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For Coaches Poor Form on Cast Handstands

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PalmTree

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Is it acceptable to allow gymnasts to do less than perfect form when learning their cast handstands?

Backstory: I have a couple of girls going to 6 in the Spring and they "kind of" have cast handstands (both do straight body and both are very strong). I feel like lately all I do is spot them on these, and I don't feel like that's helping them get it. Until recently, they were afraid of really leaning over the bar as much as they need to, so most of my spotting was just pushing their shoulders forward. I challenged them to do it themselves, and they were able to after a couple weeks, but they are very ugly (archy, head out) - but the point is that they got it to handstand and turned over the bar to the other side (what they were afraid of).

So is this a bad thing to do? Should I only let them do proper form, or is there some benefit to them getting it over by themselves and cleaning it up along the way?
 

iwannacoach

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What are they working these out of? If it's just a support you should have them work from a kip. If the kip is done correctly they'll have a lean built in and the cast will become lighter and crisp.

Just make sure they're doing that swings rather than a muscled kip.
 

Gymsanity

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I've found two trains of thought in coaching. Some say teach it perfectly from the start and you won't have anything to correct later and no bad habits. Or you have coaches like me that feel you can't correct what you don't have. ;) So I reward courage over technique in the beginning. I don't care what they look like getting over the bar, table, etc., just do it! Once they have it through courage and determination, then I start to work on better form and technique. And don't get me wrong, I work plenty of progressions, drills, spots, etc. dealing with technique and form to get them to the point that they can even do it, but at first my main emphasis is on getting the skill so that we can later perfect it. :)
 

JBS

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^^^Yes...straddle cast with good form. I'm not really a big fan of the "ugly up" concept.

We do a lot of casting to angles on both sides too...horizontal both sides (one way is just a dump over to the back...but with good form)...30 degrees both ways...45 degrees both ways.

Straight body cast to 30 degrees and a straddle press from the feet on floor = straddle cast handstand on bars.
 

PalmTree

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Thanks for the input! They were trying it from front support. They can both "kind of" do it from a kip too, but it's the fear of falling over that stops them from really going for it. I tried a straddle cast with them maybe once…they didn't really get it so I went back to straight body because I think that looks better. But I will definitely have them work straddle more now!

@JBS , what do you mean by "casting to angles on both sides" ?
 

coachp

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Kip cast pike , (turtle shape). Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat
 

JBS

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Anything in this video that tips over to the back after casting. I'll explain better next week when I get home.

 
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dunno

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Is it acceptable to allow gymnasts to do less than perfect form when learning their cast handstands?

Backstory: I have a couple of girls going to 6 in the Spring and they "kind of" have cast handstands (both do straight body and both are very strong). I feel like lately all I do is spot them on these, and I don't feel like that's helping them get it. Until recently, they were afraid of really leaning over the bar as much as they need to, so most of my spotting was just pushing their shoulders forward. I challenged them to do it themselves, and they were able to after a couple weeks, but they are very ugly (archy, head out) - but the point is that they got it to handstand and turned over the bar to the other side (what they were afraid of).

So is this a bad thing to do? Should I only let them do proper form, or is there some benefit to them getting it over by themselves and cleaning it up along the way?

yes, it's okay. sometimes things have to be practiced wrong in order to get to right and then feel the difference. this is one of those skills.
 

JBS

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We have tried both ways...we have more girls gaining consistent handstands when they learn with good technique and at least decent form.

We do not allow the low spine snapping arches...those are the key to back injuries in the future.
 

gymjunkie

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Lately I am learning towards teaching a perfectly clean straddle cast first & then taking more time to learn the straight body cast with proper form. With our most recent round of new optionals, we did not have any major errors to fix when they got their straight body casts (2 full years after they got their straddle cast, but still just in time for optionals).
 

PalmTree

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The past couple days, I had my Level 6s try straddle cast handstands. We had abandoned them in the past because I always spotted them on straight body cast handstands (since pre-team two years ago), and they don't "get" straddle casts. But I forced them to do drills and GET it, and it did seem to help. One of them got her straddle cast handstand a couple times the first day. The other refuses to "understand" it (I am rolling my eyes), but I'm sure she'll catch on within the week. This will help with my stress level as they compete in January. I am happy to know they will hit handstand, whether straight body or straddle.

We will keep working straight body casts, but I will make straddle my main goal as they prepare for optionals! Thanks for all the help!
 
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PalmTree

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An update…they are annoying me to no end!

We have been doing the drills in this video:
They can do #1…putting their feet on the bar and then falling over. When I try to have them go to #2, not touching their feet, they can't do it. They are afraid to lean over the bar (even with a huge squishy mat behind it!!). When they try an actual straddle cast handstand, they just push away (THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT I AM TELLING THEM TO DO) so I won't let them try it anymore.

I am at my wit's end. It makes me so frustrated that they can't do it. What do you suggest? More conditioning (they are both very strong)? Any other drills to conquer this fear? Spotting?
 

gymcoach4

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do you have any bars that can be lowered closer to the ground? I had our girls try some of these and a few of them were chicken - so I had them do it on rec bars that can be lowered basically to the ground..had them jump off the floor and roll over onto an 8" mat (no feet touching the bar)..when they got over the fear, I slowly raised it
 

PalmTree

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We do have a floor bar that is about a foot off the ground (for pirouette work etc). I have them start in straddle stand and jump up to a handstand. They can do it just fine. They say that they are afraid of falling ON the bar.
 

Aero

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@PalmTree | Do they look like this?
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kscpcpjplibqiu3/Video Oct 23, 10 42 59 PM.mov?dl=0.

This is Giada. She is an eight year old Silver level Xcel athlete and is quite talented on bars. This is probably her tenth attempt ever at it, and I think it's quite good. However, I was wondering too if I am rushing it, or if I should just let her keep doing them on the real bar with me correcting her and giving her drills on the side. Thoughts?
 
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JBS

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@PalmTree | Do they look like this?
https://www.dropbox.com/s/kscpcpjplibqiu3/Video Oct 23, 10 42 59 PM.mov?dl=0.

This is Giada. She is an eight year old Silver level Xcel athlete and is quite talented on bars. This is probably her tenth attempt ever at it, and I think it's quite good. However, I was wondering too if I am rushing it, or if I should just let her keep doing them on the real bar with me correcting her and giving her drills on the side. Thoughts?

Wow...wish our Xcel silvers could do that!
 
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Aero

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@JBS | Thanks! We've been working hard lately preparing for their first competition ever (and mine) and I wanted to reward her with a little uptraining because her casts are huge. Now she's really learning the value of a deep planche and straight arms on casts. They open the door to a whole new world of bar skills beyond stride circles and pullovers! Who woulda thought? It also doesn't hurt that she can stalder press handstand like a beast, too.

But yeah, there's a few doubts on whether I should take it back a step. Don't want her to develop bad habits due to impatience and rushing on my part.
 

PalmTree

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Is she a fearless beast??!! That looks good to me. My kids are too scared to try it like she does.
 
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