5 Step Hurdle Sequence for Vault

This hurdle sequence has been my go-to for coaching compulsory vault over the years. It is an easy and efficient way to drill the correct position to punch the spring board in: toes stretched in front, arms low, body tight. All you need are some springboards and eight-inch mats!

Hurdle Blog Art

I typically will set up a couple of them side by side for a group warm up so I can be watching everyone to check their execution. The small end of the spring board will be touching the eight-inch mat. I have them repeat each step three to five times before moving onto the next step. 

1. Hurdle Freeze 

They hurdle from the eight-inch mat to the spring board freeze. I check to make sure they have their toes at the top of the board and that their arms are down by their legs.

2. Hurdle Punch Back

They hurdle from the eight-inch mat to the spring board and immediately punch backwards to land back on the eight-inch mat. I am looking for a quick and tight punch with their toes in front and a correct arm circle that had the arms down when their feet hit the board. 

3. Hurdle Punch Back to Doggie Drop

They hurdle from eight-inch mat to the spring board and do the same immediate punch backwards, but instead land on all fours in a doggie drop position on the eight-inch mat. 

4. Hurdle Punch Back to Belly Drop

They once again perform the same hurdle with an arm circle and once they have punched the board, they drive their feet backwards out from under them and land in a tight belly drop position on the eight-inch mat. 

5. Short Run to Hurdle Straight Jump

You will have them turn the spring board around so now the top of the board is touching the eight-inch mat. They now will start with a short run (3-4 steps) and perform a hurdle to immediate straight jump onto the mat. 

Throughout all five steps, I am looking for and correcting to get the proper position on the board each time. Depending on the skill level of the group you can also add on a sixth step of short run to front tuck onto the eight-inch.  

Happy Hurdling! 

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Tags: Gymnastics, Coaching, Lesson Plans, Competitive Gymnastics, team, vault
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