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Better Heal Drive? I seriously have no clue

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cccam

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Dec 1, 2007
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i am usually very self correcting. i can usually figure out whats wrong with what i'm doing and correct it. This time i know whats wrong:

i have a complete lack of any heal drive whatsoever.
but, I don't know how to fix it!
please help!

i need to improve it to:
help myself get around faster in my layouts
stop piking down in my fulls
and just for vault in general
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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A heel drive is actually fairly complicated, but I find that I get the best heel drive when I focus on two things:

1) Push the springboard forward with your feet when you hit it. Hard. While not technically entirely accurate, thinking about it this way helps a lot of common issues.

2) Lift your heels up behind you as you leave the board. Hard.

This is what I think about when I vault, and it works pretty well for me.
 

Rec Coach

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Jan 27, 2008
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This may be a silly/useless piece of advice since our girls are just beginner vaulters....but what we've found with some girls who have a weak drive is simply to move the springboard back a few inches! Simple solution and it's worked wonders for a few of them!
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Erm... well, it depends on where you have the board now, I guess, but for upper-level vaults you should have the springboard as close as possible to the table. The closer the board is to the table, the less power you lose in the transition.

In my experience, moving the board further away doesn't help heel drive, it just allows a handspring vault to look half decent without a good heel drive -- but makes things much more difficult when you get up to higher-level vaults.

But this is all relative; there is, of course, such a thing as having the board too close.
 
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KBT

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I've found that it's usually not the heel drive that's the problem, but the shoulder angle instead. Many gymnasts hit the board and then close the shoulders some to reach for the horse which creates many body angles and any power you've build up from the run and the heel drive is lost. Think of reaching your hands up about three feet above the horse once you hit the board. Then your completely straight, tight body will turn over (with somewhere around chest height being the center of this flip) and end up in a handstand on the vault. I often hold my hand up a few feet above the horse for my gymnasts to try and reach over.

Make sure you are looking at your hands throughout the entire vault, too. This will help you keep that straight body.
 
H

hammy

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Something else to think about it your chest position when you hit the board--are you leaning forward, standing up straight, or leaning back a little. If you're leaning forward you're going to be piked as you leave the board--which makes it even harder to complete a good heel drive. Ideally, when you punch on the board you want your chest to be slightly behind your feet.

You could try working some donkey kicks (from your hands and feet) to try to think about "driving" your heels over your head. Also, flysprings (bounders) are excellent drills for front layouts similar skills.
 

gymgymgymnast08

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1) Push the springboard forward with your feet when you hit it. Hard. While not technically entirely accurate, thinking about it this way helps a lot of common issues.




I can't really vizualize that. How does that help your heal drive? Maybe I'm seeing something totally different then what you mean.
 

cccam

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Dec 1, 2007
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thanks for all the advice, i'll be trying it out tonight at the gym. ive come across another problem:

piking down my fulls
and lately i've been not rotating enough in my back layouts too just not turning it around enough

do you think this has something to do with heel drive?
or if not, i would like any help with these frustrating problems too =]
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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1) Push the springboard forward with your feet when you hit it. Hard. While not technically entirely accurate, thinking about it this way helps a lot of common issues.




I can't really vizualize that. How does that help your heal drive? Maybe I'm seeing something totally different then what you mean.
In order to push the board forward with your feet, your weight has to be behind your feet. Get your feet in front of you and push the board forward and into the floor, as if you're trying to push it under the table.

(It's hard to explain in text -- usually when I'm telling my kids this, I have them standing on the board and I can physically position their bodies to show them what I'm talking about)

This isn't technically part of what you might call a "heel drive," but it is part of the process of generating rotation.

From a post I made in the coaches section awhile back:
me said:
I think in the case of vault, the term "heel drive" is not as accurate as it could be.

If we take "heel drive" to mean a tight arch (which is how I would normally interperet the phrase), it does not start until after the feet leave the springboard. If you snap to a tight arch when your feet are still on the springboard, it rotates you in entirely the wrong direction, the opposite of what a heel drive is intended to accomplish. What you have to do (and I don't actually tell kids to do this, because they tend exaggerate it if they try to do in intentionally) is a snap to hollow with the feet on the board, and then a snap to a tight arch right after they come off.

So the process of generating rotation starts as soon as the feet contact the board, but the snap to a tight arch occurs just after the feet leave the board.
Trying to push the board forward does two things: it makes you get your feet in front and your chest back comming towards the board, and it makes you snap to hollow while you're on it. Then once you come off, you snap to a tight arch (ie driving your heels) to amplify that rotation going over the table.

You may want to read the entire topic; it's got some great posts on the subject of heel drive from a number of coaches: http://www.chalkbucket.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6525
 
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Valentin

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Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
i have a complete lack of any heal drive whatsoever.
Things to do are:
Heel driver or Hug the twinky as some call it. Lay on the vault or horse, and from a pike kick your legs up and hold and control down. Stomach tight, and dont just arch. You should feel your butt and hamstring muscle burning.

Arch rocks
Casts straight body

3/4 front layout and full of a mini tramp. with the 3/4 layout to your back. At the start you will pike and them flic your legs (since this is what you probably are alraedy doing). BUt try and land on your back and then press your heels down hard so your hip come of the mat. Once you understand this feeling try and feel it sooner and sooner. Ideally you want to anticipate the heel drive so that when you hit the board, floor, tramp, as you are pushing down to jump you are also driving your legs back upward and forward. Really this is a feel thing. If you dont feel your hamstrings and butt burring or at least really squeezing and working on the take-off whether it be vault or floor you know that your heel drive is late and slow.

Vault is really actually an unfair apparatus for younger gymnasts who are just not naturally powerful. If you have slow response times, or simple putting if you aren't explosive then really i dont case what technique you use, your vault will just never be very good. As you get older and you get allowed to do Yurchenko's this balances out the game a bit. The yurchenko does allow less powerfull gymnasts to compete vault, which is not surprise since well everyone is doing yurchenkos haha. I didn't see Yelena Produnova do a yurchenko..why? Well for 1 she was super powerful which meant she could work on any vault she choose.. good choice on the handspring spring entry vault cause not she is the only WAG who has done a handspring double front...

Anyways what i am getting at is that heel drive is a result of
1- Feeling the right muscle groups working and conditioning them to work fast and explosively
2- Anticipating it and not waiting for it. Start from the take-off don't wait till you have taken off to feet it.
3- Natural and conditioned explosiveness.
Working on leg plyometrics will greatly help.

I dont understand this
stop piking down in my fulls
If you are doing a front full, and you pike that would = you doing a front full piked?
If you mean doing back layouts and piking it down...then this is a problem with your layout, and once again just conditioning (explosivness). POWER being key term..

Setting it tall is also another common problem that leads to piking down.
Assuming your layout sets well, make sure that as you see the floor you are pressing your hips towards it. SQUEEZE you butt muscles and stomach.. if you do there is no way you will pike. But if you lax even a little bit then you are sured to pike.
Work on doing 11/4 back layouts onto your back. or even layouts to a hgiher surfaces.

Key things are to set it tall scoop the feet hard up wards.. Take-off slightly arched not in the back buck in the chest.. This will drive your hips up, as this is happening snap those toes up hard and squeeze your butt stomach and hamstrings, quads. Need to learn to work those feet on the snapping up to help facilitate the rotation.

I hope that helps... and more importantly makese sense haha. Let me know if it doesn't
 

cccam

Member
Dec 1, 2007
88
thats very helpful valentin, i have basically learned on my own how to do back layouts and back fulls. i started out on my tramp in my backyard so needless to say they are less than perfect. the heel drive drills will help me alot so thanks so much for those

and my setting into my layouts has gotten a lot better after i saw a level 7 doing a horrible no-set layout in her routine and i promised myself that i would never look like that. as for the being tight, thats where my weakness is and the probable cause of my piking.

i will work on it:)
thanks
 

Valentin

Coach
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Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
Hi

Yeah tension and being tight is soooo important. It takes constant conditioning and practice, physical and mental.
Keep at it, and let us know how it goes.
 
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