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Teaching New Leaps

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BeamPrincess

Coach
Coach
Former Gymnast
Judge
Sep 3, 2007
39
I'm a coach and have a level 8 gymnast who needs to upgrade her SV on Floor.

How do I correctly teach the below leaps please:
1 - Split leap with full turn
2 - Switch leap with 1/2 turn (in flight)

Thank you :)
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
I, too, have never taught them, but I would assume you build on foundations...


If I recall a split-leap full is a popa (or that's a straddle full?).. in either case, when you see them done correctly, they initiate as a jump full, and the legs extend mid flight.

So, I would suggest - start by doing jump 1/2. Then jump 1/2 with a split (the split happening after the 1/2 turn is completed, which means the turn will have to happen on the way up, quickly). When that's comfortable, move on to jump full. Then, jump full with a split. While working this skill on a tumble track or trampoline may help, it may also significantly increase the chance of injury to the knee, so you may want to use sparingly... other coaches may disagree. Do what you think is best for your gymnast.

As for the switch 1/2...

I would assume takes a lot of active flexibility... it seems to be more of a switch leap to middle split, which is exactly how I would start. When she can land that easily, then add the next 1/4 turn. For this, I would not emphasize a forward motion, but an upward motion. That way, a sideways landing will not result in tension on the knees.

Hopefully, another more experience coach can chime in and give you a few more pointers.


Ryan
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
1 - Split leap with full turn
2 - Switch leap with 1/2 turn (in flight)

1 - split leap, or split jump? For a split jump, I think of it as a half, split half. You should probably actually teach the second part first. Split jump, and as the legs come back together, snap into the 1/2 turn (can start with 1/4 but on floor most can make the half pretty fast). I twist left on everything, but I do toe turns on my right foot. That's a dilemma for turn-twisting jump combos. With beginning optionals, you have to decide whether you want to use those combos, and if changing one direction is worth it (I know some who have done it). We teach righties right toe turns in compulsory of course, so right footed left twisters and vice versa will have this problem. I would recommend changing the toe turn direction rather than the twist direction, since this has generally led to the most successful outcomes I've seen as well as just being more intuitive.

Once she has the split 1/2, work 1/2 into split (takes a good amount of jump amplitude). I would recommend the arms lift up (into jump half), out (as split is acheived), and in (for second twist). It will look awkward at first, but once she gets the general idea down then you can fix arms.

2 - switch half

I've seen this (well the idea of it, I guess it's not the same thing) done two or three ways, with more of a tour jete technique, with a later split 1/2 technique, and with an earlier 1/2 after the switch (takes a fair amount of hip flexor flexibility). I'm relatively certain those are two different skills in the code (tour jete to 180 split and switch split 1/2) but I'm not sure which one you were envisioning. I'd assume they're both the same value (Bs?) but i really don't know. The late 1/2 is the same as the split jump 1/2 technique, just with a switch to split in front of it first, so work the split jump 1/2 first and make sure she had good amplitude on the switch. Then there is always the tour jete to split or split ring, which is not really the same thing, but looks nice and somewhat of the same "look." The hardest from what I think is the earlier 1/2 after the switch technique, which is somewhat like the beginning of the split full, but takes better flex and hip rotation.

Personally (and I don't know if you've tried these yet or not) I would focus my attention on the switch ring OR switch side OR both once the switch leap is mastered, then in combination with turning jumps. Both are Cs, which makes use in L8 tricky under the new rules, but I think they're the most versatile, and switch side transfers to beam better than switch 1/2.
 

BeamPrincess

Coach
Coach
Former Gymnast
Judge
Sep 3, 2007
39
Thanks for your thoughts. To clarify the Split leap with full turn is basically a tour jete 1/2. I need to be able to get the gymnast to tour jete with a level split instead of like a scissone position to be able to get the extra half on the end.

Thanks again
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I used to do that...it takes awhile to get the tour jete to split consistent. I don't necessarily have any drills, but a lot of times the uneveness comes from focusing too much on trying to kick the back leg to get into split as the front leg falls (same as a normal leap). They need to exert upward pressure with the front leg AS the back leg comes up, not just initially. Actually there is a drill for that...laying on stomach holding something, like they would for a strong back kick, except when they kick they also push down with the stationary leg hard enough to lift their hips into the split (if they can lift high enough the foot on the floor will kind of slide up so might use the beam kind of mats and socks). That's hard to explain, hop

Anyway I'd tell her to completely focus on getting that front leg high after the initial half turn...don't even worry about the back leg, because that's the easy part. Back leg can be perpendicular to the floor for all we care the first couple tries. Once she gets used to the front kick up, then add in the back kick and see if that helps.

Also, to answer the question upthread, a straddle jump full is a popa.
 

Laura

Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Oct 22, 2007
204
London
Country
United Kingdom
I do a tour jete in my routine and I just learnt a switch leap 1/2 on tuesday.
in the FIG code a tour jete is a B and switch 1/2 is a C.

I leap with my right leg. (so when I do a change leg leap I change with my left).

for tour jete I kick my right leg up, then as it comes back down I twist to the left and kick my right leg up at the front again. I end up in a sissone position (more or less) and land on my right leg.

For switch leap half I kick my left leg up and then as it comes back down I twist to the left with both legs together (i.e. in a straight position) and kick my left leg up at the front again. I end up in a split jump and land on both feet at the same time.

The tour jete is definitely easier than a switch half (which feels really quite awkward!) and I find it harder to pull up to full split on a switch half as I end up with my 'bad' leg in front. Once you have the timing for them though and know what your legs are meant to be doing they are not as complex as they look!

Good luck teaching them! :)
 

Laura

Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Oct 22, 2007
204
London
Country
United Kingdom
Actually there is a drill for that...laying on stomach holding something, like they would for a strong back kick, except when they kick they also push down with the stationary leg hard enough to lift their hips into the split (if they can lift high enough the foot on the floor will kind of slide up so might use the beam kind of mats and socks). That's hard to explain, hop

Do you mean like this???

[youtube]=Wu6AvQY_nPY[/youtube] hmmm thats annoying, why won't it embed?? here's the link YouTube - Beth Klein Rybacki Drills for Ring and Straight Leg Leaps
 

teslarma

New Member
Jul 19, 2007
9
Melbourne, Australia
Okaayyy. so i havent replied on these boards in yeaaarrrssss.. but I thought I might fully answer this question. so this may be long...lol I'm a dance coach (as well as gymnastics coach).. and am currently the Ballet and Leaps and Turns coach at my club..

Split leap full
The first thing you described - a split leap full turn, is essentially a tour jete landing feet together, with an extra half turn to land. The splits reach a flat split position rather than a leaning sissone position.
If the gymnast kicks up their RIGHT leg first, they will turn towards the LEFT, complete a RIGHT leg split, and again turn towards the LEFT to land

Change leap 1/2 turn
This is a change leap with a half turn into the leap.
If the gymnast first kicks up their RIGHT leg, they will turn towards the RIGHT and complete a RIGHT leg full split.

Drills and Progrssions for Split Leap Full:
At first I am going to assume they can split leap, and have good height and amplitude in their jumps, that they can easily fouette hop and tour jete. I will skip over those progressions.
1) Once they can tour jete, begin working tour jete landing feet together. Stress the importance of keeping the first kick NO HIGHER than 90 degrees, and work on reaching an EVEN split position rather than a leaned one, even if this means the split is only very small.
2) To work on turning of the hips and direction you can work on lots of kick drills mimicing the tour jete action. The gymnast will kick their right leg, swivel turn to the left to turn that kick into an arabesque kick and then pass the leg through to front to kick again. Try to maintain the torso as straight as possible, if the leg is too high in the first 2 kicks this is impossible. I would begin this on a flat foot for balance and only take it to releve once they are very stable.
3) Another kicking drill is to kick the front leg whilst on releve, turn to arabesque, quickly bringing that leg down and place it in front the other, also on releve, bend, and split jump. (the split jump can turn into a split jump half turn to mimic the entire leap)
4) I also do lots of assemble twisting drills, I don't know if you guys do assembles in gym but in Australia they used to be in level 2 or 3 on beam, i can't remember. but we do them in ballet. A basic asseble is where you do a straight leg hop with your front leg at about 90 degrees and join your feet to land. To help for the tour jete or split leap full if we are kicking up theright leg, we want to practice twisting LEFT. So you would kick, snap the feet together as you half twist, and then land facing the other way. (can also be done with a full turn) The idea is that, like any leg that changes leap, you are still gaining height in the 2nd movement (in this case the twist), so ensure to reinforce this and not just join the feet slowly and twist atthe last minute to land.

The most important drill of those is MASTERING the tour jete landign feet together. Their momentum must go straight up and down, and I can't stress how important it is to keep the first kick and the subsequent 'arabesque' position not too high, or else there is no way that leg will make it back up in fron to 90 so as the gymnast can reach a full split.


Drills and Progressions for Change leap half
One of the things gymnasts find hardest things with a change leap half turn is that in a regular change leap, if they first kick their right leg, they will end up in a left leg split, however this isn't the case with change leap half. To be honest I overcome a lot of this by firstly teaching change leap quarter (change to side), which majority of gymnasts will do by kicking up their 'good' leg first (ie if they like regular split leaps with their right leg forward, they kick this leg first... whereas in a regular change leap they would kick their left first so they end up in their 'favourite' split position). for a change to side, starting with their good leg allows them to finish in a side leap position that leads with the leg they would normally lead with in a normal leap, step, side leap.... (that may have been overly confusing, if it doesnt make sense, dont worry, its not that important)

So, if a gymnast can already change 1/4 (change to side), a change leap half is very easy to master (its just an extra quarter turn). the difficulty here, and we MUST be careful of, is hip placement. If you have an extra flexible gymnast that on the floor can move from one split, to side splits, to the other splits easily with no use of the hands. Then you have a lot mroe room for error in this progression, and they often find it easier to move from the change 1/4 to the change 1/2, simply by thinking of that side splits to front leg splits as they can do on the floor (as described above), ensuring that they complete this extra twist very quickly to finish in front leg splits. (they don't actually hit side splits as such, but explaining it in this matter helps their brain understand quite quickly)

HOWEVER!!!!!!!!!!!! if the gymnast is NOT this flexible, or they have had any hip problems whatsoever, then many drills and progressions should be done before just 'chucking' the change 1/2 (obviously this is best practice to do with all gymnasts, but after a while you can pick the gymnasts straight away that will be able to do it more easily due to their flexibility).
So, what drills do we do.. a lot of the ones I described above actually, but twisting the opposite way.

1) Change leap land feet together. again this inforces that the gymnast must travel UP and not forward, they should not be falling forward out of their landing. Work out which way they are going to be twisting etc for their change leap half (as i discussed above). It may be that they need to work this drill primarily on their 'bad leg change leap'. (as i said before, kicking up the opposite leg to normal will cause them to end in their favourite split leap forward once they add the half turn)
2) Step kick to the front, bring the leg back down, as the leg passes the other foot, turn the hips quickly and finish with a frotn kick facing the other direction.
3) step kcik on releve, place this foot behind the other one, also on releve. half turn on 2 feet. Split jump
4) the above drill can also be one with a step hop at the beginning instead of a step kick
5) assemble twisting towards the leg. They will find this one difficult to maintain height as described above, but it is worth working.




HOpefully i havent made mistakes in there, and that the drills are clear, im much more of a practical person than explaining it in writing.
But please reply or send me a message if you ahve any other queries

Spanks :) Tess xo
 
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