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.