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For Coaches Jump to high bar

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Billy

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My DD is really good on bars. They're her favorite event and she places 1st in almost every meet (including state). But, she's just moved up to L4 and had her first big fall.

She recently started wearing grips and has had some trouble feeling comfortable with them. During practice last week, she tried a jump to the high bar (which she has always been able to do with no problem), and missed. Her coach was able to break her fall so she didn't get hurt but she did fall to the mats on her back. She did eventually get back up to the bars (a different set) and made the jump one time but she hasn't done it since. At practice last Friday and yesterday, she wouldn't do the jump, even with the coach there. She can jump and touch the high bar but she won't catch it. She can do all of the L4 bars routine, except now this. Any suggestions on helping her get over her fear?
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
There is no jump to the high bar in the L4 bar routine, which is as follows:

glide swing forward, swing back to stand (can be done from a block which must be removed during the forward swing)
pullover
front hip circle, cast
shoot through
mill circle
lift leg through arm, return to front support (best way I can describe the current transition)
cast, back hip circle, immediate (if done correctly) underswing dismount.

The jump to high bar is a L5 skill.

I think she will probably build her confidence by continuing to work on drills for the skill in preparation for 5, and as she adjusts to the grips. She may want to make sure she is standing up completely before the jump (rather than trying to jump from the squat). But I would have to see it or know what specific drills your gym works for it. Peeling off on the front swing after the jump is a fairly common problem with small hands, and because of this I personally think a lot of caution needs to be exercised in attempting this skill for the first time with small L4s on a "normal" bar setting. Here is a nice video about it:

[YOUTUBE]g_bPudq4o_O[/YOUTUBE]
 
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hammy

Guest
Try stacking up the mats and have her jump and catch the bar with her coach standing there--this way there is no far to fall. You could also try having her jump and catch the bar with the bars closer together to build up her confidence. You could also try explaining to her that sometimes she's going to fall and that she's also going to be scared sometimes, but the coach wouldn't ask her to do something if they did not think she's able to do it safely.
 
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Billy

Guest
Sorry, I didn't specify that she's doing AAU level 4, which does jump to the high bar. The routine is:

Back hip pullover
Front hip circle
Cast- cast squat on
Jump to high bar
Long-hang pullover
Underswing
Counter swing
Tap swing
Counter swing
Straight drop dismount

I hadn't thought of stacking mats up. She already jumps with the bars pretty close together (she and one other girl are the smallest on the team). I'm not even sure if her coaches see it as a problem as it's only been two practices. Until last night, I don't think they realized she wasn't doing it. I thought about talking to the head coach to let her know there's a problem but she may just tell me it's too soon to worry about it. My concern is that with not jumping to the high bar, she can't practice the whole 2nd half of the routine. She can do all the skills and was doing just fine before this but she does need to practice or she'll lose those skills, too.
 
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Billy

Guest
Here is a nice video about it:

[youtube]g_bPudq4o_O[/youtube]


Thanks, but the video doesn't really get to where she has the problem. She can do a cast squat on with no trouble. She can also stand, jump and touch the high bar. She's just afraid to actually grab it, I think because if she does that, she's committed and if she misses, she may not be able to land on her feet (ie. the fall last week).

We have explained to her that she's going to fall. This is gymnastics, after all. And when she fell last week, she didn't get hurt, which she acknowledges. She knows she has to get this but I don't think she (nor I) knows how to get past the fear. Things have come pretty easy to her so far so this kind of problem is new.
 
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BlairBob

Guest
Level 4's should be training that jump to high bar, so they have that skill before admission into l5. It's easy to train this from a block to a single rail at an appropriate distance first.

You really need to enforce hitting in a hollow position. This should be enforced on low bar glides but most gymnasts don't carry it over.

I'm against level 4s having grips and jumping to the high bar and doing a long hang pullover while swinging. However if they were trained to catch with a nice position and tap late, sure. Most girl's and many coaches don't do this enough.

Asking for them to start catching the bar while just learning grips sounds like suicide. There is no real point as they should learn to swing, catch, and kip with bare hands first.

Most of these kids aren't swinging high enough to necessitate peeling off and it's important to build grip strength before just letting them cheat with a dowel. As for a dowel-less grip, ehh. Suck it up and get those hands sandpaper like.

However, not my program and I just ignore the weird habits of women's coach's and watering grips, etc because they used to do it.

Rick on gymnasticscoaching has some good articles on the jump to high bar and catching.
 
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Billy

Guest
Level 4's should be training that jump to high bar, so they have that skill before admission into l5. It's easy to train this from a block to a single rail at an appropriate distance first.

You really need to enforce hitting in a hollow position. This should be enforced on low bar glides but most gymnasts don't carry it over.

I'm against level 4s having grips and jumping to the high bar and doing a long hang pullover while swinging. However if they were trained to catch with a nice position and tap late, sure. Most girl's and many coaches don't do this enough.

Asking for them to start catching the bar while just learning grips sounds like suicide. There is no real point as they should learn to swing, catch, and kip with bare hands first.

Most of these kids aren't swinging high enough to necessitate peeling off and it's important to build grip strength before just letting them cheat with a dowel. As for a dowel-less grip, ehh. Suck it up and get those hands sandpaper like.

However, not my program and I just ignore the weird habits of women's coach's and watering grips, etc because they used to do it.

Rick on gymnasticscoaching has some good articles on the jump to high bar and catching.

Well, like it or not, the jump-swing-pullover is part of the level 4 routine so to compete next season, she has to get it. She can start from a dead hang and get swinging enough to do the long-hang pullover and finish the routine but she's got to do the jump. As for the swing, she gets to about 15 degrees below horizontal so she can certainly peel off. I was kind of surprised they introduced grips already but if that's what the coach wants.....
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I think just getting grips and learning a long hang swing concurrently is difficult, but I am just not familiar with systems that teach it that way largely so maybe that is why. Hopefully when she gets used to the grips more things will improve. She may be having problems "feeling" the grasp with the grips and that is making her hesitate. Since it's early in the summer, it's possible the coaches were just trying to see who can do it and will be doing more drills and lead ups throughout the summer, so that could be why they aren't that concerned.

I have seen a lot of girls jump to the high bar and peel off on the front swing even when it isn't that high. They don't grasp the bar enough on top. It's usually smaller girls too. A lot of girls do jump incorrectly when it comes to catching the high bar, even when they appear to have a good cast squat jump. They don't jump into a position where they can catch the bar hollow with their toes down, and that can lead to peeling if they do try to grasp. The big problems I see are kicking the feet back (arch) or bringing them too far forward (trying to pike, especially if there's a long hang kip after), or one of these things and just jumping straight out instead of up and waiting to think about catching when they are literally under the bar (usually what they're doing when they just hit the bar and jump under, because they can't see it ahead of time. Even if they catch, depending on their momentum they end in dead hang or swing forward a little and peel).

When I taught older kids or high schoolers this (harder to spot like you can do with little L4s) we put the bars really close and had them practice standing, grabbing the bar on top in a hollow position, and then swinging out, so they didn't keep a straight body and jump out and try to catch under. Then we moved to grab, jump up (hips up), swing out. Then we moved the bar out and had them try from a small jump. With smaller kids you could do all that low bar set a little higher which is usually what I see coaches do. They have to jump so they see the bar in front of them, but not to the point where they come into it with bent arms.
 

Gym-Nice-tics

Member
May 14, 2008
115
US
]
When I taught older kids or high schoolers this (harder to spot like you can do with little L4s) we put the bars really close and had them practice standing, grabbing the bar on top in a hollow position, and then swinging out, so they didn't keep a straight body and jump out and try to catch under. Then we moved to grab, jump up (hips up), swing out. Then we moved the bar out and had them try from a small jump. With smaller kids you could do all that low bar set a little higher which is usually what I see coaches do. They have to jump so they see the bar in front of them, but not to the point where they come into it with bent arms.

When I have a kid afraid of jumping to the high bar (for whatever reason, it seems whenever a kid is afraid of that I am the one everyone goes to to break it- so I've had lots of experience) I have the girl stand on a spotting block and jump to a single rail that is higher than a low bar, but not as high as a high bar. Depending on the fear level, I may have 8-inchers stacked under the bar. We start with the spotting block in, and slowly working it out so that the gymnast learns that they don't have to chuck themselves at the high bar to make it. Then I repeat the same thing from the low bar to high bar with me standing there and emphasizing a full stand before the jump, so the kid isn't just flying at it.
 
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Billy

Guest
Thanks, everyone. I talked to her about standing up completely before jumping and visualizing that she can make it (as much as a 6-year-old can understand visualizing). I also suggested that she think about doing the long-hang pullover rather than thinking about the jump. I thought that might shift her focus to a skill she can do rather than getting stuck on the scary part. Anyway, she has practice again tonight so we'll see what happens if they do bars.
 
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Billy

Guest
Update: DD had practice tonight and she did make the jump to the high bar with the grips. Yea!!! She did it three times, even going right into the long-hang pullover each time. I hope they do bars again tomorrow just to kind of reinforce it. But, hey, she did it!!!
 
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