David Petty is the Tumbling Director at Cheer Extreme Raleigh in North Carolina.
When should you start teaching a standing full?
I recommend after the athlete has consistent jumps to tuck and after they have mastered a running combination to full, possibly even a double.
My favorite drills starting out would be doing tucks onto an elevated surface to promote a better drive through the shins and to hopefully eliminate bad landings. I also like to teach the proper arm swing into this skill. The best way it was ever explained to me, whichever way you spin your full, raise your arms to go above, or at least shoulder height and shaping them into a circle, or “hoop” shape.
Should you teach a standing full with/without a drop step?
This is something that can be debated for days. I like to teach the skill without a step, but I am not against using the drop step. Especially since this is often choreographed with counts in a routine.
How to teach better landings with a standing full?
A common problem is short landings and/or feet apart. This is something I also teach with standing tucks. Too many times a coach will teach an athlete to drive their knees to their chest for better rotation. However, this often causes heels to be driven to their backside and actually slows down the rotation and causes bad landing. I try to teach a shin drive over the head. I know that’s an exaggeration, but it will cause better hip rotation and better landings.