lot of momentum and affects her handspring. She also has been told she will need to figure it out this summer in order to move up to Level 4 where they use the actual vault table.
 

jm_gymmom

Proud Parent
Fan
Apr 21, 2020
23
Does she count her steps? She shouldn't be able to alternate legs if she is using the same # each time and it is helpful for many other aspects of the run (e.g., consistent stride length and no stutter stepping). She should probably be taking 12 or fewer steps as a L3.

I'll also add that my daughter struggled all year with vault in L3 and never scored above a 8.8, but then at the state meet she got a 9.65. Trust in your coaches and the process. At this age and level they can make huge improvements in vault once it finally "clicks".
No. They do not start at a specific distance or teach counting steps she tells me.
 

jm_gymmom

Proud Parent
Fan
Apr 21, 2020
23
Following! My level 3 dd is in the same boat! Scores well on the other events and struggles on vault. She also alternates her hurdle leg; one of her coaches noticed and instructed her to work on using the same leg, which at first reduced her to tears because she apparently felt like each leg was as natural as the other ‍♀️ She now slows down significantly as she gets close to the springboard, which obviously costs her a lot of momentum and affects her handspring. She also has been told she will need to figure it out this summer in order to move up to Level 4 where they use the actual vault table.
I get it. Hope our girls can get it figured out in time!
 
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cmg

Proud Parent
Jul 2, 2018
144
63
Well to me you are getting into coaching your daughter which is a big warning flag. Let your daughter's coaches figure out how to get your daughter to improve her vault. As others have pointed out, vault takes time and by Level 5 hopefully she will be stronger and able to reach your expectations. Also remember vault is deceptively hard. I feel like for most gymnasts, vault and bars either come naturally or not. Many girls struggle with one of these two events. My daughter has always been a natural vaulter, but bars is her weakness. For other gymnasts it's the other way around. The fact that your daughter is scoring 36-37 all around means she is doing great, and you should just appreciate that. Stay out of coaching and just enjoy the ride. There will be many more ups and downs as time goes on.
 

MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
782
Virginia
At level 3 they were definitely teaching running and hurdling for my kid. They had a specific start spot and number of steps to take. They have all the littles at our gym wear a scrungie on their "hurdle" ankle to be a visual reminder of what leg to hurdle with to get it consistent.

Her scores sound good to me though I don't know why that would hold her back from moving up. My kid scored low 8s (and plenty of high 7s if I am being honest) up until Level 7 vaults and now that she is flipping she is scoring mid 9s. Some kids are just not great front handspring vaulters and sometimes it doesnt click till they are older.

If she is taking privates I would look into having them work on her run and hurdle. A good run and hurdle make a huge difference in the overall power of the vault. I also think consistency with a run builds confidence when you start having to vault over a table which is much more intimidating.
 
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Livelovegymnastics

Gymnast
Fan
Mar 20, 2022
51
Having a consistent run is very important! It should be the exact same every time. Once when she gets a good run her vaults will improve a lot. It could also help to just work on her run without actually vaulting, this will help her get comfortable with her steps without worrying about having to do her vault. Also, I would not worry too much anyway as she is only level 3. It sounds like she is great on the other events and just needs a little more work on vault. I have never been strong on vault in the lower levels but I am finally starting to get the hang of vault and starting to score well. So it just takes time and trust the process. :)
 
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gympoppop

Proud Parent
Feb 27, 2022
39
Agree with above. The run is like 3/4 of vault so getting that strong and consistent would go far. To figure out where to start from, she just needs to start at the springboard, hurdle, and then run about ten steps. Whatever that distance is, is where she should start every time.
 
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Tigtimes

Proud Parent
May 12, 2015
251
Level 10 parent here. First scoring 36-37 at level 3 and not being moved up because of vault would be red flag #1 to me, having privates at level 3 red flag #2 to me. No kid should need privates at level 3. Do not try and figure this out yourself, leave it to the coaches

Vault can take years - size, strength, body awareness play a role. Don’t think my kid scored out of the low 8 range till level 7. She just won vault at level 10 states and I promise you at level 3 (old level 4) she could hardly make it over the table. Vault takes time for most kids.
 

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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At level 3, it’s not necessarily essential to work out exactly where to start on the vault run, how many steps to take etc.

At this level they are learning to put together how it all feels and how to develop power. Changing up the run and the steps a little can actually really be beneficial. Accidentally running a little further or taking a few extra steps etc helps them see how that feels and how it all clicks.

Plus, they are learning to run. It will improve and change a lot as they learn. Their steps will likely get longer anyway as their confidence improves, making their previous run distance a problem.

Being overly pedantic about such things too early on can actually inhibit their development.
 

jm_gymmom

Proud Parent
Fan
Apr 21, 2020
23
At level 3, it’s not necessarily essential to work out exactly where to start on the vault run, how many steps to take etc.

At this level they are learning to put together how it all feels and how to develop power. Changing up the run and the steps a little can actually really be beneficial. Accidentally running a little further or taking a few extra steps etc helps them see how that feels and how it all clicks.

Plus, they are learning to run. It will improve and change a lot as they learn. Their steps will likely get longer anyway as their confidence improves, making their previous run distance a problem.

Being overly pedantic about such things too early on can actually inhibit their development.
Thank you for this feedback and explanation. Makes sense. I feel as though my post has been a little misunderstood. I understand completely I should not (and cannot) “coach” this, however was questioning if this is normal at the age/level or an overlooked issue.
 
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Aussie_coach

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Thank you for this feedback and explanation. Makes sense. I feel as though my post has been a little misunderstood. I understand completely I should not (and cannot) “coach” this, however was questioning if this is normal at the age/level or an overlooked issue.
Yes, very much so. The coaches may not be overlooking it. They may be giving her time to develop her preferences. If you force it too early, they may not choose their strongest option.
 
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LPflip

Proud Parent
Dec 14, 2020
13
49
So my level 3 dd majorly struggled all season on vault. She was so amazing on every other event, 36-37+ AA all season despite going low to mid 8s most of the time on vault. Was told mid season she needed to improve to be able to move up. We even added some vault specific privates to try to help without much success.

Last night we were watching videos from her meet and I noticed she hurdled left for one vault and right for the second. She said she’s never noticed. We went back to look at other videos and she’s been alternating her hurdle leg all season.

Am I wrong for being a little miffed that she’s been going to practice 3 times a week for a year and nobody has noticed? Last private I was told the issues were with her arm circling and not having her arms down when she hit the board. She was told to practice coordinating her arms and hurdle. But shouldn’t she have a consistent leg to hurdle on?
Vault was never great when my daughter was level 3. She would switch her hurdle and slow down closer to the spring board. As others have said it’s a process. Once the vault table was introduced we had other issue. Try to be encouraging as it was frustrating for myDD
 

huronvalley93

New Member
Mar 28, 2022
3
43
Level 10 parent here. First scoring 36-37 at level 3 and not being moved up because of vault would be red flag #1 to me, having privates at level 3 red flag #2 to me. No kid should need privates at level 3. Do not try and figure this out yourself, leave it to the coaches

Vault can take years - size, strength, body awareness play a role. Don’t think my kid scored out of the low 8 range till level 7. She just won vault at level 10 states and I promise you at level 3 (old level 4) she could hardly make it over the table. Vault takes time for most kids.
Did you mean red flags #1 and #2 about the coaches’ approach?
 

Tigtimes

Proud Parent
May 12, 2015
251
Did you mean red flags #1 and #2 about the coaches’ approach?
I’m just a parent so it is just my opinion having been around for awhile. Yes red flag to a coach/gym approach. Scoring 36/37 in level 3 means her daughter is doing well. Holding back for vault seems a bit extreme as again some kids just take time with vault. Many gyms have compulsory standards that can be a bit much. Repeat the 36/37 kid to
Score 38 next year. Unless there is some danger in how the kid is vaulting seems ridiculous to threat with a holding back. Again vault takes time for most especially if the child is on the younger side. There are many threads about those high scoring compulsory gymnasts who top out very early.

Pushing privates at level 3 sorry just no. In 10 years my kids has had maybe 3 privates tops. But many gyms have young kids lined up, it is a lucrative business privates. Don’t ever forget that part.

Now holding back for bars is a totally other discussion. Bars is a different animal in my opinion.
 

Tmacs

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
207
My dd struggled with vault in L3. It was her worst event. Now, at L5, it's her best. It does take time and it's hard! She's messed up her vault at least once per season even with being fairly consistent.
Her friend repeated L3 because of vault but it was because she just would not go over the table- too afraid. After a second year at L3, she was the highest scoring L4 vaulter the next year.
 
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Lucia

Proud Parent
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Jun 6, 2019
107
I’m just a parent so it is just my opinion having been around for awhile. Yes red flag to a coach/gym approach. Scoring 36/37 in level 3 means her daughter is doing well. Holding back for vault seems a bit extreme as again some kids just take time with vault. Many gyms have compulsory standards that can be a bit much. Repeat the 36/37 kid to
Score 38 next year. Unless there is some danger in how the kid is vaulting seems ridiculous to threat with a holding back. Again vault takes time for most especially if the child is on the younger side. There are many threads about those high scoring compulsory gymnasts who top out very early.

Pushing privates at level 3 sorry just no. In 10 years my kids has had maybe 3 privates tops. But many gyms have young kids lined up, it is a lucrative business privates. Don’t ever forget that part.

Now holding back for bars is a totally other discussion. Bars is a different animal in my opinion.
I haven't been around nearly as long as you, but I agree. A talented gymnast will continue to develop as a vaulter but moving ahead with bars deficits can hurt a child's progression in the future.
 
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