i have a six year old that is an all-star cheerleader. She has been working
on her backhandspring for about 3 months on the trampoline but 2 days
ago she did it on the floor for the first time, and her form was great.
After doing it several times, she began to bend her arms and land on her
knees. What can i do to help her? Thanks.
handspring often requires several hundred HOURS of individual work
to master. By Mastery I mean, the skill remains SAFE, STRONG, PROGRESSIVE,
CONSISTENT and BEAUTIFUL over LONG periods of times and various environmental
changes. Getting and losing a skill such as the handspring is very
normal for an intermediate athlete, don't fret.
Every time a student grows or goes through a significant change in social or
external environment (such as moving from tramp to mats or mats to gym-floor)
she'll have to re-adjust. Even changes in her speed or form will occasionally
force her to 're-learn' the skill. Relearning usually takes place quite quickly.
Keep your daughter working on the trampoline and OCCASIONALLY put them on the
floor then go BACK to the Trampoline. Don't expect the transition from tramp
to floor to take place all at once. ANY time she's strong and using good form
on the trampoline move her to the mats for a few repetitions. Anytime she starts
to lose her form you should move her BACK to the trampoline. Think in terms of
MANY WEEKS not any ONE practice. Habits develop over MANY repetitions and long
periods of time.
The trampoline is different from the mats in that it depresses and responds more
slowly but more completely so that LESS STRENGTH is needed to perform a handspring.
Have her spend EXTRA time working on her LEG push to develop complete expression
and greater power. Use straight knees, pointed toes and fully opened hips to
develop the LEG strength she'll need to have a well-formed, full-speed handspring
A good place to evaluate the progress of her handspring is in the HANDSTAND position.
YES, the handSPRING has a handSTAND in the middle of it. OFTEN students will
arch through the handstand position without ever MARKING a correct (well-formed)
handstand. In fact there should be a BEAUTIFULLY formed, strong handstand in
the middle of the handSPRING, but the body will move THROUGH that position VERY
rapidly. Most of the time when we think of a handstand we think of the skill
as being STATIC, BALANCED, without movement. But the handstand POSITION is crucial
to the handspring and if a student fails to pass through a well-formed handstand
then she'll ALWAYS have trouble with her power-tumbling.
HOW IS YOUR TUMBLING?
come to YOUR gym!!!
tumbling for students &
Instructor training for staff
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: www.CoachWayne.com,
email@example.com or 912-238-1747, 912-398-8082.
SO have her PRACTICE her handstand
against a wall VERY often. 10x per day for 5 seconds each and if there
are ANY errors (feet apart, hands too wide, back arched, head sticking
out, etc.) she must do TWO additional handstands to make up for the
error, or start over at a ZERO count.
Finally, I recommend that your daughter practice STEPPING out of the handspring
rather than REBOUNDING. So, her feet should NOT come down together, (rebounding)
rather, AFTER she springs THROUGH her handstand position (in the handspring).
Instead, she should split her legs and step BACKWARDS on ONE foot (through
a LONG LUNGE STEP position) and. then close the skill by CONTINUING backwards
into a STAND position (feet together) with the arms HIGH overhead. This will
develop the HABIT of holding the hips HIGH off the floor instead of letting
them drop (knees hitting) and keeps her center of gravity at the correct height
for MULTIPLE handsprings. It's important to develop coordination in BOTH sides,
so the student should step out LEFT, and then RIGHT, alternating. After a few
hundred successful step-outs, and assuming the core abdomen/back strength is
sufficient, the two-footed snap-down/rebound can be introduced.
Additional strength exercises are available in my "Better Back handsprings" video
and my new "Basic Handstand Position" video details a well-formed
handstand. I recommend BOTH for ANY tumbling student who has NOT yet mastered
her handSPRING. My competitive collegiate cheerleading squad ALL practice their
basic handstand position AND foundation strength building exercises at EVERY
practice 3x per week. My Olympic gymnast practices her handstand at every practice
and before every competition. That's one of the reasons why she's an Olympian.
Visit www.CoachWayne.com/webstore to
Have fun, Be safe PUSH hard!!!