While this blog was initially aimed at parents, I seem to have a lot of coach readers as well. So in this column, I’m going to share some drills that I’ve found to be extremely effective in training a tight body and strong aerial awareness to young gymnasts.
I got this first drill from Alyssa Moore, one of our preteam coaches at Apex.
The idea is that there should be zero change in the gymnast’s body position throughout this drill. This drill teaches two things: first, it allows the gymnast to begin growing accustomed to the sensation of flipping without having to worry about the mechanics of takeoff or landing; second, it teaches the gymnast to resist the natural impulse to go loose while airborne.
As the gymnast gets a bit more advanced, variations on this drill can be used to train the awareness and positions for many other skills, including…
By isolating the salto and eliminating the takeoff and landing phases from the equation, this drill allows the gymnast to focus specifically on airborne body control and spatial awareness, both of which will be crucial when they are learning more advanced skills.
(by the way, if any of my readers are good with photoshop and can brighten up the back layout images, let me know)