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Gymnastics/Minor problems tumbling


Hello Jack, my names Ralph and I am currently a cheer leader.
I am capable of tumbling, I can do Round off, backhand springs, whips, back tucks, layouts, and front tucks.

I am currently progressing pretty quickly with my tumbling skills, but I am having trouble with body control. I cannot tumble straight, and I have attempted running my tumbling passes over and over with variations to try and fix this. I am planning practicing each individual skill on its own to try and perfect them. What I wanted to ask was are there any drills or anything that can help me get my backhand springs straight? Also drills or exercises that will help me develop body control for future skills like fulls, front fulls, etc.

If there is anything you need like pictures, info or video concerning my form or tumbling, please feel free to ask!

Thank you for taking some of your time Jack to help me out!

Hello Ralph,
         I am very glad to help you.  My first interpretation, without seeing a video is that the hurdle in your round off is crooked.  A lot of gymnasts have a tendency to hop over to the side a bit before they step into the round off.  The other problem is the tumbler steps over going into the round off.  Check your hurdle by tumbling down a line.  Remember, when you tumble, your feet (as you run) should be like walking or running (side by side)..not one in front of the other.  If you cross or hop over in the hurdle your back leg will kick a bit sideward to adjust where the new hip position is.  Usually the corrected hurdle will help your directional path.  Understand,  it will take repetition to create a habit.  I know you want ownership of the skills and owning a skill means you can fix the skill yourself.  Respect practice to interpret right from wrong.  I wish you the very 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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