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For Coaches Mill Circle Question

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gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
Hi -

There is a girl on DD's L3 team that is really struggling w/ the mill circle. It seems that the main problem is that she just will not rotate her hands. When she comes around the bar the farthest they go is that her fingertips are on the top of the bar - this prevents her from making a full rotation - she then ends up hooking her top leg and falling back.

Any suggestions to help her work on actually rotating her hands. They rotate fine on her back hip circle.

Thanks
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I guess I would have to see it but I feel like more often my problem is insufficient dynamics in the circle rather than just hand rotation in the second half, since if you have the correct rotation the hands are more likely to kind of follow. I've seen plenty of little girls do it too late and still get around though, by virtue of doing other things correctly in the skill. Sometimes after passing under the bar they will bring their chest to their front knee and kill their rotation and try to muscle on top of the bar...or drop their chest going into it and kill their rotation right off the bat. I like them to be able to hold without their legs resting on the bar in a decent split position with straight legs and arms, arms not too wide, for several seconds. When they can do that, I try to have them target a BIG "step" out and then follow the rotation around the bar with their chest up (? up isn't exactly the right word there but I don't what is). It's a tough skill for them to get though, I mean I know a lot of girls far past L4 who will try to do this now for fun and realize it's not so easy to end in the correct finish position without falling back or doing another circle! For just hand rotation you can work like a front hip circle around the bar with the hands turned, but I would usually expect in this instance something is going wrong earlier in the skill.
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
I guess I would have to see it but I feel like more often my problem is insufficient dynamics in the circle rather than just hand rotation in the second half, since if you have the correct rotation the hands are more likely to kind of follow. I've seen plenty of little girls do it too late and still get around though, by virtue of doing other things correctly in the skill. Sometimes after passing under the bar they will bring their chest to their front knee and kill their rotation and try to muscle on top of the bar...or drop their chest going into it and kill their rotation right off the bat. I like them to be able to hold without their legs resting on the bar in a decent split position with straight legs and arms, arms not too wide, for several seconds. When they can do that, I try to have them target a BIG "step" out and then follow the rotation around the bar with their chest up (? up isn't exactly the right word there but I don't what is). It's a tough skill for them to get though, I mean I know a lot of girls far past L4 who will try to do this now for fun and realize it's not so easy to end in the correct finish position without falling back or doing another circle! For just hand rotation you can work like a front hip circle around the bar with the hands turned, but I would usually expect in this instance something is going wrong earlier in the skill.

now that you mention it - she may be bringing her chest to her knee - I will have to watch next time they do bars. I know it took my DD about 6 months to get the skill - it was very frustrating. This poor girl has been trying almost a year now.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
Well if she still has her hands on the other side of the bar, she will virtually have to bring her chest to her knee I suppose. After some reflection, I feel I should clarify/emphasize that just not moving your hands at all would cause a lot of problems in the mill circle, it's just not usually the main "root" problem I see - by that I mean rarely do I see a little girl prep correctly, step out with the chest up, and then just leave her hands in the same place and stop, because it would take a lot of strength to do that vs just go with the circle. Usually when I see this there is a hip angle early in the circle and insufficient dynamics to clear the bar on the other side.

It may help her to spot a point in front of her in the prep for as long as she can, before passing under the bar. Also instruction to "pull up" like there is a string attached to her head as she tries to come on top of the bar. No resting in a crunched position with the hands underneath.
 

gymkat

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Judge
Jun 24, 2008
691
It basically sounds like she isn't stretching enough into the mill circle. The bar should be kept on the back leg, and from what you wrote, it sounds like halfway through the mill circle, the bar ends up on her front leg. (Edit: this is generally caused by bending the elbows and like gymdog said, pulling the chest towards the front leg... bending the elbows generally causes the pulling in. It's very awkward to pull in with straight elbows, although it's certainly possible. I don't think this is the case in this situation though.) When working on mill circles with new L3s, I really focus on lifting the front leg as high as possible and then stretching it forward into the skill. I like to have them focus on a big split in the mill circle until they've completed at least a half circle. A lot of girls like to bend their elbows and pull into the bar (like I bet your dd's friend is doing) instead of letting themselves stretch out and swing.
 
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