The complete progressive list of gymnastics skills?

Discussion in 'Question & Answer' started by Tim_Dad, Jan 14, 2009.

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  1. Tim_Dad

    Tim_Dad New Member

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    My DD often asks: "What do I need to learn before I can do "X"?"

    My answer is always the same.... "I have no clue... you should ask your coach"

    But it made me wonder... IS there an authoritiative list of gymnastics skills within each area (fl,vt,ub,bb, etc) that shows progression and prerequisites needed to perform them properly?

    Example, each in the progression requires a mastery of all the previous:

    1. Salto,
    2. Cartwheel
    3. Roundoff
    4. Back handspring
    5. Arabian dbl dbl.
    6. etc etc. and so on.

    I'm not asking for much am I? :)
     

  2. MeetDirector

    MeetDirector New Member Proud Parent

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    Tim -

    There are several resources out there for us "want to know" parents, but first I agree with you that it should be the coach telling the girls since they are the experts.

    For compulsories, there is the ever-popular, best selling (I'm sure) DVD with all of the compulsory routines and supplementary skills. Then there is the infamous "purple book" listing all of the compulsory routines, skills, and deductions. I think that book is available from USAG as is the DVD. We had the purple book handed down to us from an optional mom.

    There is also a lot of other stuff out there on the web if you google gymnastics skills.

    Good Luck.

    Russ
     
  3. Geoffrey Taucer

    Geoffrey Taucer Admin/Coach/Gymnast Staff Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach

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    I could probably make my own list for any given skill, but every coach does things a bit differently, and different coaches will use different progressions. You'd be surprised how many different ways there are to approach most skills.

    I'm really not a fan of many of the progressions used by the USAG compulsory program; I think there are a lot of useless filler skills in the compulsory levels (especially levels 2, 3, and 4), and even a few skills that are counterproductive and make it HARDER to learn the skill they claim to progress towards (one example of this would be the level 3 dive roll on vault).

    Another obstacle to putting together a list is that often what is necessary to progress is not a specific skill, but specific qualities within skills. For example, all that is really required to learn a back tuck on floor are a roundoff and a backhandspring. But there is a HUGE gap between "she got her backhandspring" and "she's ready to work her back tuck." There are no additional skills necessary (except perhaps a back tuck on a trampoline), but the ROBHS has to be sufficiently tight and powerful.
     
  4. gymdog

    gymdog Coach Coach Proud Relative Former Gymnast

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    And everyone has a different learning curve with getting those basics refined. Some girls might be strong enough to start a bar skill with a spot with less lead up, others may naturally lack the strength (or skill) to even attempt it without doing other exercises or drills first. Usually in the beginning levels, skills are introduced similarly to everyone since they are basic skills and they haven't been introduced yet, but this starts to change a bit when optional skills come into play because by that time each kid will have established strengths and weaknesses and the skills will be more complex. You may have two kids who "have" the same skills, but one will be chosen to begin work on something else - and in my experience, that can sometimes lead to some upset on the part of parents and gymnasts around L6 if it isn't treated carefully, because it can be perceived as favoritism when really some gymnasts are just ready to move on and others need to refine the already introduced skills. It takes better basics and more strength to start attempting a giant than it takes to start attempting a tap swing.
     

  5. gymgal

    gymgal New Member CBBC Board Member CB Booster Club Proud Parent

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    The USAG site use to have a page for all the levels through 6 of all the skills needed in the routines, including supplemental skills (I guess this is from the aforementioned "purple book". Rather than buying it, you may want to try to find it online for free first. I just tried a quick search on UASG site but couldn't find it. I'm sure it's there though...

    It's still not precisely what you are looking for. I wish they did have something like what you are talking about. I know all coaches are different but there usually is a basic sequence of skills taught. Of course, if you stick around the gym enough, you get a good idea by watching the various levels practice.
     
  6. BlairBob

    BlairBob Moderator/Coach Banned

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    Gymgal, http://usa-gymnastics.org/Portals/0/PDFs/Women/2005-2013finalelements.pdf

    Bill Sands had an old book on progressions for skills. I think it was called Drills for Skills. It should be available on the USECA ( Elite Coaches Association ).

    Both of you GymDad's, like Geoffrey, we could probably come up with our own progression lists besides having our own skill charts for our programs. Many coaches would, could, and have and many would differ. I once saw a really cool pyramid chart of basic skills through compulsory starting off with really basic things and how they connected at a congress clinic.

    Salto, which direction. Each would require different ones.

    Cartwheel: hand on mat, hop both feet over panel mat. hop one foot over panel mat at a time. do same from star position and side lunge. cartwheel legs as high as hips. cartwheel vertically over mat or on ground. learn other side simultaneous or one step behind.

    Side cartwheel from star or side lunge back to star. side cartwheel to landing in lunge facing opposite direction from starting position. lunge cartwheel to lunge. side/front lunge cartwheel step in/together, cartwheel step in 3 running steps back. learn round off down incline or off panel mat. round off from lunge, round off from step, round off power hurdle, round off to landing on back by pushing off and snapping feet under.

    handstand snapdown/thru with spot evolve from donkey kick to handstand on floor or trampoline.

    somewhere in there would be learning cartwheel from a kneeling lunge besides spotted straddle handstand in air, lean one hand off and push then transfer to other. handstand, handstand, handstand.

    Now do you see how all of this stuff interconnects?

    For a side aerial, you'd master the side and front cartwheel and then work one arm near and far arm cartwheel starting off with CW with one hand on top of the other. somewhere in there a dive cartwheel then doing it off a panel mat focusing on heel drive, pushing off base leg and chest down besides arm action.

    BHS: jump backs on pit. learning how to squat and sit back fall to butt with butt behind knees, knees behind toes. bridge kickover off height, backbends to incline and bridge walks on wall. a cagillion handstands, arched handstand on wall-snap down to pushup. seat drops, back drop, back drop to dead man position ( straight body on tramp ). back walkovers over octagon/BHS over octagon to pushup or hollow C stand. spotted jump back to banana in air-coach spots to handstand step out and snap down. sit, jump back without arm swing to handstand with coach. bounce on tumbl-trak, jump back to portapit, bounce on tumbl-trak, jump back to handstand chest roll or front drop. spotted back handsprings with coach with full body spot, 2 hand, 1 hand, leg spot. back handspring into pit from standing on incline in pit to hands in pit body in pit, BHS from top of incline to hands at bottom of incline feet in pit.

    Arabian double double? Umm, RO 1/2 turn to dive roll, then front, etc.

    If you dads are really interesting, there is probably some dvd's over at Gym Smarts - Gymnastics, Instruction, Coaching, DVD, Video, Training by Mas Watanabe or if you can find some of the videos by Neil Resnick or Jack Carter.

    Now imagine doing that for every skill out there...
     
  7. Tim_Dad

    Tim_Dad New Member

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    BlairBob, I think that's a bit too verbose for the information that I was looking for. I wasnt thinking about the instructional elements of each skill, but rather just the name of the skill itself. Perhaps in the pyramid you described. But I can see how having both would be an invaluable tool to coaches, having just the name would all that would be needed by someone with 'athletic interest'.

    Great link to the DVD's! I'm very interested learning, but sadly also very poor. (twas' the season 3 weeks ago after all) But I do have it bookmarked. Thanks for that.

    For what it's worth, my daughter loves watching the the online tutorials and drills & tips at www.american-gymnast.com. That was definately worth the subscription. She's on this site 'almost' as much as Webkins. That's saying something!
     
  8. gymnut1

    gymnut1 Guest

    I think the point is (IMHO) that it is often not a list of named skills that lead one to another but bits of skills and drills which prepare the gymnast for small bits of the skill they are learning. And there are many ways to provide the gymnast with the preparation for each bit of the skill. These preparations are then put together to make the skill.
     
  9. Tim_Dad

    Tim_Dad New Member

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    Oh I see what your saying. OK... that makes more sense then.
    Basically, it's not as easy as saying: You need to do A. before you can do B. and C. Because someone could in fact pick up the skills needed for B. and C. before A.

    i.e Someone could master a BHS before knowing a proper cartwheel.

    Kind of a bummer in a way. I thought for sure there was some kind of ordered 'list'. Not about USAG compulsory skills, but just "THE" master list skills in general. Gym will teach her DD she is supposed to know, but it won't teach everything I want to learn.
     
  10. gymdog

    gymdog Coach Coach Proud Relative Former Gymnast

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    Technically they could, if you taught them all the drills. But this is unusual, even in cheer tumbling, despite it's bad name ;) Most will still teach CW first, simply because most tumbling series come out of a RO. And a CW is an "easier" skill requiring less strength (it is a "non flight" acro element - meaning hands and feet are never simultaneously off the apparatus). We mainly move the way you'd think - easy to hard as they build body awareness and strength. The skills at the lower levels are easy - skills at the middle level intermediate - the skills at the higher levels are hard.

    Arguably, some of the USAG skills are "filler" skills, just because they have to design routines. I agree to some extent, although the only thing I actively don't bother teaching is the L3 dive roll vault. Most other things, I'm sure they could be replaced by other variations, but what has been set up works fine. If you look on the USAG site somewhere, you can see the chart showing the optional requirements. You'll see that L7s need an acro skill with flight on beam (i.e. a BHS or RO - shows "flight"). L8s need a series including one, but it can be connected to an acro skill with no flight. L9s need a series with two flight elements, but they can both be Bs. L10s need a series with a "C" acro element (in effect a salto or a harder handspring like one arm back handspring). Now these are minimum requirements and can be exceeded, provided you stay within the difficulty restrictions for the level, but that is a basic progress of "easier-hard" we do with beam series. On the other hand, I have issues with BHS BHS but can do BHS salto...so you can move within the progressions. But I still learned BHS BHS, just didn't focus a lot of time on it. It was introduced though.
     
  11. maddiekate

    maddiekate New Member

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    I'd say not necessarily leading up to a certain skill but I could try making a pyramid. I doubt it would turn out well. :)

    Edit: Yeah, it didn't really work out at all, so I just sorta stopped.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  12. gymdog

    gymdog Coach Coach Proud Relative Former Gymnast

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    There are some sites that list a lot of skills (is drills and skills still up? not sure) I just can't think of anything that lists them in a progressive list quite that way. Just skill wise the tumbling progression we use in cheer is pretty simplified, but a lot of things are done simultaneously. i.e. with kids who just walked in, I could introduce handstand first or backward roll first. I'm talking just walked in for the purpose of simplicity, I mean we literally do clinics like this. I would do both but the order doesn't really matter...but I will do both before ever touching back handspring or even CW, if that makes sense (if they can't do a decent HS no point starting with a dynamic skill that passes through it).

    So a pyramid would be kind of the format...with a bunch of interchangeable same difficulty level skills at one "tier". But in gymnastics things are a little stricter and the timeline is different. Things will be introduced in a lot of positions/variations (i.e. back straddle roll, straight arm backward roll) before serious work on BHS starts, which isn't necessarily the case with cheer (I do expect some of sort of backward roll pushing to clear support - doesn't have to be a perfect back extension but I want to see they can push their weight up). In gymnastics, what we want to see is can the kid show decent form in every position...okay, they can do a roll either way, stand up no hands, now can they do it straddled with legs straight and also get up. Some of it is kind of intangible...we want to see they're really comfortable with a variety of different shapes and exercises before moving to harder stuff, because we will use all different shapes in a floor exercise and they need to learn to "save" skills and control movement.

    I thought of a video I saw recently when thinking about this, you might find it interesting. It is a beginner tumbling workshop, which pretty much hits a lot of the basic beginning progressions streamlined: YouTube - Beginner Cheer Tumbling Class Now again in gymnastics we typically do a much greater variety of activities stressing each piece of each "step" and different variations on it. For example we would do much more work on back bend working toward a correctly executed backwalkover, which we consider a full skill on two apparatus, not merely a backhandspring drill of course. Also I don't think this showed forward roll - I always start that before backward roll and make sure they can do it from two feet (no one foot kick) and stand up with legs together, no hands.

    Hope that helps. If there's a specific skill or level I could probably create pyramid of sorts. Floor/bars is the easiest because up to preteam we really focus on floor and bars. Beam and vault just have a lot of crossovers with the floor concepts.
     
  13. BlairBob

    BlairBob Moderator/Coach Banned

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    Drillsandskills.com is still up.

    I wouldn't buy any of the gymsmart dvd's if I were a parent unless you were knowledgeable enough or planned to sell them afterward.

    Gymnast.com had a lot of videos but I heard it went down. Luckily I archived everything as there was awesome progressions for release moves, blind change, twisting, physical preparation with Robert Pumpido. Maybe they are on American-gymnast.com. Might be worth 10 bucks a month.

    For cheer tumblers, I try to get them up to a bent arm back extension roll and call it done at that. I'd rather they spend their time learning walkovers than a back extension roll.

    It takes a lot more time to develop the cartwheel into a round off that is efficient and clean enough to turn over and connect a back handspring series or salto than it is to just teach them a backhandspring. However, at the time they start learning both, most are too weak to jump into the back handspring themselves or just support themselves momentarily in the handstand transition phase. So I end up doing a lot of walkover, back bends, handstand drills with barrels. Once we get a decent RO and enough strength, I can concentrate on the handspring and connecting it and that is very fast and it's just a matter of time before we have a series and are ready for salto's and connecting. Without the base strength and handstand competency it takes forever and they still have a crappy cartwheel, handstand, and round-off.

    TimDad, I actually didn't go into to describing each skill and that was merely a jumble of words with the different progressions. I could have itemized it and it would have been a long post, compared to my usual. Simply copy and paste and do one sentence per line.
     
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