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TIPS for optionals at state

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gimchick

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Last year at state we had some very hard judging. This year I expect it to be no different. I was wondering if there were any tidbits that we tend to look over in routines that we should pay special attention to so that those small deductions stop adding up. For example, pointed toes, smiles, any tips will be great here, and remember it is o.k. to repeat something or say something that should be self explanatory. Thanks in advance.
 
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KBT

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I judge high school so I'm not sure if USAG judges are looking for the same, thing, but watch for amplitude. I'll take an amplitude deduction for a low flyaway, a low or not-quite horizontal jump, a low layout on floor, a sluggish BHS. This is the way I differentiate between everyone who does a nice, clean layout on floor. Some get up higher than others, and I can't give bonus points for that so I have to take a deduction for those who don't get up as high.
 
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gymnasticsbabie

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im not a judge, but my coach is actually an elite judge (which actually helps out a lot because i know a lot of my deductions) but anyways. heres some stuff
1. you are always judged from the beginning to the end of your routine. so this includes for example from your salute and walk onto the floor, and your salute and walk off of the floor (i don't know if thats all TRUE but thats what she says, so it can't hurt)
2. try to fix every little tenth you can possibly fix. bent knees, extra steps on the landings, flexed feet, ect.
3. SMILES ON FLOOR, if your music is kind of serious and it looks ridiculous to smile than obviously don't smile, but more often then not you can smile.
4. on floor eye contact with judges. I know its scary, but after your first time doing it you won't be afraid of it anymore. it makes you look extra confident and it gives some expression to your face
5. if your a high level gymnast then on bars hit your handstands...always.
6. for beam, work on your fluidity of your routine, no extra pauses, no weird dance poses, ect.

if i remember more i'll post it.
 

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Be careful of pointless skills. Many gymnasts include skills in their routines like cartwheels on their elbows, fancy bridges, different handstand balances. All these skills look fabulous and can really add to the dynamics of the routine. But remember they are all gymnastics skills and deductions will be taken from the routine for any mistakes made in them.

If there are skills in your routines that are not contributing to the start value take extra care with these. Unless the skills are flawless then they are costly. It is safer to do some simple dance moves that are not in the code and not risk many extra deductions.
 
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