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Hi I have a question About tap swings. I am a level 6 gymnast. In the back swing of my tap swing I feel like I am going to slip off. I am regrouping the bar with my grips but it doesn't help. I do not know what I am doing wrong. Also I can't get my feet up in the front of my tap swings and my shoulders are closing.

How can I make my Tap swings bigger  so I can do ma good flyaway? Also how can I keep from feeling like I'm going to slip off the back of the bar?
Sammy K

Hello Samantha(Sammy)!,
         I am very glad to help you.  First of all, remember how to swing on a swing set?!  Imagine you are starting with a still swing……now pump your legs forward and wait for that little swing to start……then kick your legs back and wait for the swing to move again.  Remember how when you kick your legs forward you pull the reins of the swing back…..and you would lean forward in the back to try to move your hips?!  Wait there’s more, to understand the back swing or action of a front giant….think about what you do to swing a handstand on the pbars….that’s the front giant action.  Also, remember to keep the top of your wrists straight so you won’t peel off the bar.  A lot of beginning gymnasts don’t rotate their hands to keep their wrists straight. Also, have you been on a strap bar.  Strap bars are very important for understanding swing and you don’t have to worry about peeling.  I hope I have helped a little in your questions.  Don’t forget to try and understand the harder skills and trick demands by relating the skills to things you have already done……maybe on a different apparatus.  Skills will be easier to attain if you understand the similarities with other elements.  I wish you the best and take care – Jack Leonard


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Jack Leonard


Former 5 time Natl. Tumbling Champ, 3 time Natl. Vaulting Champ, Natl. Floor Exercise Champ; Ass`t coach of Dominique Dawes for 6 years; Owner/Director/Head coach of Kauai Gymnastics Academy on the island of Kauai in Hawaii; Retired Physical Ed teacher; Childrens Fitness Expert; Expert Consultant for gymnastics litigation; Retired Mens & Womens HS Gymnastics coach for 32 years. National coaching honors for Men in 1981 & Women in 2001.


I value the following awards because they were given by acknowlegement through my peers: The Nissen/Grissold Award given to the outstanding Tumbling and Tramp Athlete(1972), National High School coach of the year in 1981 for men and 2001 for women, 10 time County Coach of the Year. Medal Award given at the first World Tumbling Championships in London, England for dedication to the sport. Lastly, having the opportunity to coach Wes Suter(1988 Olympian)in his intermediate years and Dominique Dawes(1992 & 1996)

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