By James Fothergill
Two different skills here, but the principles to execute both of them well are the same. A full twist is just an extension of the half twist. Easy to execute poorly (you can probably do it on the ground with minimal effort), but tricky to execute without affecting your balance. The most common problem is trying too hard! It’s not difficult to do a half or full twist on a trampoline…
Starting bouncing facing one way, you’re either going to twist by 180 or 360 degree. You’ll end up facing either the opposite way (for a half twist) or the same way (for a full twist) as you were originally bouncing.
You’re going to need to be able to straight bounce & stop. A good toe drive in your straight bouncing will help you out with this skill.
How do I do it?
Simply, your body is going to follow where your head is looking. On the way out of the bed, starting with your arms at the bottom at maximum depression (the deepest part of your bounce), the arms lift up above the head and the gymnast looks for the vision point behind them. As the gymnast has completed the twist, and is coming back down to land the arms are brought back down by the gymnasts sides, this has the affect of slowing down the twist as they approach the landing.
So, in summary for the half twist:
- Land in the bed with the arms by your sides, with good body tension and a strong look at the vision point in front of you.
- Between maximum depression, and last contact with the bed the arms start to rise up, so that when you are at the top of the bounce they are above your head and dead straight.
- As the arms are rising up into the air, get the gymnast to begin to try and pick up a vision point behind them, perhaps on the mat on the end deck.
- Once the gymnast has completed the 180 degree twist, they need to bring their arms down by their sides as they land. (Arms need to be by the sides at the latest by maximum depression).
To convert the half twist into a full twist, everything that is done for the half twist needs to be done, with one additional step. Note: A full twist does not require twice as much effort as a half twist! To complete a full twist, once the vision point has been seen at 180 degrees, the gymnast must then look for the original vision point again.
Coaching Points & Helpful Tips
With the half twist, start by executing this skill from a push and go, then start to build height. If they start to get off balance, remind them that its easy to do, get them to do it from standing on the ground. Often they are off balance as they throw their head around in their haste to complete the twist.
Developing the full twist from the half twist can be tricky for some performers. The best way that I have found to help them is to get the gymnast to do the half twist with their arms out to the sides (like they’re making an airplane). Once they can do a half twist with the arms out at the sides easily, get them to repeat this (again starting with the arms out to the sides) but to clap their hands in the air above the head in mid air. This simple action speeds up the twist, and converts the half twist into a full twist!
How I can practice?
Practice makes perfect! Here are a few practices that you can try:
- 1/2 twist, bounce, 1/2 twist
- 1/2 twist, bounce, full twist
- 1/2 twist, shape jump, 1/2 twist
- 1/2 twist, shape jump, full twist
- 1/2 twist, 1/2 twist
- 1/2 twist, full twist
- full twist, full twist
Repeat these practices until you can do each of these three times in a row. Easy!