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Heel Drive Drills

  • Thread starter kalgoorliecoach
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kalgoorliecoach

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Hi, am having a lot of difficulty with my older level vaulters with their heel drive.
I have a few drills, but alas seem not to be working well. Has any other coaches got any thing I could try. Thanks:p
 
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gracefulone

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Our coach has us do front layouts on tumbl trak, and that's helped us out.
 

Valentin

Coach
Coach
Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
Hi

to be honest i dont think it a heel drive most the time.. I would say it is probably a combination on things
1- is slow! reaction times of the board
2- poor body position leaving the board which is also associate with the heel drive

I think one of the best solutions to this is
1- MANY layouts if you can on tumble track
2- Layouts of spring baords building up to an elevated surface.
3- Doing plyometrics for leg trainings particularly associated with the board (due to specifics)
One thinng that does make a difference immediately is to check that they are keeping their chest up when they impact the board and leave it..thus not leaning forward on the board
 
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kalgoorliecoach

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Thanks for that. As i'm reading I can see where other problems are.
Will try more layout drills and body position.
 
K

KBT

Guest
I agree with the previous posters that it's best to work drills that seem to have nothing to do with heel drive. You should be able to do a front layout over the vault - think of it as a handspring with no hands. Since your kids seem to be lower-level, I would just do layouts on the tumble trak or off a springboard over some mats.

I've found that heel drive issues usually come from the chest position. I like to hold my hand up in the air in front of the vault about two feet above the vault. I then ask my kids to reach up and over my hand after they hit the board. This forces them to reach up, to keep the chest up, and once they reach their max height, the body turns over onto the vault.

I've also done a drill where I have them keep their body tight and straight with arms up and I physically flip them from their feet to their hands. It's a bit difficult to do this with larger gymnasts, but if you can lift them it's worth doing to show them how their body stays completely straight during the vault.

Many kids have a loose body on the preflight and have angles in the hips and shoulders. All of these drills will help teach a straight body.

There was a fantastic training documentary done at CGA circa 1995 when Jaycie Phelps and Amanda Borden were training for the Olympics (Robin Phelps was also training at CGA at the time). I really liked MLT's approach to vaulting in this documentary. Even though she was coaching elites, I found a lot of her drills and philosophies applicable to the beginning gymnast. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it on youtube.
 
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hammy

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I agree with what the previous posters have said as well. I typically put my hand up and have them go up and over it when they're first learning. I also try to tell my newer vaults to jump to "Superman" shape--a tight, slight arch--they must keep their chest up and "drive" their heals over their head. For the more advanced gymnasts I like the idea of using front layouts.
 

gymdog

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Coach
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Former Gymnast
Jul 5, 2007
5,117
We did dive rolls and layouts over the table (also, bounder over to mats stacked up on the other side) but it took a few years to work up to that. We basically start doing them up to a resi in L4 and then they start them over a trapezoid with two pieces, then add a piece, then trainer into the pit, etc. By L7 or so they start introducing the progression for barani over the table/trainer.

On tumble track or tramp, bounce from knees to HS with good heel drive (on track they can go from HS to knees, and back, down the line).

(wall) a few steps hurdle towards wall, jump to push off wall, trying to drive legs up to horizontal. That's a horrible description, I can try again if it makes no sense. Later on we would do this to a push off, rebound tuck. They need to hurdle with enough room for their body length in front of the wall so they aren't crunching - a sting mat placed in an appropriate place might help with that.

(from HS, ankle weights can be added) drop to push up position, bounce back to HS (heel drive, no pike). I do it off a resi now (hands on hard surface) although I haven't decided how much more effective that is.

We spent most of L7 doing on the regular vault set up, a few steps (10-15 foot run) hurdle timer to HS. First with spot, then without.

front handspring up to a wedge mat (hands on the low part, landing on the higher part). You need a fairly big wedge for this, but you could probably figure out some set up with eight inchers.
 

Valentin

Coach
Coach
Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
"(wall) a few steps hurdle towards wall, jump to push off wall, trying to drive legs up to horizontal. That's a horrible description, I can try again if it makes no sense. Later on we would do this to a push off, rebound tuck. They need to hurdle with enough room for their body length in front of the wall so they aren't crunching - a sting mat placed in an appropriate place might help with that."

This is a awesome drill, but make sure you pad that wall up well haha, otherwise they waste themselves at first till their figure out that the goal is not to slam into the wall haha.. Thanks for the drill gymdog, i had almost forgot about it haha.
It is a very hard drill to be done reallllly well .so that they do hit 100% horizontal with not shoulder angle. The fear factor here does play a role, and it does pay to stand in a catch them at first as the impact the wall so they get a feel of how they are hitting (9.9/10 will probably hit with shoudlers closed, legs pointing down at the board haha) But with this spotting, and getting over the fear they will get better and it does help a lot!
You know what would be an AWESOME!!! drill but unrealistic haha.
Is if you had one of those valcro walls and suits and had then do a 1/2 layout from spring board with arms by ears like a handspring so that when they hit the wall they a struck in a upside down handstand. Goal being to impact the fall with the whole body upside down simulataneously
. safe, fun, and i am sure it would work really well. saddly who can afford to put something like that in their gym haha..
 
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