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For Coaches helping young gymnasts understand vault

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JenFen

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Hi,
wondering if anyone has some great ideas to help the younger gymnasts with getting the idea of leaning back on the beatboard then driving their heels.
I have broken the vault down and the get the leaning back on the beatboard, and they get the heel drive, but when you join it to gether its a completely different story.
The stretch jump is fine, but as soon as you add rotation into it they think you have to lean forward to go over.
Is there any ideas on explaining this to 7 & 8 yr olds.
I have done mini tramp work with them for heel drives, jumping off spotting block and doing handstand flatback, adding mats on top, lots of beatboard work... the drills are endless.
Thanks
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Jan 21, 2007
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Baltimore, MD
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I tell my girls to think about pushing the board forward with their feet as they hit it. In order to do this, they must get their weight behind their feet.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
 

gymdog

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Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
You can put one board in front of another board, so that the front (bouncy) part of back one is touching the back (skinny) part of the front one (worst explanation EVER). They are going to do a small run and hurdle to the first board, like normal, and jump to the second board, which they will do a straight jump off. If they are leaning forward on the first, then it will become exaggerated by the second jump. I would recommend you do this into the pit or a good mat. Work it up to a front tuck if/where possible (into pit if they're level 4s and can't, etc), which requires forward momentum but this drills requires you keep your chest up. This is how I learned front tuck technique, but I've done it with pre-teamers into a jump into the pit as a board drill. If they are relative beginners (not team) then spot it from the first board to the second with one hand on either side of the mid-trunk. If they are L5/6, even if they lean forward a bit and thus perform the last part incorrectly, they should have the skills to recover, but of course that's a judgement call on the coach's part. They shouldn't run full speed into it, but they could increase their run as they get proficient at it.

You can also stand a panel mat in front of whatever surface they are vaulting onto, so they have to go over it. Having it in front of the board is a visual cue to stand up.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
You can put one board in front of another board, so that the front (bouncy) part of back one is touching the back (skinny) part of the front one (worst explanation EVER). They are going to do a small run and hurdle to the first board, like normal, and jump to the second board, which they will do a straight jump off. If they are leaning forward on the first, then it will become exaggerated by the second jump. I would recommend you do this into the pit or a good mat. Work it up to a front tuck if/where possible (into pit if they're level 4s and can't, etc), which requires forward momentum but this drills requires you keep your chest up. This is how I learned front tuck technique, but I've done it with pre-teamers into a jump into the pit as a board drill. If they are relative beginners (not team) then spot it from the first board to the second with one hand on either side of the mid-trunk. If they are L5/6, even if they lean forward a bit and thus perform the last part incorrectly, they should have the skills to recover, but of course that's a judgement call on the coach's part. They shouldn't run full speed into it, but they could increase their run as they get proficient at it.

You can also stand a panel mat in front of whatever surface they are vaulting onto, so they have to go over it. Having it in front of the board is a visual cue to stand up.

I used to do this years ago, and totally forgot about it. It's a great thing to do over the Summer.

Thx
 
H

hammy

Guest
You can also try to have them go over an obstacle and onto the vault. In other words, you can place a mat or foam blocks between the board and the vault so that the girls have to go up and over the mat to get to the vault.
 

Laura

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Oct 22, 2007
204
London
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wow.... thats a really good idea with the spring boards! I am going to try that with my littlies :)
I also put a small wedge or box between the board and the mats so that they have to jump over it. if they lean forwards at all they just crash into it! (lol it's kind of funny when they end of stuck on top of it just dangling :p)
As a last ditch effort with one of my girls I told her to imagine she was jumping over a rainbow! lol a bit wierd but it helped her a little bit to think about going up and over instead of straight down on to the mat.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
As the kids get better, I have actually put one board on top of another and made them vault off of the top one (usually to a stack to keep the focus on the board punch instead of the vault). The top board is at such an angle that the gymnast is forced stand up, and they have to wait to wait to flip forward until their body begins moving out toward the table. It's a little scary at first, but it gets them more comfortable rotating from vertical instead of from a 45 degree lean forward.
 
J

JenFen

Guest
Thanks everyone,

I have some neat ideas to try with my wee ones tomorrow night, hopefully all goes well.

I have worked with some older ones with beatboard on top of other beatboard at angle to vault but not heard of the other idea, sounds like a good one, so doea pushing the beatboard with feet.

Thanks once again.
Jenna
 
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gymnasticcoach

Guest
Vault

One of the drills i have done is to put a large slant/cheeze mat against the vault, high end against vault, have the child do a small run up the mat drive the heels into the cheeze and fall into a backward roll, this i find teaches a good heel drive, also i emphasize an underarm approach
 

Valentin

Coach
Coach
Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
Geoffrey Taucer nice... thanks for that "tell them to push the board forward" that is brilliant, i can't believe my English/communication is so bad, i didn't think of describing it that way before. Thanks for that i will use this from now on and see if it makes a difference. Ofcourse the reality is push forward, downward, and then drive your heels upward.. humm it has a little Rythmn..i like it haha.

gymdog suggesting is also really good, saddly in our gym we have 1 beatboard that young kids can jump of, the other is so stiff for them (even with only 2 springs) that they can't get anything out of it haha., and the others a so badly damaged, that they are borederline dangerous.
I know the Romanians use this drill in series of about 4-5 boards, great for teach a fast underarm as well.
 

Gymtastic

New Member
Jun 12, 2008
22
A very quick drill that I like to set up for them to do on the way BACK from vaulting is to lay down a panel mat the lengthwise like a mini runway and then back the non-bouncy end of the board against the end of the panel mat ("runway"). I have them stand on the panel mat facing the board and hurdle from it with an arm circle onto the bouncy end of the springboard. When they hit the board, they should be sitting back, legs bent and arms extended forward (almost like setting up for a back-handspring). The goal is for them to then bounce backwards, landing back on the panel mat from whence they came.

This is a great drill for getting their feet in front and also for teaching a proper arm-circle.

Hope this helps a bit :)
 
J

JenFen

Guest
I tried getting them to push the beatboard forward and for a couple WOW! There feet pinged back because they were tighter, so it helped the heel drive.
I also worked the two beatboards and found that helped all of them a lot, I did it straight on to fat mats, once they got the idea I then moved them on to handstand flatbacks.
I think I might work on moving the front beatboard out a little and try getting a little bit of a longer hurdle as well.

The other thing I have been using for the ones that seem to want to lean body down to meet mat is getting them to reach up for an imaginary line and set the height to something they can see in the gym which helps as well.

All and all a very good vault session and a think just a differnt set of drills was what they needed to reinforce what they had done.

Thank you all!!!
Jenna
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I know the Romanians use this drill in series of about 4-5 boards, great for teach a fast underarm as well.

I'm trying to think, I know I did something kinda similar to the multiple boards when learning tsuks but it was a boards and a mini tramp and the hands went on the tramp...but I can't really remember the exact set-up. The tramp was fairly low (not vault height) and angled forward, and I think we jumped from a spring board set several feet away to it, maybe we did the two boards. Whatever it was, you had to be pretty precise or you messed it all up. Harder than flipping it off a wedge, I think we already had tsuks when we did this.
 
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