Today I thought I would share a quick tip on how I start yurchenkos. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, yurchenkos take time to develop and rushing the process will only result in scary, inconsistent vaults. So I thought I would share a set-up/progression that I use, that you can start relatively early.
So I will share some of the theory behind this particular progression which is part of a long set. I find that a lot of technical things go wrong when gymnasts get scared, and the number of gymnasts who start off being scared of round off-ing onto the board, going sideways and those kinds of things is very high. So I never start with a board. I always start with a panel mat instead. Kids are used to mats, doing things onto and off of them etc. It’s something they are more comfortable with, and when starting a new skill I want them to be as comfortable as possible when adding new things.
So I start with just a safety zone, cartwheel step in into just the safety zone (no mat), until they are comfortable, going straight etc. Then we add the panel mat (shown below), cartwheel step in up to the panel mat in the safety zone. Then comes round offs. Then we round off back tuck off the panel mat that’s in the safety zone. Then and only then, when they can successfully do that does the springboard come into play. I want to be sure that they are powerful, confident and correct enough to round off back tuck off of something that isn’t bouncy, before we start throwing a springboard in there.
So that’s a little of my theory on beginning yurchenkos. I hope it helps!
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