On any and every event, gymnasts and coaches need to understand where the danger points of each skill are and plan for the possibility of falls. Indeed, it is a good idea to practice the falls so that the experience of falling is not alien, unexpected and totally new.
Practice Falls before You Need To
In the case of tumbling, there are a number of fall positions that should be practiced. Falls need to be practiced for both front and back rotating skills and for under and over rotated skills.
Use Crash Mats for Safe Fall Practice
All the falls and rolls should be practiced on crash mats. It makes no sense to risk injury training to prevent injury.
Shoulder Roll out of Fronts
For over-rotated front salto skills, front shoulder rolls are a method of using up the excess rotation safely. Shoulder rolls are used instead of forward rolls to keep the body from rolling over the head and neck. Shoulder rolls should be practiced on both sides for complete safety preparation.
Practice Front Drops Just Like on Tramp
Another landing possible out of an over-rotated front is a front drop on the mat. You will want to practice so you are able to do a front drop on the mat just like you would on a trampoline. You will need to be able to land flat and not in an arch to avoid possible back injury.
Half Turns out of Front Drops are Safer
Another landing to practice is a jump to a front drop with a half turn to a back drop. It can be advantageous at times to avoid landing on your front so you want to learn how to pull your across in front of your chest to turn so you can land on your back.
Practice Judo Falls
In the case of a landing flat on the back, you want to practice a judo fall where you slap the floor beside your body exactly at the same time your body hits the floor to stop or slow the momentum of the fall.
Protect your Head and Neck with Arms
If you are tilted more toward your head and neck in a fall backwards you want to slap the floor with your arms above your head. Again the timing needs to be at the exact moment before the fall to stop or slow the momentum. You need to strike the floor with same amount or more of power with which you are going to strike the floor with your body.
Roll Out of Backward Skills
You also need to learn to back shoulder roll and back extension roll out of falls backwards.
Prepare In Advance for Falls
There is no guarantee that in a real fall situation you will be able to use one of these, or that your reflexes won’t take over. But there will be situations will having practiced falls can make a difference and it makes sense to spend some time preparing so you are ready.