To perform the Kasamatsu Full, the gymnast should already know a Kasamatsu. The gymnast can practice different drills and train the skill to a loose foam pit until he is able to consistently complete a 360 degree twist. The gymnast can progressively add mats on the pit as he gets better.
The foam pit is highly important with many vaulting skills. The purpose of a foam pit is to offer an opportunity to practice a difficult skill without having to worry about the landing.
The gymnast should twist right if his right hand touches the vault first, and twist left if his left hand touches first. It's usually a good idea to attempt most of the vaulting repetitions on soft surfaces to reduce the chance of injuries.
To perform Kasamatsu vaults, the gymnasts do not execute a complete round-off over the table. Instead, they should repulse the table sideways and continue twisting. Observe in this slow motion example how the gymnast leaves the table sideways. By the time he stands up vertically, he is already facing away from the table.
Successful vaults come from mastering certain vaulting components along with personal power. These components are running, the hurdle, board contact, a first flying phase, table repulsion, and a second flying phase. Lack of power or poor technique in any of these vaulting components can result in costly mistakes.
As a gymnast gets better with a skill on the vault, it is a good idea to do the same skill to an elevated soft surface. The soft surface minimizes the stress on the gymnast's joints while making it more difficult to land. This encourages gymnasts to apply more power and improve their technique.
Most gymnasts learn Tsuk layouts and then progress to Kasamatsu layouts or Tsuk layout fulls. Some gymnasts progress to layout twisting vaults after mastering a fair tuck Tsukahara. Though it is ultimately up to the coach, we recommend the layout approach.
Although this young gymnast has some technical mistakes like bending his legs too early and holding the head out during the twist, he performs a correct and clear cruise to execute his tuck kasamatsu.
Sometimes gymnasts that are beginning to learn Kasamatsu or Tsukahara type vaults may get confused and go for a landing on the knees instead of the feet. This is a serious mistake that can cause a knee injury on a hard surface. Before the gymnasts try on a regular vaulting surface or even on resi mats over the pit, they must demonstrate a consistent ability to land feet first in loose foam.
This drill is one of the simplest introductory approaches to Kasamatsu vaults for those gymnasts that already know the Tsukahara. Gymnasts who twist in the opposite direction of the round-off should practice different drills than this one. The hands are placed down one at a time. The gymnast pushes off the floor with the second hand to create a flying phase high enough to clear the folded mat.
The goal of this drill is to land on top of an elevated surface without having to arch the body. The gymnast can't arch and twist, which is why the drill is so important.
The following clip shows a drill that helps gymnasts learn the Kasamatsu. At first, the gymnasts get familiar with performing a cartwheel into the pit. Then, as they improve, they add a side somersault. The next step would be to add a quarter twist. Now they are ready for the Kasamatsu.