Shea on Roundoff Drills

Often times when dealing with the roundoff a few issues are getting feet together fast enough to allow for blocking as well as pushing through toes from each foot. A few drills to help with getting feet together faster.

  • Roundoff to push up shape.  I like to introduce this from a lung with landing onto a soft surface.  Once the hands touch the floor they stay there and I tell my kids I want to “hear” their feet clap.
  • Roundoff up a wedge mat.  This will allow the athlete to feel their improper landings.  In order to rebound up and back they have to get their feet together quickly.

Pushing through toes is a concept that takes time so it’s important to be patient and try several drills to see what clicks with the individual.  Here are a few things I like to do.

  • I like to have the athlete start with their good leg knee down on the floor, hands back.  Athlete will stand up on their bad leg and push through their toes into a proper lunge and complete the roundoff.
  • Another popular one is to start standing with good leg lifted off of the ground, toe slightly in front.  I ask the athlete to hop (preferably punch) off of the other leg as far as they can 3 times and then roundoff.  This helps engage the hips and forces them to push through their toes.  Watch for turning as sometimes athlete feel the need to wind up but it’s important to stay square.

There are many variations of these drills as well as ways to combine them and challenge your athletes.

Drills=Skills Show 12 – Nutrition

Nutritionist Stephanie Yeatts joins the guys to talk about nutrition on the 12th edition of Drills=Skills. Stephanie also provided the Cheer Athlete Nutrition guide below.

Cheer Athlete Nutrition

Drills=Skills Show 11 – Conditioning

On the 11th Drills=Skills Shea, David, and Sean discuss Conditioning.

Shea on Handstand Troubleshooting

Some of the common issues I see in handstands are a short lunge, head out and improper balance.

A tip I got from Debbie Love was to walk heel to toe 4 steps and that should be the distance of step into the lunge.  Elbows behind ears with an invisible straight line from finger tips to pinky toe.  This lunge will provide the proper angle for athlete to stretch to the floor for their handstand.

Neutral head position is often tough for athletes starting handstands as they often feel as they will fall over if they don’t poke their head out. I prefer the athlete watch their fingertips touch the floor then look back the direction they came. This will allow for a neutral head position.

Balancing a handstand to hold for 3 seconds is often much more difficult than it may seem.  Kicking legs and arching the lower back is the most common ways I’ve seen athletes try to balance and hold a handstand.  I have my athletes clap their hands palm to palm and squeeze their fingertips so that their palms stay touching but there is a slight lift in the finger while the palm and tips stay touching.  This allows the athlete to engage the muscles throughout their arms into the core.  Pointing toes and engaging glutes, quads and hamstrings is crucial to holding a proper handstand.

The handstand is such an important skill for shaping as well as strength and when done properly helps all aspects of the athletes tumbling.

Drills=Skills Show 10 – Coaching Culture

Special guest and former Olympic gymnast, Wendy Bruce-Martin joins the guys to discuss Coaching Culture on the 10th edition of Drills=Skills.

The show will be live on Wednesday at 1pm Eastern.

Drills=Skills Show 09 – Classes

This week’s edition of Drills=Skills features Shea, David, and Sean discussing classes.

Drills=Skills Show 08 – Technique

The 8th edition of Drills=Skills is all about technique.

Drills=Skills Show 07 – Roundoffs

The 7th edition of Drills=Skills featured Shea, David, and Sean discussing roundoffs.

Drills=Skills Show 06 – Handstands

The topic for today’s edition of Drills=Skills is Handstands.

Shea on Standing Tuck Technique

The standing tuck is an equal combination of power and technique, without one the other cannot be accomplished. The proper athletic stance to start allows for the core, glutes and hamstrings to become engaged. Following this position the arms need to lead the body up so I’m often telling my kids to speed up their arms. This allows for explosiveness from the legs all the way through their toes. Kids will often focus on the tuck too early which limits the full use of arms and legs so I like to have them jump into a candlestick position onto a raised surface. The “feel” of the proper explosion onto a raised surface allows the this for the athlete. The lifting of the hips over the shoulders, rather than the shoulders below the hips, is what provides the proper timing for the rotation of the the tuck. The knees should be bent, but not the feet bent to the bottom. As the rotation completes the landing should be that of the chest coming up to allow the feet to come to the floor. Often times the athlete wants to look for the floor and kick out resulting in a short, improper landing. Providing the athlete with a specific place to look at the start and finish of the skill can help their awareness throughout the skill.