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Twisting Help Please!!

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gymgymgymnast08

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Any ideas on how to help me twist? I can do a half but I can't do a full or anything more because I don't use my arms and like my head doesn't go at the same time my body does! If i'm lucky and do get more then a half I totally get lost in the air then I can't land on my feet. Please just tell me what you would tell someone first learning to twist! THANKS!
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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I assume you're talking about floor?

There are a million different ways of approaching twisting, and mine is but one. That said, here's how I teach it:

I teach an early twist (ie almost, but not quite, an arabian) and a late twist as parallel skills. When a kid is ready to twist, I have them working two drills. The first is to do a back layout and then immediate jump half turn (ie late twist). As they get comfortable with it, they can start twisting before they land instead of after. At the same time, I teach them a trampoline style twisting takeoff; I have them work, either on floor, tumble track or trampoline, spotted layout halfs with the twist comming straight out of the set. The idea is to set like a normal layout, but then instead of bringing the arms out or down to the side, one arm pulls back, pulling the shoulder and one side of the chest with it. At this point, you can spot the ground and either put the arms out (ie stopping the twist for a half) or pull the arms in (ie accellerating it for a full).

I don't think I'm doing an adequate job of explaining it here; it's easy to demonstrate but difficult to explain how I teach it. Perhaps when I get a chance I'll just make a video and put it on youtube.

ANYWAY, the two most important things are 1) twist over the top, not around the side. 2) YOU MUST BE COMFORTABLE IN THE AIR AND DEVELOP A GOOD SENSE OF AWARENESS. Admittedly you will get lost a bit as you're just learning to twist, but it's very important to teach yourself to use visual cues to know where you are as you twist. This is actually much easier with a full than with a half; in a proper full, you can see the floor for almost the whole skill, whereas in a proper half, you never see the floor.
 
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BlairBob

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I would say one of the biggest faults of many coaches introducing twisting is lack of aerial awareness preparation. Too many coaches, especially in compulsory or level 7; have gotten them to do only a back tuck from a stand, bounce, rebound, snap-down or series.

Even if they have done back pike and can open out of their tuck or pike, I really do believe they need to learn how to twist horizontally with the low height close bed drills like cradles, cruises. Too often they just don't know where they are in the air to really begin even thinking about twisting.

At my last gym, the head coach was talking about doing a layout on tramp from a toe scoop to hollow and then initiating twist like a swing 1/2 or pirouette while still carrying the layout flipping action.

Actually, he presented a model that if the gymnast's body was super tight with arms out and their layout was good, there was a tendency for the body to naturally twist to one side. He was then going to use this as an initiator for twisting.

Drills like back drop 1/2 and full in either back drop pike open or corpse position besides cradles and cruises.

I've thought about playing with tuck open 1/2 or full, because I think I've seen divers do it. My only concern is too often if a gymnast can't do a nice tuck or pike open, they probably cannot do a passable layout either.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Going forward, I like to teach a tuck or pike kickout 1/2, and then work from there.

Being able to comfortably do a front 1/2 with a late twist on trampoline will probably help your fulls quite a bit.
 
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