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Crashing on Head

Coach Wayne - I'm ordering your video but in the meantime here is our problem...My 8-year-old daughter has "almost" had her back handspring for months, but continues to not lock her arms straight so she "crashes" her head. Obviously, this is dangerous and limits the surfaces she can practice on. Do you think it is a question of form or strength, and what can we do to correct the problem. She has joined a competitive cheer squad and desperately wants to master this skill! Looking forward to your help.

Most likely it's a question of FORM.
But remember... it's "form" in MOTION... which requires coordinated strength. The handstand position will help her acclimate herself to bearing a weight-load on her arms in proper form.

Get her against a wall into her handstand position EVERY DAY. Like... 20 repetitions of 10 seconds... each day.
She should demonstrate a straight line handstand from wrists to toes... leaning against the wall. NOTHING should be bent unless REQUESTED.
Intermixed with static handstands you should also request that she do slight handstand pushups. She only needs to flex the elbows and shoulders slight... then push straight and tall again.

The handstand is the vital position because the Handspring passes through the handSTAND position. After she's done a hundred or so... remind her that she's passing THROUGH that position as she performs her handSPRING.


You may also be interested in the following:
(FLASH player permission is required to view animations.)
Back Tuck Progressions
Benchmarks of Excellence
Cross Arm Spot
Gymnastics Jump
Jump, Set, Tuck
Lunge to Handstand
Round-Off Hand Placement
Straight Body Fall


Coach Wayne was 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 worldwide since 1991. Coach Wayne is available for tumbling instructor certification training. For booking information, coaches/owners should text or call 912.238.1747.


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