Uzunov V. Teaching great Yurchenko layouts, Vol 5, 2011 www.thegympress.net14
deceleration of the leg. This is referred to as having ‘
’. The front leg should push downward and backward, thereby generating a lifting of the CoM. Both legsshould come together just prior to springboard impact. A common mistake in learning and performing the round-off is to slow down the back leg (first leg) in order to try andallow the front leg to catch up. A fast turning over at the round-off is critical not only inorder to establish a high level of angular momentumthroughout the vault, but also in order to facilities the block in the round-off. The block during the round-off helps raisethe CoM so that the gymnast can impact the springboard inthe correct position.First impact with the springboard must be high, atapproximately 60° angle (12) with the gymnast’s upper body (in particular his arms, head, shoulders) moving very quickly over the top of the feet (5).
Figure 4 -
Springboard impact phase shows a high impact angleapproximation – 60° in both angles - with minimal flexion of hipsand knees The gymnast in the example does a better job at keepingthe shoulders pinned to the ears with the arms and head acting asone unit.
All high-scoring Yurchenko vaults involve a quick transitionover the top of the springboard (1). The hip angle onspringboard impact should be as close to full extension(open) as possible, the chest is closed, shoulders are incontact with the ears, and the head is in a neutral position(5,8) (Figure 4). Landing high on the board will preventexcessive leg bend and will also aid the athlete to quickly rebound off the springboard.On springboard take-off the gymnast must fully extend all joints, so that all limbs align to a tight upper back archposition (Figure 5).Following the take-off from the springboard take-off thegymnast should be rotating very quickly backward whilsthis/her CoM is rising upward. This is critical in order for thegymnast to make quick contact with the table at a high angleof impact (12), thereby creating the ideal conditions for thesubsequent repulsion phase.
Figure 5 -
Springboard take-off position. Notice the tight upper back arch, with the hips directly above the feet. This is a key position and coaches should look for it.
Following the take-off from the springboard take-off thegymnast should be rotating very quickly backward whilsthis/her CoM is rising upward. This is critical in order for thegymnast to make quick contact with the table at a high angleof impact (12), thereby creating the ideal conditions for thesubsequent repulsion phase.The effectiveness of the repulsion phase is a combination of the take-off body position and dynamics. Technicalcoaching literature always advises that the gymnast needs toimpact the table with an open (fully flexed) shoulder angle,however this is rarely, if ever, observed in top vaulters. A better coaching focus is to develop a fast turnover andimpact the table with a high
angle of attack
with theshoulder joint being as close as possible to 180° of flexion(figure 6).
– Both gymnasts demonstrate a high body angle attack on table impact, with the shoulder angle close to 180° of shoulder flexion (the right example camera angle distorts the angle of attack for a better comparison).The gymnast on the left does abetter job at keeping the head between the arms and the shoulder angle closer to 180°.
A high body angle of attack facilitates the generation of angular momentum during impact with the table becausethe reaction force passes behind the whole body CoM. If theangle of attack is low, the gymnast will lose angularmomentum on impact because “the gymnast’s weight actsas a moment arm in a counter-rotation direction of the vaultand so reduces the angular momentum of the gymnast” (11).The correct position and dynamics on table contact,coordinated with a strong and powerful push through theshoulders and wrists joints, allows the gymnast to quickly deflect off the table and establish increased vertical lift of the CoM. The gymnast must complete the block action and