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Gymnastics/Beam Backhandspring

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Question
I need help on my beam back handsprings. I am a level 7 gymnastics and I can not seam to get my hands on the beam for my backhandspring stepout.
I have bad shoulder flexibility but don't know if this contributes.

I undercut my back handsprings on floor and buckle my knees but it's gotten better. I also seem to drift and lean and jump back to the left and can't fix it.

I am a leftie so I put my left foot in front and for my hands I do the correct position with my right arm in front to keep me square on te beam. But usually on the fat beam even, my right hand only gets on and my left is off to the side six inches or so away from the beam. I can't get them together on the floor even.

When I do my backwalkovers on floor I don't really put my hands together, but they go together on the beam.
With my handspring they never go together in the right position.
I try to get them together as I swing and jump back, doing I on a line and floor beam but the left hand never gets in the staggered position behind te right hand.

Please help I really need this skill!!!!!

Thanks
Ellison

Answer
Hi Ellison,
         I am very glad to help you.  First a back handspring on the beam is different than a back handspring on the floor.  It is performed more like a mounter back handspring.  I know you said you don’t have a lot of shoulder flexibility…..that is okay.  You will just have to flip the skill a little more.  And now to help you with the hand placement.  You said you have your left foot in front when you start…..that means your right foot is the back foot.  First make sure your right big toe is next to the arch of the left foot.  This will help you to get off of two feet better.  Next, make sure you place your right palm then your left palm on the beam for the hand placement.  Next the left foot comes on the beam, then the right.  Try to practice taking two steps back to help in completing the back handspring.  You can practice the hand placement on a baby beam.  It is too difficult to practice the hand placement on the floor.  I never have my gymnasts do the proper hand placement on the floor…..just the beam.   Repetition is the key.  Don’t set a date for success….just keep up the practice and you will get it.  I wish you the very best and take care – Jack Leonard  

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Jack Leonard

Expertise

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.

Experience

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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