Gymnastics: Teach Them to Stick a Landing Using a Hula Hoop
“Sticking” a Landing in a Hoop
“Sticking” a Landing in a Hoop

Gymnastics: Teach Them to Stick a Landing Using a Hula Hoop

Dick Moss, Editor

For gymnasts to stick their landing, they must be able to absorb impact without taking extra steps or allowing their legs to collapse.

This skill is so fundamental to gymnastics that you might as well teach it early. Here's a great introductory drill.

Hoop Landings
Have your students place a hula hoop on a mat and stand six inches away. Instruct them to jump into the hoop and land without stumbling or taking an extra step. They should assume the classic landing position, with the legs slightly apart, the knees bent and the arms held wide for balance.

Having the feet land in the enclosed area of the hoop will emphasize the concept that the feet should not move once they make contact.

As they become more skilled, instruct them to increase the height of the jump.

Variations

  • Have students jump over the hoop for greater height.
  • Have them jump backwards into the hoop.
  • Gradually move the takeoff point back from the hoop, until they are eventually jumping from two or three feet away.


References
1. Phillip Ward (PhD), Teaching Tumbling, Human Kinetics Publishers, 1997.
2. USA Gymnastics, Coaching Youth Gymnastics, Human Kinetics, 2011.



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