I can do a standing backtuck just fine and it is really high but I can't
do a back-handspring back-tuck because my back-handspring is too high
and I don't have the rebound for a back-tuck. How can I get my round-off
back-handspring lower and do a backtuck? Russ
has a technical problem with his tumbling that is quite common, and the
solution is subtle. He can't get a powerful rebound jump out of his handspring
because it is too high. Handsprings should be long and low.
If the handspring is to high (what I call "tumbling ABOVE" the
mats") ...when the final rebound jump comes along it is impossible
to get a good solid punch with your feet. Instead, the round-off and handspring
must be lowered... (tumbling INTO the mat).
Well, in a tumbling series such as the "Round-off Back-handspring,
Back-tuck" each skill builds upon the one before it. An error in
an early skill will often be magnified in the later skills.
So, we'll look to the very BEGINNING of the series for the SOLUTION.
In the problem that Russ is describing the error is probably in the very
FIRST step of his Round-off... the "Lunge-step".
There are many ways to control the LUNGE-STEP. Russ will probably find
that he can adjust the HEIGHT of his handspring by changing the SPACING
between his feet... in his lunge-step. By stepping LONGER, he'll lower
his center of gravity throughout the tumbling series and be able to punch
powerfully into the mat during the rebound... and get a SKY-HIGH tucked
Subtle changes in skills, such as the foot placement (or hand placement)
can be very insightful. Precision is important. The next time you are
practicing your Round-off you will learn a GREAT DEAL about some of the
things you can do to change it if you'll try this:
1. SLOW DOWN your round-off - Imagine you're performing everything in
ULTRA-slow motion. This gives you time to think through and RECOGNIZE
each tiny change that you are trying. Make a move... then pause... then
move again.. then pause.. then move again.. then pause again.. continue
that pattern throughout the ENTIRE skill.
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2. DECIDE WHAT RESULTS YOU WANT- In this case, the RESULT you WANT is
a LONGER-LOWER rebound. THAT is the END RESULT you will be paying attention
3. PRACTICE ONE CHANGE at a time- In this case.. you'll be changing ONLY
the distance between the TWO feet, as you LUNGE-STEP into your round-off.
You can LITERALLY measure the distance from the TOE of your back foot,
to the HEEL of your front foot. One time make the distance between your
toe and heel be THREE inches.. the next time make it 24 inches. Play and
4. OBSERVE the new RESULTS CAREFULLY- Practice with your feet VERY close
to each other... and, as you continue the skill, observe how it forces
changes in your hand placement...how high your hips are from the floor...
how easy or difficult it is to turn/twist & maintain your balance.
Each change YOU make will cause a different result. LEARN what those results
are! Know what to expect.
5. IGNORE the feelings of AWKWARDNESS- Remember the first 10 or 20 times
you change from your NORMAL patterns of movement, EVERYTHING may feel
WRONG and look GOOFY. So ignore those feelings... this is a time of exploration.
Instead of practicing ONLY 10 times and having them ALL feel strange..
practice 200 times!
6. MAINTAIN an attitude of fun/hard-work - It is during this PROCESS of
exploration that you will LEARN more about your body and how it works.
You want to be safe, and work hard so there is GENUINE progress. You'll
be making HUGE efforts. But also, be playful and have fun. Let your creativity
shine through while you learn.
7. ADAPT and PERSIST UNTIL you achieve your PLANNED changes- You may find
that it takes HUNDREDS or THOUSANDS of repetitions before you achieve
the results you decided to achieve. You may have to combine different
changes.. in your hands, feet, and head position (for example) before
you actually get the result you want. That's OK!
8. CONFIRM the new HABIT- Being occasionally successful is not good enough.
You want HABITS of success. Repeat and practice what you've learned UNTIL
you naturally and habitually perform it correctly. Can you get it right
10 out of 10 times? Can you get it right when a crowd of people are watching
9. REWARD YOURSELF for success- Good job!!!! Treat yourself to something
special... praise yourself. Show off your stuff! You did it!!!!!!
10. WRITE ME - Coach@CoachWayne.com
and share your success!
Coach Wayne is the Head Coach for the
Savannah College of Art and Design Cheerleading team and Executive Coach of
Olympic Gymnast Zuzana Sekerova. His articles, videos and books have been
used by students and instructors world wide since 1991. Coach Wayne is available
for in-gym instructor training and performance tumbling clinics throughout
the year. For booking information, coaches/owners should call 912.398.8082.
Students and parents should request coaches/owners to contact Coach Wayne.