Teaching mill circles and front hip circles

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CreateMagic

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Quick background--I coach a group of preteam kids, mainly levels 1 and 2. Our gym policy is that kids cannot move up to the next level until they have all the skills for that level--no exceptions. Our level 1's practice 1.5 hours/week and our level 2s practice 3 hrs/week.

The biggest skill that holds kids back is that darn mill circle--I have kids who have every other skill on every other event for level 3 and most skills for level 4, but they cannot move up because of the mill circle. I am looking for some new ideas to teach this as well as the front hip circle. The biggest problems I see for mill circles is not "flicking" wrists to the top of the bar and therefore getting stuck upside-down; and hooking the front knee--not keeping it straight.

I'll take any and all suggestions!! Thank you!
 
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CoachGoofy

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For kids who don't get the wrist shift on the mill circle, i have them hold a dowel in both hands in undergrip and spin it over and over and over and over.

If it still doesn't click, I spot their wrist. As a rule I HATE wrist spots (if something goes wrong, it's not where I want to have the kid if they fall...Id rather have a waist or somewhere else I can actually catch from) but I can really make sure they get their wrist on top of the bar this way.
 

gymnut29

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Jun 5, 2009
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Muscle Ups are a good drill/skill for kids this level to learn, it not only helps with shifting wrists in front circling skills but kips as well.

Have them chin up to the bar then shift writsts over the bar to push themselves to a front support. I spot them through this and after they get the motion of one hand at a time have them work shifting both wrists at the same time.
 

T.Gymnastics

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May 26, 2009
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Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Our gym policy is that kids cannot move up to the next level until they have all the skills for that level--no exceptions.
Funny how this was said at my gym... and i love how this policy only applies to some.... oh well c'est la vie i hope you guys carry it out better =]

mill circle: maybe spot them going forwards and backwards (making sure the grip is correct each way) so they get more used to this position on the bar.
 
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nevertooold

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1. Help the kids get strong in the clear stride position .... leg cut forward, push up to clear stride position and hold 5-10 sec., turn hands to reverse grip and push up and hold again 5-10 sec. turn hands back and leg cut back. We use this as a side station.

2. Make sure the kids are starting in the correct clear stride position, make sure they understand that the back leg rests against the bar and the front leg is up and "out of the way".

3. Spot until they can do the skill competently.

4. When they are almost there but not shifting the wrist spot the beginning of the skill by giving a little acceleration to the forward fall then take your hand away as they are coming around to the top. This way they have enough power to make it to the top of the bar and you are not touching them so they HAVE to shift their wrists. Be ready to grab them in case!

5. If they understand HOW to shift but just don't ... try yelling SHIFT at the right time.
 

gymbaby12

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Oct 17, 2009
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in front hip circle, make sure they are just above the middle of their thighs, then tell them to shift there hands, and legs really fast. another thing is u have to pike(or bend) around the bar really fast and make sure their hips stay on the bar. these are all key elements to a front hip circle.
this is a link for a front hip circle trainer. its called a kip wheel. they r very helpful and helped me get my front hip circle.
!Kip Wheel "New Product! Exclusive from DGS " Click for Video of product in use. - DGS-KIPWHEEL
 
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nevertooold

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For Front Hip Circle

Push up on the bar with a straight tight body JUST ABOVE the leotard, squeeze behind and pull heels back so body is in a straight line with shoulders very slightly in front of the bar and heels just behind the bar.

Lean forward hard and shift the hands, stay tight straight and squeezing.

After the initial forward fall, the upper body should "chase" the legs around the bar while the hands shift AGAIN.

Spot this skill to help increase the forward momentum if needed, and to assist in finishing up on the bar if needed.

For a side station use a box/mat stack that the gymnast puts her feet on (should be slightly in front and under the low bar) Holding the low bar with both hands she pushes against the box and does a stem rise up onto the bar. Helps with kips and also front hip circles.

Make sure your gymnasts do not start TOO high on the thigh or they will not be able to stay against the bar. Make sure they fall aggressively. Make sure they do not "chase" or pike too early, must initiate enough fall/momentum first.
 

Aussie_coach

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I don't have any advice as we don't do mill circles or front hip circles with our kids in Australia at any level. I just wanted to say that I think your policy is an excellent one. Almost all gyms in Australia have this same policy that kids can't move up onto the next level until they have all the skills. I have been bewildered when reading many posts here that some kids don't even seem to start learning the skills of the next level until they are already there. Because of course gymnastics progress is not possible to completely predict. It may seem like a kid is on track for the next level of skill learning but things often happen and their progress does not go to plan. What do gyms do in these cases? Do they move the kid back down? Do they have them train but not compete? Do they have them compete without all their skills?
 

CreateMagic

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Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I'm definitely going to try spotting from the wrist for the mill circles. Its that wrist flip that really gets them--I think that some of the kids are afraid to move their hands with the momentum from the skill. I have one girl who has beautiful form, straight legs, tight body, but does not shift her hands and therefore cannot get that last 15 degrees to the top. At least she's still fairly new to the skill and hasn't had the chance yet to develop the bent knee in front. That habit is super frustrating with some of my little ones--it looks like they're expecting not to make it, so they bend their front knee to stay on the bar. We've exhausted all of our collective coaching ideas with that problem--even taking a pool noodle, cutting it lengthwise and putting it over the front leg to remind the girls to stay tight.


I don't have any advice as we don't do mill circles or front hip circles with our kids in Australia at any level. I just wanted to say that I think your policy is an excellent one. Almost all gyms in Australia have this same policy that kids can't move up onto the next level until they have all the skills. I have been bewildered when reading many posts here that some kids don't even seem to start learning the skills of the next level until they are already there. Because of course gymnastics progress is not possible to completely predict. It may seem like a kid is on track for the next level of skill learning but things often happen and their progress does not go to plan. What do gyms do in these cases? Do they move the kid back down? Do they have them train but not compete? Do they have them compete without all their skills?
The policy works very well overall. My only frustration with it is that sometimes kids are held at a level for a long time due to a skill like the mill circle, which doesn't progress to any higher level skills, when they have most or all of the skills for one or even two levels above where they are on all other events. Other than that, I think its a fantastic policy. My gymmies, and their parents, know exactly where they stand as far as moving up--we have checklists for every kid that we are constantly updating. And I have to say, our gymnasts have great basics and beautiful form.
 

CreateMagic

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For Front Hip Circle



For a side station use a box/mat stack that the gymnast puts her feet on (should be slightly in front and under the low bar) Holding the low bar with both hands she pushes against the box and does a stem rise up onto the bar. Helps with kips and also front hip circles.
This may be a silly question, but what is a stem rise?
 
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nevertooold

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Stem rise is where the gymnast hangs from a bar and puts their feet on a box/mat stack/or another bar that is lower and in front of the bar they are hanging from. Legs are bent, arms are straight. Gymnast pushes against the box with their feet and simultaneously pulls down and forward on the bar, like the last part of a kip, to arrive in a front support on the bar. The closer the box is to the bar the easier the skill will be.

maybe someone else knows where to find a video clip of this skill? I could not find one, sorry.
 

ryantroop

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Sep 21, 2008
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Stem rise is where the gymnast hangs from a bar and puts their feet on a box/mat stack/or another bar that is lower and in front of the bar they are hanging from. Legs are bent, arms are straight. Gymnast pushes against the box with their feet and simultaneously pulls down and forward on the bar, like the last part of a kip, to arrive in a front support on the bar. The closer the box is to the bar the easier the skill will be.

maybe someone else knows where to find a video clip of this skill? I could not find one, sorry.

Look at the kip progressions on gymnastike. Its in there.
 

CreateMagic

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Thank you! That's exactly the motion they need the most help with!
 
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