Today I wanted to share one of my most used round off drills. One of the most difficult things I find for coaches to do, is to go back and un-teach skills and then re-teach them properly. I think a lot of times coaches get overeager with the round off and say the hurdle is “good enough” despite the gymnasts chest being sideways, or them cross stepping, or other things of that nature. But going back and un-teaching a hurdle like that can be very difficult. So I try to make sure that from the very beginning my gymnasts have the best shot at having a great hurdle, that won’t cause problems later in tumbling or their yurchenkos.
This drill is incredibly simple, and kids really like it because it’s fun for them. What I want them to do is to throw the foam as aggressively as they can, maintaining tight straight arms. I also want them focusing on not tucking their chin, keeping their ribs in, and not releasing any of the body tension when they throw the foam. The only thing you have to watch for in this drill is kids letting their arms go wide once they’ve released, make sure they know to keep them narrow. I usually have them stand in front of the pit to do this.
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