So one of the biggest issues I see when coaching newer gymnasts, their front somersaults rotate too quickly, and too low. The move becomes whip-like, and not as floaty as it should be. Furthermore, they lose both control and altitude, and then in order to compensate, they need to do some funny flapping of their arms upon landing. So what’s happening here?
This is happening because the gymnast is impatient, nervous, and hasn’t learnt how to initiate the rotation properly. Usually, the gymnasts is concentrating on ducking her head underneath her body in order to initiate the rotation of the front somersault, and this IS NOT the correct way to perform the move. Instead, the gymnast should focus on slowly lifting her hips/bottom up to the ceiling in order to perform the rotation. It also helps if the gymnast focuses on keeping her arms up as long as possible, and not touching the legs too soon. The hips/bottom will tend to follow the arms upward if they are held overhead long enough. Patience is key!
How can we build patience? By doing the drill in the video above!!!! Front somersault to corpse-drops in a variety of positions (tuck, pike, straight) in order to get the athlete feeling comfortable about lifting their body up (not ducking their heads under). Do this drill every week, and you will see a noticeable difference in their Front Somersaults & Baranis after a few months. Just remind the gymnast to think of the corpse-drop drills when translating it over to feet-to-feet maneuvers. If the athlete continues to whip their baranis & front-skills, they will never be able to connect it to another flip afterwards as all height & control will be loss at the end of that skill. SLOW is KEY!