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For Coaches Double Fly Away

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ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
So.. Ive had my method for teaching these for a while.. and had success with it... but another coach saw how I was teaching and offered his advice which, I thought, was mind bogglingly revolutionary at the time (just a different way of teaching what was most likely going on already).. and when I tried to implement it.. it totally bombed.. On top of that, the training method for it seems to have hurt the doubles that one of my gymnast already had (I wanted to see how it worked for improvement).


Basically, he suggested doing a tap swing that drove up to 45*, for a layout, then using the rotation for a quick 1+1/4 tuck. For layouts, I can see this working beautifully, and when I tried to implement it for the doubles I got LOTS of height, but very little rotation, and lots of hands and knee landings (in a belt).

Im curious as to other coaches developmental structure. I used to use a lot of visual techniques, spotting the floor for landing, scooping up with the knees to a location on the ceiling above landing target... but I got convinced that doing that may overload a gymnast and may make it less safe than I thought it was, so I dropped it.

This latest idea seemed safe too, but I feel I am teaching something wrong with it...

As a highschool coach, I need to get the biggest bang for my buck, but I am SO very set on making the skills I teach safe, consistent, and aestetically pleasing. I really enjoy the height of the skill when done with the tap, but the rotation is frustrating, and the landing rather hard. I dont like that sometimes she throws her head back too, making her likely to eventually start pulling the bar - something the tap seems to induce according to her.


So.. I open this up to all you... am I missing something blatant here? Am I missing a step? Im frustrated that I cant seem to teach a safe double off uneven or high bar, seeing that I can teach skills that would be considered far more difficult.

Im looking for a method that produces a safe spot for the landing, and has decent flight for a safe spot should anything go wrong in the air.

Any suggestions are welcome..

Ryan


-------

Sorry if I posted in the wrong place.. while it is a question, it is also an attempt to collect information...
 
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Gym-Nice-tics

Member
May 14, 2008
115
US
To side with the gymnast- I used to feel like I would pull in whenever I tapped really hard- I understand what she's saying! I don't know what it was either, maybe a counter reaction to being so aggressive, but I've felt the same thing and have seen it with my own gymnasts from time to time.

I've heard of releasing in a layout and then flipping a double. My old coach used to teach that way. But, to me, that DOES make it hard to generate a fast rotation. Great height, yes, but some gymnasts struggle with rotation speeds.

You mentioned a spotting belt, and I am unaware of your situation. Do you have access to a pit? You could have them work on doing layouts and then tucking through to their backs either from a flyaway or from a tumbling pass to learn how to quicken rotation from that layout. Other than that, I'm not sure what to tell you at this point.

How long have you been working this new mehtod? Changing things can take forever... Could you just go back to your original technique? It doesn't seem to have caused you problems. You tried something new, and I would keep that method in your bag of tricks for teaching this in the future, but if the girls had the doubles already, maybe you need to just shaft it, at least for some kids. Not all methods will work for everyone.

Sorry I'm not more help...
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
I usually teach these by giving gymnasts a target to reach for with their feet for the release and falling flat to their back on a mat (thank you Rick McCharles!). I know a lot of gymnasts have issues with this skill and slamming the bar fear, so if you even suspect a situation where they're going to pull the bar close rather than pitch out, I'd go back to simply the release. That may help just to get rid of the confusion of the new method and re-align her head position maybe too. If anything, it will give her something productive to do while you figure out your next step!

I wouldn't give up on the height just yet, a good hard tap is a beautiful thing! Can you describe the action of her release and tuck? Is she relying purely on the scoop of her legs in the tuck for her rotation, or is her upper body involved? Personally, the height from a hard tap made me lazy and gave me the impression I had all the time in the world to finish however many tucks I was going for. I'm finding it really hard to explain how I learned tucked flyaways, and as yet have not taught one beyond 1 tuck. Basically I was told my release was simply letting go, when what I needed to do was toss the bar and use that momentum from the shoulder in conjunction with the scoop of my legs in the tuck for greater rotation speed.

Is there any way you could possibly post some video of the flyaway? I'm really frustrated with my inability to get as specific as I want to, but I'll ask some coworkers today at work who have greater experience than me on teaching more difficult dismounts.
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
I grabbed a camera today and Im gonna try and get some video. If I can, and it's worth while, Ill post it.


Thanks for the thoughts so far!

Ryan
 

gymkat

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Judge
Jun 24, 2008
691
Hmmm, I think I've always seen double flyaways taught from a tap. So your new technique is delaying the flip and then tucking? It seems like an odd time to initiate the tuck after you've done 3/4 of a flip already... like on tsuks, you don't really initiate the tuck or pike until after your body has passed vertical because otherwise you're reaching down for your legs. You would have more momentum in a double flyaway, but maybe your gymnast is reaching up for her legs instead of bringing her hips over her head to meet her chest. I also wonder if this technique would be easier for a double pike than a double tuck, but that might just be my general preference for flipping in a pike. :)
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
1 1/4 flyaway to the back (hereon referred to as "timer" because it's easier for me to type ;)) is good, but if they're coming from a giant or even cast handstand, it's better to lay it out in my experience. Doing a tuck timer from a decent tap is going to lead to overrotation so the gymnast is probably going to do weird stuff. I'd definitely spot a tuck timer from a giant. But from a 3/4 cast on a bar height where the feet just don't hit, it should be okay. If we didn't double, we always did layout to the back (i.e. warmup, or sets of giants). We'd put a soft skill cushion. But it's good if they can do a tuck timer from a giant with spot or into the pit because I've seen people who don't pull in on layouts pull in when they move to tuck.

I've only coached single flyaways, so keep that in mind, but I tell people to aim for where the ceiling meets the wall. It's usually a good direction but only works if you have a wall somewhere reasonably near the bar and not too close. But I think (and this is partially from my own experience) it helps to think about leading out with the toes and not the knees, even for a double. If they are focused on pulling up with their knees, they might tuck early or pull in by thinking about pulling in the knees (if that makes sense). I do feel like the release for a layout timer and a double tuck are fairly similar, although not exactly the same. If you do exactly the same thing, you'll probably end up short unless the tap into it is really strong. Otherwise, I feel (just a little) more open on the release going into a double tuck, ready for a "snap" to the other position. With pulling in, it might help if they try not to focus on "grabbing" until they've already established the skill - so try to do the lead up timers with no grab, etc. I think that thinking about the grab too early can encourage pulling in. I grab under, not on top (I used to not grab tucks at all until I started doing double pikes and grabbing under), but it's more around the second flip. I also think the movement to grab too early can stall out the rotation on top if it happens a certain way.
 

Valentin

Coach
Coach
Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
Hi Ryantroop

Here are my 2c on the topic.
1- A TAP! is vital. Many gymnast when learning flyaways don't tap.. and i don't understand why, coaches continue working the flyaway to double even though the gymnast has not learned to tap on the single layout flyaway.
reasons for not tapping: 1- fear, unknown, don't feel that they an control the somersault, etc.
Its your job at the coach to tell the gymnast how to overcome those.. fear of overrotation is fixed with
1- Spotting,
2- Keeping arms up by ears and extended for longer to slow down rotation
Fear- Its practice, and learning to control fear, positive self coaching, task reflection

This is essentially will lead to weak! dismounts.
Example : YouTube - 1st double back flyaway

As you can see there is no tap, head out right from when she is under the bar, knees tucking early instead of a tap plus a little early release as result. These are common errors, and its no surprise its her first double.yeah she can turn it, yeah she is safe into the pit, but this flyaway as it is has no amplitude, looks messy, lacks height.

Here is an example of a almost great double
YouTube - 2005 States Samantha Shapiro Bars (done by Samantha Shapiro). Notice the tap. Problem is released a tad late which could have been catastrophic. Hence why the 2 coaches there...they know that she has a release problem issue so 2 stand in just in case.
However notice the technique sequence - TAP - ride it -- hit positions (tucking is likely to occur a little at this point).. release..pull in tighter.
This kid now has a great full in back out dismount no surprise.

The ideal mechanical and esthetically pleasing technique is to tap. release in a layout position, and tuck it after immediately on release. However you will struggle to see anyone doing it like that. The point to take away from this technique is that its important to establish rotation (max) in a layout position, because ones you tuck you reduce inertia and your rotation immediate increases. Thus is you release the bar and you are tucked already you cannot increase rotation any more.

This is why the double flyaway drill of choice is a layout 1 and 1/4 to your back. If on this drill your gymnast is able to tap.. release at the optimal angle (which is dependent on the actual speed of rotation..or simply put the how fast she rotating before the point of release) and over rotate the layout to her back (consistently without form errors), she should be able to bust out a double no problem using same method, only diffrerence is that on release the gymnast would tuck as much as she/he needs to increase the rotation to complete the double.

Also never teach it by grabbing the knees. This will cause the gymnast to bring knees to arms but also will cause shoulder angles on release and pulling into the bar..again a reason not to tuck early.

There really are only 2 good drills for the double flayway. One is the layout 1 and 1/4 to back, and the other is same as the 1 and 1/4 but to a slightly slopped stack of mats (about 30-45deg) and when she lands have her pull over the tuck..completing a double rotation to get the feel (great is you have no pit or spotting belts).

Personally i wouldn't bother with doubles until that 1 and 1/4 drill is done to perfection..or damn well close and we are needing it get a dismount for a meet. However i would not stop doing this drill even she she/he does have the double. Always great to keep it up to keep up the foundations..otherwise its in nature to get sloppy and get casual about doing the things we find easy.. (which will be eventually the double).

Having access to the belt means that you can do that 1 and 1/4 drill onto stacked mats about waist height (hers) easilly and safely without the needs for lots of spotting (manual).

Focus just like for any flyaway is... Stretch through the bottom. Tap!!! see you feet or with your eyes or see the bar (without sticking head out)...strectch and push away from the bar.. release... and and than pull in the tuck.
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
I appreciate that wonderful break down. Thank you kindly..

However, now lets change gears a second and talk about a "tap."


I teach taps like the girl in the video. Tight arch to a quick hollow.

I have one girl in my gym, however, that constantly boggles me. She was trained by another coach and I really havent seen her development - she is a wonderful gymnast who magically fell into my gym and Ive been thankful ever since... however, her "tap" seems different.. it's almost like she is squeezing a hollow through the bottom, as if to force an upward dish shape without the tight arch.. Her doubles are great too!! But I dare not teach any other gymnast like hers until I understand it... Any thoughts on that?
 

Valentin

Coach
Coach
Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
To be totaly honest i don't understand exactly what you mean. If there a way you can post a video just for reference. I dare not comment until i can understand exactly what i am commenting on.

Sorry if that i no go.

However the way you teach the tap is the way i do it as well.. The girl in the video (Samantha) does one thing that is recently become I guess a little more popular and that is.. arching before passing the low bar
YouTube - 2008 AOGC-Samantha Shapiro-UB (compare he bail and stretch through the bottom in this vid compared to the other one). Reasons for it.
1- Its means they don't have to pike down at all to get past the low bar
2- It removes the fear factor of what i would like to call "toe slamming into the low bar resulting in serious pain alitis!" haha
3- its effective for when you get older.
A friend called it more like a MAG tap, like out of a Tong Fei (or scooped) giant. It have to say that i personally prefer this way also as opposed to the under the bar method...however it is something to think about also when talking about tap. However such a method requires better discipline and conditioning not to tap early.
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
God bless that girl's coaches..

I would certainly like to study under them...


Very pretty routine.



I will try and get you some video.

Ryan
 

Valentin

Coach
Coach
Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
Hi

She has had a few coaches. Galina Marinova, Ivan Ivanov, Arthur Akopyan (current) (this is for bars), plus another couple along the way. She trains at AOGC. I used to work there, and personally i didn't like working there at all, its not really the place where you learn much by being taught. They had a very unorganized routine (from my prespective the other coaches not i charge). The head/senior coaches seemed to make things up on the spot rotation wise and such, huge gymnast to coach ratios. The way they work is get a hole bunch of pre-teams..with little progression see who can learn the skills quickly relateively on their own (as 1 coach for 10 kids doesn't really work any other way). and pretty much its a churning process. Only the strong will survive.
PLUS all the coaches there are Bulgarian (well most were when i was there including me haha), so its not the best place for an English speaking coach, as you won't undersatnd much.

Anyaways i didnt like working there, but i will give credit where its due and Author has done a great job with Samantha and Mattie Larson.. both girls look like they will make the 2012 US Olympic team. Great bar workers
 

CoachL

Member
Apr 9, 2007
217
eh tbh there should be about 3 different types of taps being taught on bars. True late bottom tap, early bottom tap and late bottom tap. All 3 are essential be being able to be a great bar worker and do a variety of skills
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
I believe he is referring to the following:

True late: Tap used for good, rounded, strong giants. Feet are tapped in front of the standing poles.

Early: Tap used for dismounts, or skills moving away from the current bar used - so, shoots, geinger from low to high, etc..

Late tap: Toes are under the bar, and designed for upward travel - much like geingers, reverse hecht, etc.. Upward momentum is desired over forward.

I understand what I am looking at with my gymnast, and Im sorry I did not get video right away (as I havent had an opportunity.. it's our regional/sectional/state series time right now). Basically, she pulls aggressively from her shoulders and maintains a beautiful hollow position, even when releasing the bar. Because of this, she spins beautifully fast even while laid out.
 
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