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For Coaches Level 6 squat on

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isaelijohjac

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Hi there. My daughter is a 9yo level 6 and has fallen back on her squat on in her last 2 meets. She just doesn't seem to get her bottom up hight enough. She has a great bar routine but can't seem to do her squat on correctly. As a level 5 she never had a problem. I know the 6 routine is different--no cast before--she is getting a bit discouraged, and it is hurting her all around, obviously.
I would appreciate any input. thanks.
 
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KBT

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My best guess is there's a little bit of fear there that's holding her back, maybe even subconsciously. Maybe practicing "falling" from this skill would help her be able to cast higher. For kids that can cast well, falling back out of a squat on is usually a fear of casting high then catching the feet on the bar and doing a face plant. Doing a mini-cast is feels like a very safe way to just sneak the feet onto the bar and avoid the potential scary fall. I would encourage her to think of this skill as a pike on because she'll have to cast higher to keep the legs straight.
 
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isaelijohjac

Guest
Thank you for your response. I thought that the cast was a small one. I am a bit confused becuase she has a beautifully high cast--she does a handstand pretty consistantly now when she attempts it (not in her routines). I have the text and it looks like it is a small cast and then the squat on. Can she cast high and tuck her feet under?
thanks.
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
The way I teach this is to get a block mat about hip height of the gymnast, and have them jump from the floor to the mat with hands and feet on the mat.

Ideally (I know this sounds silly) I want them to be able to do this with straight legs - this means, they will end a pike sit position, standing on the block (or, a pike with only hands and feet on the mat, hands flat to palms).


If they can do this with their legs straight, it will re-inforce the idea that the shoulders need to go forward, and the hips need to go up. When they get to the bar, I transfer the same idea - hands and feet together, then stand up. Many girls are taught to "hop" right into the squat on, which brings a lot of fear, and I find a LOT more success building up to that hop mechanism, if I ever push it at all. I think squat ons look better when they look safer, and my heart doesnt flutter wondering if their feet will catch the bar.


Something she can do at home is something called "bear hops" (at least, that's what I Call them). Basically, she starts in a push-up position, with arms extended, dip the hips a bit to pop them up, and pull the feet towards her hands, ending in the same position with her hips up and her feet next to her hands. The reason they are called "hops" is that she can drop back to prone, and repeat for a great exercise that will lead to other skills (like presses, and cast handstands..)


Good luck! I hope this helps.


Ryan
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
2,527
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USA
Does her gym teach the toe circle? Unless L6 has changed, the girls have the option of the squat on or toe circle at L6. My gymmie was a little inconsistent with her squat on as a L5----would cast fairly high and then would have her butt too far out in the squat on and off she went. As soon as she saw the toe circle she was done with squat ons.
Weird but now all of a sudden I see her doing bar routines and about 1/2 the time she's back doing a squat on. I think its because this L8 bar routine uses so much energy and strength, she can take a little breath doing a piked squat on.
 

gymdog

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Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
In L5, the squat on doesn't come directly out of the kip like L6. I'm guessing when your daughter tries it out of the kip, she isn't getting her shoulders over the bar as well as when she did it out of the front hip circle-cast, swing back, squat on, where the shoulders are already somewhat over the bar. This is a pretty common phenomenon in my experience.

As she comes out of her kip, it might help to think of trying to "sandwich" her body at the end of the kip, when the toes are in front, and bring her shoulders towards her toes before starting to kick back to do the squat on.
 
K

KBT

Guest
Thank you for your response. I thought that the cast was a small one. I am a bit confused becuase she has a beautifully high cast--she does a handstand pretty consistantly now when she attempts it (not in her routines). I have the text and it looks like it is a small cast and then the squat on. Can she cast high and tuck her feet under?
thanks.

I don't know the USAG routines, but I'm guessing what the mean by small cast before the squat on is that the cast won't get deducted if it doesn't reach horizontal or higher. But you still need some amount of cast to do the squat on well, probably around 45degrees. The cast really starts when her feet come to the bar in the kip. The feet are touching the bar, she starts kipping back to front support and the feet just continue up into the cast. It may help if she leaves her feet on the bar in the kip just a little longer than she's used to so she'll really be able to whip the legs up into a cast at the end of the kip.
 
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