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For Coaches right pirrouette/left cartwheel

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I work with the preteam group at my gym, and so of course for the level 4 beam we're working on half turns. Most of the kids do the standard spin on the foot you handstand on.

But I've got one...she cartwheel and handstands left. Very left. She spins right. Very right. Jump full turn on the ground? Right. Jump double turn on trampoline? Right. Full turns on high toe? Right.

My natural inclination is that it's more important to learn to turn with control and form than to turn to the side she cartwheels (especially since her left roundoff is a right twist, and she consistently turns to the right). But I don't want her to get slaughtered in compulsaries-which I think we over rely on-for such a silly reason as her natural twist direction.

WILL she get killed for spinning on the right and cartwheeling/handstanding left? For now I have her doing her turns both ways to practice but she's stated a decided preference for turning to the right.

In short--if this was y'all's gymnast, what would YOU do?


Active Member
Former Gymnast
Jun 24, 2008
If she leaps with the same leg that she turns on, then I'd teach her the routine as a righty and follow the book for reversing the acro elements. If she leaps with the other leg, then she should probably learn to turn in the other direction for the compulsory routines. She can always revert back to her preferred turning side in optionals; it's really not that hard to do full turns going both directions.

However, I feel that mixing dominant sides is quite common. I do righty cartwheels and handstands, but I do all of my jumps to the left. I do double turns on floor on my R foot (although I can do it on both), and I turn on both feet on beam. All of my teammates do the same thing with going R on cartwheels/ROs and L on jumps (or vice versa), although they're not quite as ambidextrous on turns as I am. Almost all of us also twist backwards in the opposite direction that we twist forwards, although that isn't an immediate concern for you.
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Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
Honestly I'd get with whoever her future L4 coach would be. Would they prefer reversing acro, or switching her turn? I'd make it a decision for the person you're prepping her for just so there's no confusion down the road if she advances.


Oct 5, 2008
New Zealand
:eek: i'm the same. i cartwheel hanstand & walkover left. I Turn to the right and leaps and jumps are both.

I don't think it really matters here in NZ but im doing optionals anyway. I have been like that ever since i started gym & none of my coaches had a problem with it.


This really only comes to play for aerial skills on UB, tumbling and vault. They should be able to learn to leap and turn in both directions. They will eventually need to pirouette in both directions ( reverse pirouette ) so with simple skills it's not such a huge deal but only comes to play in connecting BIG skills
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