The little switch drill is another basic activity to develop jumping confidence on the beam. The feet should be facing forward and not turned in during take off and especially during landings.
Gymnasts that already know how to perform straight jumps up in place may begin practicing 1/4 turn jumps as an introductory drill for more complex 1/2, 3/4 and full turn jumps.
As on the floor the tuck jump on the beam is described as bringing the knees horizontal or higher at peak height. Taking off and landing is performed with one foot slightly in front of the other. As the gymnasts get better they can kick out after reaching the peak height of the tuck.
Practicing straddle L to endo presses on beam is a good drill to develop balance, body control and strength. One of the gymnast's goals must be to show a good straddle L, and also move in and out of that position with as much compression as possible.
When a gymnast performs this combination, some of the goals are to show the V with the legs pointing up close to vertical. Then continue to show a straddle press with straight arms and eventually a good handstand.
This is an interesting mount that can usually be accomplished without too much trouble. Starting on the spring board, the athlete jumps up and a little back, straddling the legs as much as possible and quickly placing the hands on the apparatus.
To perform this skill the gymnast must first be able to execute a front tuck from the board onto elevated soft surfaces as high as the beam. To develop the front tuck mount and to warm up the skill, the gymnast may practice runs to the spring board and perform a straight jump to land on the beam.
The full turns are performed on the beam following the same technical motions as the floor exercises. The turn is initiated moving the body in one single unit from the head and shoulders to the feet where the back foot not only pushes off the equipment to transfer the body support to the front foot, but also anchors the turning direction during the push off.
This is a fair full turn in a passe position showing a good effort to show a controlled one foot balanced ending. Notice how the turn is created from two feet as the weight support is transferred forward to the turning foot.
The goal in this challenging variation is to perform the turn around with the leg held horizontal. To begin, turning the back leg does not kick straight forward, but starts with a side sweeping action to help create the turning momentum.
The gymnasts' goal while performing the full turn with the front leg in a stag position is to complete the skill with the leg still in a horizontal line. The gymnast should also bring it down with control instead of dropping the leg down too early during the turn. The stag leg must be turned out.
Some gymnasts and coaches prefer to begin the full turn from a lunge position, others from a regular step forward, and some like to start the full turn from a fourth position. Here are several passe full turns beginning in a fourth position.