I thought today was as good a day as any to do a post on flyaways. Flyaways are definitely one of those skills that I don’t want gymnasts just trying on their own. Once they develop habits of letting go early or closing their shoulders it’s incredibly hard to break them, and worse it can lead to some scary stuff (ie hitting the bar) in which case the gymnasts often develop fears.
This first video is of a great double spotting technique for little ones. A lot of gymnasts have fears about flyaways and this is one way to combat them. It gets them over it early, while still enabling you to fix things like their shoulder angle etc.
This second video is as always a very nice video from Jason Mortimer of the drills progressions he uses for flyaways. It’s always nice to see what other people are doing/how they teach the skill.
Today I’m going to share a few side stations for shaping and conditioning on bars. These stations are easy to set-up and over a lot of “bang for your buck” so to speak.
This first one is actually the step before the quick tip for cast handstands I did a few weeks ago. This drill while still being a very good strength exercise does not require the same level of control and shaping that the next one does. This makes it perfect for doing with your lower level gymnasts and encouraging them to feel the levering action.
This second video is a couple very good drills but as Neil mentioned the first is exponentially more effective with socks (you can also do it with the gymnasts legs on a physio ball but that’s much harder). Again, like Neil make sure that you are there to spot it for a while though to make sure that you are reinforcing correct shapes and that the gymnasts understand expectations.
Today I’m going to share one of my favorite drill for developing leaps. I call these leap hops, I’m not sure if other people have a different term for them. I start them on floor pretty early. And then as gymnasts get more and more proficient at them I start taking them to the beam.
This drill does several things. 1) It gets gymnasts pushing through their feet which we really want 2) it emphasizes the upward direction (ie the way we want leaps to go) and 3) it helps with general leg height awareness. When you have two legs splitting at once it’s harder for gymnasts to feel where each of those is. It also helps gymnasts figure out where their arms are supposed to be because there is less going on.
When gymnasts land I want them to plie and I want the leg that was up in the air to be maintained at horizontal. Also, I have them do it on both legs. One leg is their split leap, one is their switch. Note: please, please start these on low beam. Gymnasts often aren’t aware of what their bottom leg is doing and you can have a lot of falls the first time you do it, so be sure they are on a low beam to figure them out.
It seems like these Fun Fridays are just flying by. We are quickly coming up on the one year anniversary of Swing Big! (March 25th to be exact). How crazy is it that’s it almost been a year. Thank all of you for following along on this journey.
This first video is Wynter Childers floor routine at the Nastia Liukin cup. This routine was actually originally (different meet) sent to me via Facebook, and I’m so happy I saw it. This is an awesome routine. If you have any routines you think are amazing feel free to shoot me an email or send me a Facebook message.
This second one is a cute little level 8 from WOGA. Very nice to watch, it’s fun to watch these little ones develop.