Cause and Effect-Standing Tuck Full

In my opinion, the same general rules apply for a standing tuck full as apply to a standing back tuck with a 1/2.  So, to find out more about the cause and effect of that skill, be sure to read the article written on it.

I will remind everyone about Paul E.’s comment about strength, before I go on.  None of what I am going to write about now will matter if your athlete is not physically capable of doing such a skill.  I am going to address the technical aspects of the skill itself, however.

To answer the concerns of Debbie S., I think the main reason that athletes are a little “out of control” on the landing of the tuck with a full, is the same as under-rotating the tuck with a 1/2.  A lot of times, in my experience, the athletes that attempt this skill are fairly adept at the standing back tuck part.  Athletes at this level are also usually talented enough that twisting should be a fairly “effortless” movement.  For me though, I think that these athletes are usually almost automatic with the rotation of a tuck, but may sometimes “build-up” in their mind the challenge of adding a full twist to this tuck.    What this leads to, I believe, is that the athlete will try to twist earlier or more aggressively, because of her idea of how hard this skill is going to be.  The earlier the athlete twists, the later the twist will finish, which means that they are twisting when they land, sometimes causing this “out of control” scenario.  The science of this is that the closer an athlete can be to upside down when they actually initiate twisting, the less gravitational force she has to fight with the sides of her body, making the twist much quicker, thus being able to finish the twist earlier.  Obviously, when doing a standing tuck full, there is not a lot of time in the air (usually less than a second), so delaying the twist is difficult to do.  But, in my opinion, if the athlete can at least put her focus more on the flip, and therefore be more confident with the twist, then the likelihood of the twist being in the right place becomes greater. 

To help with the confidence of this twist, I think doing them off of a tumble-trak or springboard, or down to a resi or into the pit are all good ways of helping the athlete to worry less about the twist and more about doing the skill correctly.  Two ways that I can think of to have the athlete “check” herself:

  • Have the athlete do a standing tuck full on the trampoline, rebound straight up and down out of it and then “stick”.  This will insure that she is rotating the exact right amount and doing the twist in that “weightless area” of her flip.
  • Have the athlete work on sticking the skill off of the tumble trak to a level (with the t-trak) mat.  She can evaluate herself by whether she is falling one direction or the other.  What she will find, if she is not getting that ideal combination of flip and twist, is that her “twisting side” shoulder will continue to pull backward as she is landing.  This should help to alert her to be even more confident with her twisting and create an even better flip to make the twisting much more “effortless”, and therefore, hopefully, more “in control”.

As to the fear issue…well obviously, much has been written on this subject, and I am sure that all of us could add countless stories of fear issues with athletes.  So, for this particular issue, let’s assume that the athlete is not one of the irrationally afraid varieties of athletes, and assume that she is just afraid of this particular skill.  In that case, I always believe (or try to make myself remember, at least) that fear is a warning signal.  It, more often than not, is a tell-tale sign that something is not exactly right.  Now, in my experience, this warning signal is unique to the athlete.  Some athletes, who I would call “comfort athletes” (usually of the perfectionist type), are extremely sensitive to even the slightest variance in technique and therefore, will become a little fearful in these situations.  Again, I am not necessarily talking about the normally frightened athlete, but the one that is more aware of her mechanics than other athletes.  Another athlete may “chuck” a skill that has no possible chance of being made, because she is not as “in-tune” with her body’s actions in a particular skill.

In the “comfort athlete” zone all the way up through the “chucker” zone, the athlete who demonstrates fear, should be allowed (and even urged) to continue with the progressions that have led them up to this point of attempting this skill on the floor.  In my opinion, this is where the athlete will figure out the problems in the skill and through more work, the solution.

Again, these are just my opinions.  We are extremely interested in knowing all of yours, so please comment if you have other ideas.  Hope this helps you Debbie, and all, and thank you for the question.  Keep them coming, guys!

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