Tag Archives: al fong

What happens before the vault

Hi All,

I’m going to share a few thoughts today on what happens before the actual vault. Developing power and speed in a run is just as important as developing the shapes and technique in the vault. Starting when kids are young is great. Developing a correct arm swing (even sitting down), and making sure kids are running straight. But here are some ideas to add to your workout.

hurdle drill

This first video is of a really nice speed drill Al Fong posted. I personally remember doing these almost every day as an optional. It’s super easy to add into warm-up or conditioning. Especially if you do lines or relays in your warm-up it’s a great thing to add in. I promise you’ll see a difference in your kids running.

This second one is one that I normally call “power skips.” The goal is to get as high as you can, pushing all the way through legs and feet, and to use arms effectively. It’s one of my staples in vault complexes. It develops a tremendous amount of power, and also gets kids pushing all the way through their feet.

Train hard!

But wait! We’re on floor?!

Hi All,

Alright so today’s post is about working beam skills, ON THE FLOOR. This is SO, SO, SO important. If you can’t do it perfectly on the floor (or pretty darn close), the chances of you successfully on the beam are almost none. Also, there are tons and tons and tons of fantastic beam drills you can do on the floor/panel mats if say…all the beams are taken.

This first video is a very nice set up Al Fong posted. It’s a great drill period, but this set up allows it to be done with a larger group which is even better. Getting young kids to have the muscle memory of kicking over the top in cartwheels on the beam (even if it’s a floor beam) is really important.

This second video has a number of drills for front aerials, back handsprings, back walkovers and onodis. All done on the floor. Pick some, add them to your beam (or floor) rotation. See how much they help!

For more drills and exercises to create strong, confident, technically correct beam workers look here:
Building Up Beam: Drills to Build Confidence and Correctness

Train hard!

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail — Part 4

Hi All,

So I thought it was a good time for another part in this series. Setting up conditioning lists is often a challenge. Putting in everything you want to, trying to figure out how much time to devote to it, and keeping it interesting for the kids. Here are just a couple more videos that will hopefully spark some ideas.

This first one is a nice set up by Al Fong. A lot of gym use mat jumps like this, but I like the smaller groups a lot.

This second one is of great leg tightening exercises. It’s a good thing to add to a bars or floor rotation, but it’s also super easy to build into a warm-up (and that way kids are doing it every day).

Train hard!

The everyday

Hi All,

So today I’m going to talk a little about everyday life in the gym. I know, I know, I usually post videos of drills. But I thought that some of you might find this helpful and/or interesting.

This first video I’m posting was posted by Al Fong about wrist wrapping/taping. Showing how to keep your gymnasts happy and comfortable while they are swinging.

This second video is a nicely put together video by Jason Mortimer about making a strap bar. If you’re gym has the space and ability to have one and doesn’t, I would highly recommend considering it.

And finally this third video shows how to properly put on straps. I put it in for two reasons. One because it fits in with the overall theme of this post. But two, because it shows how gloves can be used on strap bar instead of PVC pipe. I’ve heard a lot of different opinions as to what people like, and it really varies coach to coach, gym to gym. But it’s another option.

Train hard!

Scott and Emer Hults Photography

Can we talk about…?

Hi All,

So can we talk about how much I LOVE people sharing their new/cool ideas. It actually (and this is going to sound super sappy) warms my heart when I see people in the gymnastics community actively posting videos, information and ideas that they think might help their fellow coaches. Here are a couple videos from channels that routinely post good things to watch.

handstand drill.jpg

This first video is actually a REALLY neat idea that Al Fong posted. Considering how many short handstands we see, I think it’s a great way to get kids aware of where they are, and keeping their shoulders over the bar.

This second drill is a really nice way of introducing front twisting. It enables kids to be on either side depending on which way they twist, it’s safe, it’s fun, and it’s begins the muscle memory process. I think it’s great.

Train hard!