Please be very aware of your athletes mental state. If you begin to sense confusion, fatigue or they start to block, pull away and let them relax. Pushing will only cause more problems.
This is a way to improve both standing and running tumbling. We have spoiled our athletes by having them tumble downhill or into a pit. This encourages pulling off the ground and no set. You can do this drill two different ways.
Either you can have the athletes land on a stack of mats or you can stack mats at the fat end of a wedge even with the wedge. Now you have your athletes do round-off back handspring up the wedge. Hands start of floor. Add tucks, layouts, and fulls as the athletes feel more comfortable.
You can also have athletes do standing tumbling up to make them the skills longer and faster.
Stretching is an extremely important aspect of fitness for many reasons. To stretch correctly you must stretch only 5 to 10 seconds before practice and save your long stretching till the end of each practice. Your long stretches need to be 45+ seconds to actually start seeing improvement. You need to research the types of stretching to find which type is best for your sport. Most often dynamic stretching is most effective as opposed to just passive (sitting is splits).
This concept is so important because it dictates what skills can be done after the round off.
If a back handspring or whip occurs after the round off the legs need to come together shortly after vertical so the body can snap down with feet in front of the body. If you don’t do this correctly the feet land in a duck like position which makes the handsprings high and not powerful.
If you want to go up out of the round off your legs will come together later so they arrive behind you. This makes you go up with a slight angle leaning forward. This gives you more height so you safely can complete the skill.
All of this depends of on the tightness of your body and proper positioning in a tight straight body.
The drive of the back leg in the round off directs the turn over of the round-off thus insuring the speed of your pass thereby enhancing the height of the third skill.
For this drive, strength is required in the hamstring and glute area. In addition to that a certain amount of flexibility of the hip flexor is required because there must be a straight line from the fingers to the toes of the back leg and the foot cannot be turned to the side. Doing leg drives with rubber bands around your ankles will develop this movement as well as exercises for your glutes, hamstring, core and shoulder/thoracic area.
This is a common problem in our sport. Most of the time this problem develops because we don’t know how to strengthen our athletes in the proper areas in order to produce a faster back handspring.
First, of all you need to check the plyometric ability (ability to jump) of the athlete. If you put the ball of their foot and elevate it on a mat and they do better this is one of their problems.
Secondly, you need to check their shoulder flexibility. If they cannot lift their arms up beside their ears then we need to work on their shoulders.
Thirdly, you need to check their thoracic mobility. Generally if they have a slight hump in their upper shoulder area it means they need a little work in this area! There are thoracic mobility exercises that can help this. Both the shoulder and thoracic problems will slow the speed of the back handspring by not allowing the proper positioning of the arms in the back handspring.
Fourthly, you need to check the strength of their core. If it is not strong the whole body will be weak because they will arch instead of stretching through the shoulders.
Fifthly, make sure they have proper technique. The steps are:
- Sit in athletic stance
- Swing arms to ears
- Jump up and back stretching through shoulders
- Pass through handstand
- Snap whole body down while blocking off the floor
Sixthly, if their block is not right do blocking drills. The block is up and back like pushing the floor out of the way.
Seventhly, make sure when arms contact the ground the shoulders are totally stretched out and arms are by the ears.
One of the best drills for making back handspring faster after making sure they have the proper strength and technique is to do them up a wedge.
In teaching our goal should be to maximize the potential of each child we teach. In order to accomplish this we must not only be strong in our understanding of technique but in our understanding of the emotional and psychological well-being of our athletes. Therefore we need to teach in a specific way to insure our athletes success.
P. When an athlete performs a skill our first comment should be Praise. We must find something good in the performance of the skill or routine.
I. Secondly, we must then Inform them of their mistakes. I prefer to concentrate on one or two things. It is hard to change any more than that at one time. Make sure the mistakes are concise and you con correct it.
C. Thirdly, we must then Correct the athlete. This is when our responsibility becomes the greatest. We must have the knowledge and tools to make proper corrections. Make sure you understand the skill completely including the strength requirements and technical parts. If you do not know do some research and find out how to fix the problem.
Following these steps will bring us optimum results in our teaching.