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Handstand flatback is giving me migraines

Sari

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May 31, 2014
435
26
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Germany
I've been coaching vault this year and drilling running, handstands, body tightness and arm circles and hurdles into the board. However, when we try to put everything together, it seems like my gymnasts just forget what they're supposed to be doing (none of them keep their legs straight after takeoff, thought some vaults are certainly worse than others, one quite literally pikes up and then drops onto her back).

I'm positive there's something I'm forgetting.

I've looked through old threads and learned that they are most likely leaning forward on the board resulting in little rotation and heel drive (I will film them on Friday to confirm) and their hurdle is definitely too short.

Any drills to help with this that don't require too much special equipment we most likely don't have? I can lift these girls, they're ages 5-9.

I keep reading to have them do front layouts but we don't have a tumble track or big trampoline (just mini tramps) and I'm afraid for their lives just thinking about having them attempt one. Maybe someone can alleviate my fears or suggest a starting point for layouts? Lol.
 

Pineapple_Lump

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Jan 31, 2008
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If they are leaning forward it is probably because their hurdle is too close. Fix the run and hurdle first. This might mean going back to short, counted step runs for the vault and emphasizing a long hurdle - perhaps with visual markers of where to take last step.
 
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raenndrops

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Oct 24, 2009
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If they are leaning forward it is probably because their hurdle is too close. Fix the run and hurdle first. This might mean going back to short, counted step runs for the vault and emphasizing a long hurdle - perhaps with visual markers of where to take last step.
I agree completely. We use a velcro strip for where the last step should be (for those that need it). For those doing a L3 - L5, the coach places the strip and they vault girls in order of where the strip needs to be so it in't moved between each girl. For the Optionals, the girls all know esch other's "number" and they move it for the next girl in line if needed.

It really does help!
 

Sari

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Thank you!!!
I'll add a hurdle line next practice! Any pointers as to where to place it to start with? I've read differing suggestions online. We don't have a carpet runway so we have never used one before. But I'll bring tape!
 

coachj20

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Feb 14, 2020
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Hi. A lot of it can come down to chest and arm position as they hit the board. I see a lot of gyms teach their kids to vault with their arms up when that usually just drops their chest more often. as far as bend legs after the board, they have to be tight while bouncing to continue to be tight through the vault. Also keep in mind that as they run they should be leaning forward, and when they bounce the board their chest should be up (they should lean back as they punch the springs) and their toes pushing in front of them. I can't stress how important it is to make sure your gymnasts really really understand not only what body positions to have (arch, hollow), but how to feels to activate these body positions. They should remember how their muscles feel. lastly, have the kids understand they need to bounce up with their chest up (tell them lean back) and explain how the arch makes their heels drive them upside-down to hit the handstand. If your kids don't really understand how to vault then it'll be really tough to make progress. I know these tips are kinda all over the place but I hope this helped!
 
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