The Tumble Pass

In artistic gymnastics, successful execution of the tumble pass depends upon throwing your weight around in a controlled manner. Accuracy of body position will help to avoid injury, as will a power-to-weight ratio sufficient to complete each skill.

The Tumble Pass - Gymnast executing a backward salto in a tumble pass.
Gymnast executing a backward salto in a tumble pass. - Australian Gymnastics Journal

Movement Sequence

Every movement has a beginning, a middle and an end. In a tumble pass, the end of one element is usually the beginning of the next element. The end of any individual element should be on balance and in the correct alignment to continue the sequence. If it is not, then power and impetus will be lost, with a subsequent element likely to stall before completion. This can result in an uncontrolled landing with heightened risk of injury.

Difficulty Score

It is up to the coach to ensure the tumble pass includes a sequence of elements which allow an individual gymnast to attain his or her highest possible score, according to ability. While the FIG Code of Points allows elements to be repeated in an exercise, no difficulty value is assigned to the subsequent repeat element. A range of skills should be demonstrated in the exercise by each gymnast.

Execution Score

If an adequate preparation is done for all elements included in the desired tumble pass then correct positioning should be achieved, leading to a good execution score. Adequate strength and flexibility to allow the successful completion of a skill can be developed over time with a targeted program.

The focus should be on ensuring correct balance and positioning at the start and end of each element when putting the individual skills together. A gymnast struggling with one element in a tumble pass risks losing points on the execution of the other included skills. It may be better to choose a substitute for that element, one that the gymnast has more competence in performing.

The Tumble Pass

Total concentration on the task is the best way a gymnast can approach the tumble pass. The natural rhythm of each individual’s body will dictate at what rate each element is completed. The transition between elements can be modified slightly, a conscious decision in a split second to deliver minor corrections.

The tumble pass is a total commitment to a course of action.

The preparation for the tumble pass will determine success or failure in its execution.

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