Dive Roll Drills

Gymnastics Dive Roll

Subject: Dive Roll Drills

Do you have good drills for teaching a dive roll? Thanks.

Below is a list of progressions which we might use if we had a gymnast who had to perfect a dive roll for their Level 5 routine or were going to use it in optionals. The approximately 60 progression steps should take about two and a half months (one summer) of daily practice to go through and master.

Obviously, many of the early progressions are basic, but we would at least review them to see if the gymnast were doing the skill the way we want it to look and be done. We would then begin to work through the rest of the progressions and determine where the level of the gymnast was. From then on, we would review the previous progressions and work on making at least one step of progress each day.

We are more interested in making sustainable daily steps of progress and mastering them than speeding through the progressions as fast as possible.

We generally do steps of progression not “drills” meaning that we are interested in continuous progress, not drilling. We use a wider range and greater number of progression steps than many coaches to help to truly master skills in both consistency and execution.

We do design and use repetitive drills if we have a gymnast who is having a specific problem that we need to correct. For example, if we have a gymnast who is diving down instead of up to at least chest high dive rolls, we will use extra drills to correct the situation. Some of these would include progressions and we might design some other drills to use.

For example, we would repeat the run punch jumps, the dive rolls over the barrel and the dive roll high jump progression steps. We might also create some more drills to do, like doing dive rolls over different mats and objects, doing dive rolls over objects into the pit and perhaps working on front tucks to get the correct take-off angle.

But unless we have an error that is difficult to correct, we don’t do “drills” for the sake of drilling. We only do them when we have a major problem to correct.

Dive Roll Progressions

Prerequisites: The primary prerequisite for a dive roll is sufficient arm strength to protect the head and neck when diving toward the gymnast’s head and neck, especially in case something goes wrong, like a short landing.

Example Strength Levels:

  • Handstand Push-Up Strength Level
  • Jump To Handstand Strength Level

Warm-Up

  • Be sure to thoroughly warm up wrists and neck, in particular (along with the rest of the body).

Technique Tips

  • All Dive Roll Skills should be done to Stick Landing (with no steps)
  • All Forward Roll and Dive Roll Skills should be done visually spotting first the mat for hand placement and then forward to a spot high on the wall.
  • All Forward Roll and Dive Roll Skills should be done with arms by ears straight shoulder angle.
  • There must be sufficient heel drive in dive rolls (to handstand or slightly past).
  • Working this large a number of progressions steps allows for gymnasts to become very comfortable with the skill and overcome any fear of doing dive rolls at chest height, head height or above and mastery and control of landings.

Common Errors

  • Insufficient heel drive results in legs collapsing on the upper body and a slow roll out.
  • Not visually spotting throughout skill.
  • Incorrect arm position (not by ears) on roll out.
  • Tucking too early into roll out.
  • Not taking off upright and upwards (Leaning forward on take-off).
  • Arch or pike, instead of staying hollow throughout dive roll.
  • Not driving heels into dive roll.
  • Legs apart or bent in dive roll.
  • Piking on landing of dive roll.
  • “Bouncing” on landing of dive rolls is often because body was piked and landed flat on back instead of rolling.
  • Not smooth into roll
  • Tucking too soon into roll.
  • Head backward coming out of roll. Head should be forward and visually spotting forward.
  • Knees apart and toes not pointed in roll.
  • Not coming smoothly to stand.

Forward Roll Mastery

(Emphasis on pushing off with straight legs and pointed toes)

  • Tuck Forward Roll
  • Open Knee Tuck Forward Roll
  • Pike Forward Roll
  • Pike Forward Roll with Open Knees Standing Up
  • Pike Forward Roll to Straddled Leg Stand
  • Pike Forward Roll with Straight Leg Stand
  • Handstand Forward Roll
  • Handstand Straight-arm, Straight-leg Forward Roll

Forward Roll onto 12″ Crash Mat

  • Tuck Forward Roll
  • Open Knee Tuck Forward Roll
  • Pike Forward Roll
  • Pike Forward Roll with Open Knees Standing Up

Heel Drive Training

  • Handstand Straight-arm, Straight-leg Forward Roll (For correct heel drive action)

Standing Dive Rolls

  • Standing Dive Roll
  • Standing Tuck Dive Roll onto 12″ crash mat
  • Standing Pike Dive Roll onto 12″ crash mat
  • Standing Layout Dive Roll onto 12″ crash mat

Take-Off Practice

  • One step Run Punch Straight Jumps
  • Three step Run Punch Straight Jumps

Arm Strength/Safety Catch Practice

  • Tuck Dive (from floor) to Handstand on 12″ crash mat
  • Pike Dive (from floor) to Handstand on 12″ crash mat

Tuck Position Awareness/Rotation Air Awareness

  • One step Run Punch Tuck Dive Roll onto 24″ crash mat
  • 3 step Run Punch Tuck Dive Roll onto 24″ crash mat
  • 5 step Run Punch Tuck Dive Roll onto 24″ crash mat
  • One step Run Punch Tuck Dive Roll onto 12″ crash mat
  • 3 step Run Punch Tuck Dive Roll onto 12″ crash mat
  • 5 step Run Punch Tuck Dive Roll onto 12″ crash mat

Pike Position Awareness/Rotation Air Awareness

  • One step Run Punch Pike Dive Roll onto 24″ crash mat
  • 3 step Run Punch Pike Dive Roll onto 24″ crash mat
  • 5 step Run Punch Pike Dive Roll onto 24″ crash mat
  • One step Run Punch Pike Dive Roll onto 12″ crash mat
  • 3 step Run Punch Pike Dive Roll onto 12″ crash mat
  • 5 step Run Punch Pike Dive Roll onto 12″ crash mat

Layout Position Awareness/Rotation Air Awareness

  • One step Run Punch Layout Dive Roll onto 24″ crash mat
  • 3 step Run Punch Layout Roll onto 24″ crash mat
  • 5 step Run Punch Layout Roll onto 24″ crash mat
  • One step Run Punch Layout Dive Roll onto 12″ crash mat
  • 3 step Run Punch Layout Roll onto 12″ crash mat
  • 5 step Run Punch Layout Roll onto 12″ crash mat

Obstacle Dive Rolls

  • Run Punch Layout Roll over foam barrel on 12″ crash mat
  • Run Punch Layout Roll over foam barrel on 24″ crash mat

Layout Dive Roll Heel Drive Practice

  • Run Punch Springboard Front � layouts to Flat back on 12″ crash mat
  • Run Punch Springboard Front � layouts to Flat back on 24″ crash mat
  • 3 step Run Punch Dive to Handstand Forward Roll on 12″ crash mat
  • 3 step Run Punch Dive to Handstand Forward Roll on 24″ crash mat

Layout Dive Rolls

  • One step Run Punch Layout Dive Roll onto 4″ mat
  • 3 step Run Punch Layout Roll onto 4″ mat
  • 5 step Run Punch Layout Roll onto 4″ mat

Competition Mat Layout Dive Rolls

  • One step Run Punch Layout Dive Roll on competition floor
  • 3 step Run Punch Layout Roll on competition floor
  • 5 step Run Punch Layout Roll on competition floor

Overtraining Progression

  • One step Run Punch Layout Dive Roll onto 4″ mat
  • 3 step Run Punch Layout Roll onto 4″ mat
  • 5 step Run Punch Layout Roll onto 4″ mat
  • One step Run Punch Layout Dive Roll to Straddled Leg Stand onto 4″ mat
  • 3 step Run Punch Layout Roll to Straddled Leg Stand onto 4″ mat
  • 5 step Run Punch Layout Roll to Straddled Leg Stand onto 4″ mat
  • One step Run Punch Layout Dive Roll with Straight Leg Stand onto 4″ mat
  • 3 step Run Punch Layout Roll with Straight Leg Stand onto 4″ mat
  • 5 step Run Punch Layout Roll with Straight Leg Stand onto 4″ mat

Dive Roll High Jump/Contest

  • Run Punch Dive Rolls over jump rope onto 12″ crash mat
  • Springboard Run Punch Dive Rolls over jump rope onto 24″ crash mat

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