For Coaches Handspring vault

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gracefulone

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This is my first year coaching team by myself, and on a regular schedule. As I have ranted about in other posts on here, our new director is moving girls up too quickly. I am coaching level fives once a week. Only one of the girls has her kip at all, and none of them can do cartwheels on the beam consistently. Here, I'm pretty good. The problem I'm having is with the vault. I have the table set on 0 bumps, but still only one or two of the girls can even get over. They don't drive their heels or block off. I've done a good block drill that really helped me(block against a wall, then fall right away hollow to an 8-incher), as well as handstand hops, and blocking off the table. We've done pop-ups, and even worked on some front layouts to working on their heel drive. We work on running hard down the runway. Still, most of them don't have the momentum to get over, even with a big spot.

The point it, I'm running out of ideas!! I thought these drills would help( I've had the same girls for a little over a month now), but I am just out of things to do with them. Any pointers?
 
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gymkat

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Former Gymnast
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Jun 24, 2008
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I assume they have decent L4 vaults. You could put the L4 pit behind the table and have them do the L4 vault but with their hands on the table. They should all be able to get over, since the table on 0 is really close to the pit height. Once they're more comfortable with getting over, you could begin to focus more on the block and slowly take away the mat (so go down to 3 8-inchers, then 2, etc.) so that they're eventually landing on a competition surface.
 
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gymnasticcoach

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Hi gracefulone. When you do blocks off the vault table how do you do them ? We do them by putting a 12 inch landing mat in front of the table vault. One athlete stands back from the vault and jumps into the vault with straight arms and pushes back off the table and lands on their stomach gets up very quickly repeating this and sees how many they can do in 30 seconds...we do this as a contest...good for pop and block.

For heel drive we take a slant mat (cheeze mat) and put the high end against the table, have the athlete take a short run up the slant and drive the heels into the mat just in front of the table and fall back into a incurve position.

Also for heel drive and improving front handsprings on floor and vault put two beat boards one behind the other and then against a landing mat ( 8 - 12 inches) and take off the first board with the feet and the hands on the second board and land standing on the mat.

Hope you can understand my explanations and if not just ask and i will try to do a video, and post it here.

Don
 
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gracefulone

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Thanks so much for the suggestions! And yes, I understand what you mean.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
This may seem a weird suggestion at this point, but one thing I live by is never lowering the table as far as it can go no matter what, whether the kids can get over the table or not. I keep the lowest setting just in case of an "emergency" at a meet, if you know what I mean.
 
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Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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Wow, it definatly sounds like these girls have been pushed up way to soon. That can be a real problem, especially for level 5 because they will spend a long long time mastering the skills before they will be even ready to compete. I believe in allowing the girls to experience success at a level they can achieve well in, at the same time as working the harder skills. But all gyms are different and have a different philosophy.

Try putting a mini tramp in the place of the spring board for vault. The extra bounce is usually enough to get them over the first few times and it will build their confidence. I also think a great drill is to stack mats up to the height of the vaulting table and have the gymnasts go over the vaulting table to land flat back on the mats. This is in fact the level 4 vault in Australia.
 
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BlairBob

Guest
They need the ability to run hard. That means building up ankle strength. One foot hopping for distance across the floor in as few as hops as possible. Make sure to do the typical ankle/calf raises. Upper leg strength. Best for your buck is a single leg squat, but lunges are good too.

Once they have the ability to run hard, and crunch that board with their acceleration and hurdle, they need the willingness. Work on getting their step down solid so they always know where it is and there is never second guessing or concern.

After that, it's just a matter of a solid handstand that doesn't crumple when hitting the table. All the handstand hops in the world don't mean beans if they're handstand isn't solid for duration on floor and against a wall. 15 seconds of a handstand with the shoulders in the ears is a lot better than 2 minutes of a handstand with space between their arms and ears ( unless of course they have tight shoulders ).

If they cannot accelerate and hit the board, a tight handstand will not still not mean much when it hits the table. Simple solution is train their bodies into mack trucks with a good handstand.
 
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gracefulone

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Thanks again everyone. These really are some great ideas.
 
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