For Coaches Uphills and Sole Circles

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ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
So.. Ive taught both before... but Im drawing a blank on some peices and I need some help.


One, the easier of the two - other than pulling the bar and pushing the feet into the bar, what helps speed up a sole circle so it can end in a stand? I cant recall if the shoulders actuate anything, or if Im just being a brain case and losing my mind. Any suggestions are very much appreciated.


The uphill, or toe up, or straddle up, or... right...

That neat little toe on, straddle up to high bar transition - so Ive taught it, but more often than not I get dead hangs.

My method is to aim the toes towards the middle of the bars, then drive feet outwards as the bar is thrown. I do a drill on the ground where thy gymnast lays on her back in a pike, straddles and gives me her hands, and I pull her forward through the splits, rotating the hips.

From there I generally hand spot the skill until it swings. Sadly, I am not getting very good results with this, and the stacked mat drill for turn overs never seem to fly too well in my gym and have ironically caused a few back injuries, so I abandoned them since I havent had a single injury with hand spotting.

So.. any suggestions on how I can help with the height of the skill as well as the turn over? Am I missing a necessary component?

I have access to a tumble track, but not a flat bed trampoline. I have done turn overs from back drops, but it doesnt seem to transfer to the bars (unless Im just not doing it enough...)

Thanks all!

Ryan
 
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gymkat

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Judge
Jun 24, 2008
691
For sole circles, starting in a pike and finishing tucked will increase the speed.

When we start to learn toe hechts, we focus on height first and rotation second. We put a strip of pre-wrap between the bars, attaching it to the cables about 3/4 of the way up. After that, just have gymnasts figure out how to shoot their toes up and over the pre-wrap... eventually they should be able to clear the pre-wrap with their entire body. If you let go too early, you'll end up sitting on the pre-wrap or flying into it. I feel that the rotation part is pretty easy to teach once they're catching the bar at about shoulder-level. We teach the rotation as up and then around... the second part is kind of like a Shushunova.
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
I didnt mention, but I do the tuck around.. any other suggestions?


I like the pre-wrap idea. I dont have the nifty bar connector cables, but I can probably rig something up.. Isnt 3/4 the way up a bit high and close to the top bar, though? Or am I thinking of that set up differently than you are?
 

gymdog

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Jul 5, 2007
5,121
A later step on will create rotation for the toe on, toe off. If they're basically doing a pike on to stand and going down from there, they aren't creating as much rotation as they would if they did more of a drop into a later step on.

If they're doing that well, you can put a crash mat in front of the bar (start it probably hip height?) then have them try to rotate to their stomach onto that from the bar. Start it as low as they can do and they can work it up. You also have to hold on longer than seems to be intuitive for many people. Kind of like gymkat's drill, we used to do one on a set of old bars that could be put close, with a mat over the high bar, and the goal was to do toe shoot and tap the high bar with your feet. But doing it over prewrap or a bungee or something like that would incorporate the release. If you have a set of closer bars that isn't usually used for anything in optional practice, it might be a convenient set up for just the "shoot toes up" part.
 

ACoach78

Coach
Coach
Feb 22, 2007
112
USA
My guess is that they're probably tucking too soon. If you think about circling the bar like a clock, then the tucking should occur no earlier than 9 o'clock. If it does, you won't make the sole circle. The same holds true for doing sole circle to handstand and stalder to handstand. The hips must reach about the same level as the bar before tucking (in the case of the sole circle), disengaging the feet (sole circle HS), or opening the compressed straddle position of a stalder circle.

The rest of what you're telling the gymnasts is correct. They need to pull on the bar and push against it with the feet in order to move the hips as far away as possible. This moves the center of mass further away from the point of rotation (i.e. the bar) and allows for maximal rotational momentum. The tucking allows for the center of mass to be brought closer to the bar and rotational (angular) velocity (speed) increases.

It follows the simple equation...

Angular Momentum = Moment of Inertia x Angular Velocity.

MoI and AV share an inverse relationship. So, if you reduce the MoI (i.e. make the body shorter), then AV increases (i.e. you speed up rotation).

As for the toe-hecht up to the HB...

From watching probably a hundred of these on video, the key is height as someone else mentioned. The closer that the gymnast can shoot up and get the hips elevated (close to the level of the HB), the better that they'll be able to generate swing out of it.

I sort of see the skill as such...

At the point of release, as the feet shoot up, the better ones sort of stop while the hips continue to rise slightly. The body has established rotation off of the bar. Well, if the feet stop momentarily, the rest of that rotation must be transferred to somewhere. Well, it gets transferred to the upper body and the upper body basically "sits up." At this point, the gymnast can just kick the legs back behind them and generate the necessary swing.

Here's a video from YouTube...about 3/4 of the way through, there's a couple of progressions for this transition. The person conducting the clinic is David Kenwright - who I feel is one of the best coaches in the world...particularly on uneven bars. While his gymnasts don't always have the highest difficulty compared to some in the world, their technique is always stellar.

YouTube - gymnastics coaching clinic video snippets

Here's another video of a pretty good hecht transition to the HB by Anna Li from UCLA. She transitions via a stalder. But, if you really watch the skill, you can sort of see what I'm attempting to describe.

YouTube - UCLA at Cal - Anna Li bars 9.975

If you notice, her hips are very close to the level of the HB. They're just a little below it. In order to generate that height, I'd say that she's releasing somewhere between 65-75 degrees if you assume that straight up is 90 degrees. So, I'd actually instruct the gymnasts to aim a bit more vertically than just aiming for the HB. Upon release, the hips are already half way between the bars, so the body doesn't need to travel as the gymnast is less than a body length away from the bar. So, there's really no need to release at a lower angle.

Hopefully, this helps a bit. This is sort of a unique skill, but if you take your time and follow a system of progressions similar to what's shown in the video, you'll have success.

I like the concept behind shooting over the pre-wrap between the bars, but I feel that working uphill as shown in the YouTube video is a much better approach.
 

ACoach78

Coach
Coach
Feb 22, 2007
112
USA
Oh, as the other person mentioned...for the toe-hecht up to the HB, the toe-on should be late. Ideally, the feet should be placed on the bar underneath of it. Or if they are putting on one foot at a time, the second foot should not be placed on the bar until the body is underneath.

For a simple sole circle, it doesn't matter.

With that said, I'd make sure that I worked late toe-on sole circles prior to moving on to that transition. Otherwise, you're going to be frustrated because they won't be able to generate enough height at release because they lack swing.

Since the body is basically longer until the feet come onto the bar (underneath), more rotation is generated because the center of mass is further away. An early toe-on causes a loss of rotation.
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
I have seen that video before, and that drill is what caused a few injuries. Really, they were silly injuries, but they were enough to dissuade the girls from trying anymore, so it's kinda on the back burner until they forget about it and we can re-attempt.

I do appreciate all the input. Thank you very much!

Ill try focusing more on height via the drills suggested. Much appreciated!

Ryan
 

ACoach78

Coach
Coach
Feb 22, 2007
112
USA
Going up to a mat stack caused injuries?

If they got injured doing that drill and it wasn't some freak occurrence like somebody just happened to slip off the bar or something...then, they probably aren't ready to be doing this transition at all.

I'd reconsider their readiness for this skill.
 

gymdog

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Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I had a really amusing experience with that drill (I wasn't actually hurt, it was just really amusing to watch. I didn't even see it and only one person did and I was crying I was laughing so hard). But we had the mat stack really high, like above my head. Thinking back I'm not sure why it was so high, our coach was over at the pit bar and we probably left it there from releases and lowered the bar. I went to go first and I got high enough to get on, but not to rotate, and my butt missed, so I slid down (trying to grab at stuff) and then ended up on the floor. It doesn't sound funny but it was pretty funny, because it was high, so it took some time to slide down, and I was all "noooooooo". It hurt a little on impact but I was fine, more like lost a rib from how funny it was. I'm laughing right now thinking about it. hahaha so funny.

If you put the height it is in that video, I would think they'd be okay, at least to go to stand and then jump to their stomach like a shush.

I think this skill plus the hecht mount over the low bar to catch high hands down lead to the funniest gymnastics moments I ever see.
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
The injury was more likely due to the types of mats available than the actual drill.

For some reason when the girls would do the turn over they would hit really hard (yes, their hands were up), and all of them complained of it hurting their lower back. So, in lieu of letting it get worse I just stopped.

Like I said, it was probably the matting used. They might have been too soft and caused them to sink in or something.. Im not sure.


Still, I appreciate the input!

Ryan
 

gymdog

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Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
That's probably more of a body tightness issue, if you slap the non-mesh side of mats it usually stings, but if they're pulling to a tight open/slight hollow position it shouldn't hurt, even with relatively soft mats, although what we would do in such circumstances is use semi firm mats (kind of like the L4 vault resi?) and then another mat hard side up on top, and then we had these soft four inch cushiony mats we always put on top of the mats when we were going to our back or our stomach.

They don't really want to be landing on their stomach or their chest though, if they are trying to snap their body too far as they counter rotate, it might be a problem. You can have them do toe-off to stand on top of the mat stacks, then do a shushunova to their stomach landing tight (I would say...pull your stomach to your back).
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
So.. I feel like a bad coach...

I still cant successfully teach a good sole circle...

Geinger - check
Doubles - check
kip - check
layout tsuk - check

sole circle... :(

So.. treat me like a 14 year old girl.. what would you tell me?

I jump on high, I pull the bar and push the feet. I tuck under, and Im shifting my hands..

I still end up shooting off the bar a little past 9 o'clock.

I start bending my legs at about... 5 o'clock...
 

gymkat

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Judge
Jun 24, 2008
691
I would tell you to think about pushing your butt out on your pike and also wait to bend your knees even longer. Most people have a small knee bend as they go around, but the major knee bend occurs after 5 o'clock-- I'd say more like 7-8 o'clock, definitely after you pass directly under the bar. You could try having them go from a small cast and putting one foot on at a time (like how a lot of gymnasts go into a toe hecht) so they have enough speed while they figure out the timing.
 

ryantroop

Member
Sep 21, 2008
423
Illinois
I tried later, and she fell shorter.. we started the earlier bend to speed up rotation sooner, and she is getting closer to 9 o'clock...

I do see a lack of speed in the drop.. but for some reason, I cant get her to speed up..

It's one of those "ive never encountered the problem before" things...

Heh.. Im sure Ill be watching one day and just figure it out.. or she will..

I know she is struggling with the wrist shift as well.. so that may be putting on the brakes some..

Thanks for the quick reply, though.. We'll keep at it...

Ryan
 

Laura

Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Oct 22, 2007
204
London
Country
United Kingdom
I had so much trouble learning sole cirlces! this is a combination of advice my coach gave me and stuff I just worked out for myself!

- cast on really high (I usually balance for a second before falling back)
- stand up high on your toes
- pull the bar up with you hands and push down on the bar with your feet - the more you bend the bar the more it will bounce you up on the other side
- push your butt backwards really hard and fast/ make yourself as long/heavy as you can (lol my friend calls this heifer butt! :p)- the heavier/longer you are the faster you go around
- when you tuck, tuck quickly

for uphills (hiccups)
- I try not to cast on quite as high but do everything else the same (pushing/pulling etc)
- try and let go with my feet first and then hands
- think about throwing your legs/feet behind you
- sit up fast and throw your arms over (be agressive!)
- shoot up high and turn over - shusanova action

some drills we do for them
- the one you don't like! - toe shoot to stomach on crash mats (actually I don't like it much either! I tend to go too high and miss the mats :eek: but I've never heard of anyone hurting their backs doing it.....)
- on a tramp - back drop and when you bounce back up, straddle through to your stomach
- hiccup with a crash mat between the bars (on the floor) - makes you get your legs around behind you quickly because otherwise you hit the mat and its not fun!

- a drill I just saw (at the Australian Youth Olympics when one of the girls was warming up for bars) was to lie on your back (on a crashmat) with feet up in the air (L-shape) and to throw legs down, sit up fast and straddle through to your stomach

personally I think that the scarier it feels the better it will be! If it doesn't feel scary you aren't doing it right! :p

good luck with them hope this helps a bit :)
 
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