If anyone knows elite gymnasts stats it’s this site.
I am looking for gymnasts throughout history that have an opposite roundoff and twisting direction. For example… gymnasts that have a left foot in front roundoff and a right twist. Or a right foot in front roundoff and a left twist. In other words… gymnasts that do a Tsuk full… not a Kasamatsu.
(Like the vault at 30 seconds in this video… thanks @Denn)
I think I’m following your question, but it’s not an uncommon thing. There’s so many…just off top of head: Simone, Laurie, Maddie K, Simona Amanar, Kristal Uzelac, Vanessa Atler, Alyssa Beckerman, Khorkina, Chellsie, Skinner, Iordache. Funny though, I can’t think of any left leg/right twisters besides Kristal right now lol, but there’s plenty. Oh, Grace McCallum is one. Also Kytra Hunter.
Doing a Tsuk just means squaring up the vault… I guess… but I’m not sure why anyone that is a lefty left or righty right would do it this way in modern gymnastics.
For the purposes of how I am looking at this… a Tsuk full actually twists in the same direction… which is harder. Phelps did a right roundoff and a right twist according to this video. Right roundoff is a left twist. For the purposes of my question… she is a Kaz style vaulter… which is easier in my opinion. If you watch her vault in this video… she never truly squares it up… she is drifting into the twist… the right leg stays higher as she leaves the horse…
It’s just a 1/2 though… pretty much any high level gymnast can do only a 1/2 Tsuk style… it’s for twisting above 1/2 that the Kaz technique really comes into play.
This is exactly what I am trying to get people (coaches) to understand… there is really no reason to change someones twist direction to be lefty left or righty right. Lefty right or righty left is perfectly fine.
Parents of gymnasts on both ChalkBucket.com and Facebook ask this question all the time. For example… “My daughter is a left leg roundoff and a right twister and her coach says she has to twist to the left… does it really make a big difference?”
Why are coaches still trying to change someone’s twist direction? I just don’t understand with all the examples of high level gymnasts doing it every way possible.
It’s a very interesting concept for sure. Even by region you see certain things: in Canada for decades gymnasts would often have a different leading leg for their round offs and side aerials vs front handspring/front aerials and back handspring/layout stepouts. We still see this with some gymnasts (Jade and Grace/Larisa), but it seemed more prevalent in Canada.
The most fascinating phenomenon of this for me though is with China. In China EVERYONE leads with their left leg and twists to the left. I’ve always felt this is why they have historically struggled on the leg events because I’m sure many of these athletes are probably natural righties but were trained to be lefties. I feel like I haven’t seen a ‘righty’ Chinese gymnast since the early 80s. If anyone has examples of Chinese gymnasts who leads with their right leg or twists to the right I’d love to be corrected.
I developed some of this–for me what doesn’t matter is which leg is in front, it’s which leg provides the last single ‘push’. Left leg is the ‘power’ leg–I’ll do a left round off or front handspring from hurdle. But if I’m punching, it’s a right leg lead because the last single leg push comes from the back, left leg, then the feet come together for the punch. I also preferred a right leg back walkover, which made a back walkover-cartwheel combination very easy and natural and made me a nightmare to spot on beam. I got a lot of scolding for being inconsistent before I was able to verbalize what my body was doing.
I was righty forwards (cartwheels, roundoffs, fhs) but lefty backwards–though I always twisted to the right. Coaches hated it, because the US compulsories back in the day were written as righty only or lefty only. I eventually learned how to do backwards skills righty on floor, but refused to do so on beam. I happily took a deduction for an extra step in the original level 6 beam routine so I could do my lefty backwalkover.
I, too, had a great cartwheel-backwalkover (and eventually cartwheel bhs) series on beam as a result.
I was a left leg, right twister…which is why I struggled with twisting elements.
My diving coach tried to get me to twist left (in the harness) and I kept wanting to go right. He was like “YOU HURDLE WITH YOUR LEFT LEG WHY ARE YOU TWISTING RIGHT?”
He tried and finally we just discussed that I would only do twisting dives when it was required.
However, I always felt I was the Svetlana Khorkina of my high school diving career because while everyone did the typical twisting dives (Back somi 1 1/2 twist, Front 1 1/2 1/1 twist, I did dives that no one else was doing (Reverse somi half twist and reverse 1 1/2 half twist).
Are you trying to trigger my nerdiness with this topic? LOL
First, more about Scherbo. This helps explain why he did “his” vault style instead of Kas vaults. It’s a 3/4 twist onto the table, 1-1/4 twist off (actually, he could do 2-1/4 twist off but never did it in competition).
Blaine Wilson is another example and it was very relevant in 2000 at the Olympics. He had the highest-scoring vault in prelims for his stuck double front. But he didn’t have a 2nd vault ready for vault final and he was a Tsuk, no Kas guy, so it limited him a bit. He learned a Tsuk-1.5 literally the week of the final!
Gervasio Deferr is literally the ONLY gymnast ever to compete a “genuine” Tsuk with more than two twists, as far as I know. He did the 2.5 twist and won an Olympic gold medal on vault for the 2nd time — a remarkable result given that those were probably the only two major vault finals he ever made. Look how crazy it looks coming off the table — it looks like it has more post-flight twist (and frankly it does)
Kenzo Shirai is a total weirdo in this category. One the one hand, he often did a Kas vault for his 2nd vault — right entry, right twist:
On the other hand, he also learned to block on the left! Check out his Shirai 3 (Scherbo with 2 post-flight twists instead of 1). Left block and right twist.
Sean Golden also learned to do a sidespring vault entry on his bad side so that he could do Kasamatsus instead of Tsuks — a big deal for someone who wanted to be a vault specialist. I can’t find video yet though…