Coaches Lead in leg for vaulting

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trackandfield6

Coach
Proud Parent
Hope I can make myself understood ..lol... I am an old coach, 66. I, myself, have always taught beginning gymnasts to use their stronger leg as the last leg they use before swinging the other leg onto on the board. For example, I ( used to ) tumble left. so my last step before the board is on my left foot, and then I swing my right foot into the board with the left foot meeting it together to punch. I am noticing that a bunch of newbie JO kids I get do not do that. They do whatever leg they want. Often enough it is not their stronger leg. Personally I think it affects their vaulting, but being old I am aware that maybe times have changed and it doesn't matter? I had very technical coaches myself, and so I feel like they taught me correctly. I would like to teach this the way they taught me, but maybe I am wrong. Thoughts?
 
I don’t think there’s any mechanical advantage to picking one side over the other. I definitely am interested in what the community has to say. It’s far more important that they have a consistent run so that they are hurdling from the same foot every vault. I just let the kids pick their favorite foot and focus on the shape when they hit the board.
 
My right leg is my dominant leg… so I would jump off that one. I would also jump off that leg for long and triple jump. I high jump off my left and drive my right knee up. I am a lefty tumbler… left foot in front… so my right leg is the one I hurdle off as well as my needle kick into my skills.

Overall… I don’t change what they are unless I think they are better the other way… which happens quite a bit honestly.
 
As a righty I step off my left right foot is in front to jump onto when hurdling. Unless I’m misunderstanding I must be doing the different way? I’ve always done it this way because my left is more comfortable for some things, my right for others since I’m somewhat ambidextrous in my gymnastics and really everything.
 
I'm mostly a righty in gymnastics, well for the purpose of this post, I am a righty meaning I lead with my right leg into a roundoff and needle kick with my left. On vault my last step is left, which I guess is the non dominant side. But now that you mention it, I'm gonna try to observe what my teammates do next practice!
 
I collected some stats from the 2024 Doha World Cup and found that of the 8 competitors:

  • 4 hurdled from the opposite leg as their tumbling side (e.g. pushed from left foot, round off right side)
  • 1 hurdled from the same leg as their tumbling side (e.g. pushed from left foot, round off left side)
  • 1 hurdled from different legs depending on the vault
  • 2 were inconclusive (only did Yurchenko-style vaults)
Ref:

Small sample size, but it looks like most people prefer the opposite hurdling leg as their tumbling side. But there’s plenty of counter examples. Even the ambidextrous vaulter (Dipa Karmarkar)!
 
I'm mostly a righty in gymnastics, well for the purpose of this post, I am a righty meaning I lead with my right leg into a roundoff and needle kick with my left. On vault my last step is left, which I guess is the non dominant side. But now that you mention it, I'm gonna try to observe what my teammates do next practice!
 
Interesting! Let me know what you find out! I have watched countless olympians vaulting. First I watch them tumble to find their dominant leg, then I watch their vaulting. These days most vaults are of a Yurchenko entry, so I have to go aways back to find olympians who are not doing a round off entry vault. In every case, so farther last step has been on their dominant leg... ie they tumble left foot, their left foot is their last foot used prior to the board.
 
I'm mostly a righty in gymnastics, well for the purpose of this post, I am a righty meaning I lead with my right leg into a roundoff and needle kick with my left. On vault my last step is left, which I guess is the non dominant side. But now that you mention it, I'm gonna try to observe what my teammates do next practice!
Let me know what you find!...:)
 

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