The prerequisite in learning a Forward-Over is mastery of the Back-end Uprise, Shoot-over, and a good Swing; learning tricks with forward-rotations on the Trampoline may also aid in attempts at a Forward-Over. A good drill to practice on the trampoline is: Hand & Knees Drop -> Flip to Back Drop -> then to tuck to Hands & Knees Drop.
There is some risk in attempting a Forward-Over for the first time, even with the safety-lines on. Coaches must take the necessary precautions when introducing this trick. If the coach is at all hesitant about a student’s ability, or if the coach is not familiar enough with the trick himself, then he should not teach it to a student. The coach must be confident in their pupil’s ability to learn this trick. If a pupil is struggling to perform a proper Uprise Shoot-over, or if the Uprise Shoot is inconsistent, that is an indication that forward-over should not be taught yet. The Forward-Over is not a trick for everyone.
That being stated, if the student has consistently performed great Uprise Shootovers without needing too much spotting assistance, then the Forward Over is the next trick to be learned. Students who possess beautiful Uprises and Shoots will find it quite easy to learn a Forward-Over. For the most part, injuries only occur when students are not ready to learn a Forward-Over yet, OR the coach has not taken the necessary precautions to explain what must be avoided when attempting the trick for the first time; this is typically due to the coach’s own unfamiliarity with the trick. But before we delve into this matter, let us first explain how to properly perform a forward-over.
After completing an uprise, the athlete will perform a Kip. To perform a Kip, the athlete will gently swing their legs forward whilst keeping them straight. During the Kip they will also bend their elbows and rotate their wrists slightly forwards. It is very important to bend your elbows and wrists during the Kip. The chest and upper body does not move much during the Kip. Notice the Figure in (B), that the upper body and chest are still angled upwards. The head and eyes are still looking forwards, not downwards. A common question that many students ask is “How far do I lift my legs during the Kip?” The size of your Kip depends on your natural range-of-motion; thus it entirely depends on each performer’s physical composition and flexibility. Some students will have a big and long Kip; other students will have a small and short Kip. Thus timing for each athlete will also vary. The Kip should not be uncomfortable, it should be natural. The reason for Kipping is to put your body in a “set” position. In the Kip position, the body will be locked and loaded to perform the necessary forward rotation.
After the Kip, the student will push down on the bar as they lift their butt upwards slightly. A good push is important in obtaining height and rotation. This is why it is important to bend your arms when you Kip; if one Kips with straight arms, there cannot be a straightening action during the push attempt. During the push, it is also important to release the bar and touch your knees briefly. The flyer will then open smoothly and look for the catcher whilst staying tight and presenting.
There are a few typical mistakes when attempting a Forward Over. The Figure above shows four of the typical mistakes. Coaches should watch out for mistakes (A) and (B) in particular. In mistake (A), instead of lifting their legs up during the Kip, the flyer has decided to bring his chest downwards. The flyer will typically roll off the bar instead of popping upwards during the tuck phase. Thus, the flyer will travel forwards significantly. The second mistake in letter (A) is that the flyer is not bending her elbows and wrist enough, this mistake often results in the flyer dropping their chest. Coaches teaching the Forward Over must remind students that they need to bend their arms and push off the bar. Failing to do so may result in facial-collisions with the bar. In mistake (B), the flyer has decided to hold onto the bar after whilst flipping, which is most likely do to nervousness. This can also result in shoulder or head injury. Coaches need to remind the students to let go during the pushing action. Mistake (C) is very frequently seen. In this scenario the flyer has remained tucked for too long. The Open should be smooth, controlled, and allow the flyer to visually spot the catch-trap. Mistake (D) is the poor execution of the Uprise. A poor uprise will cause the flyer to lose some degree of balance and control; this directly translates to a poor Forward Over trick.
Forward-Over is an impressive trick with lots of height. Due to the height, returning from a Forward-Over is easy if the catch is smooth. Those who have mastered their Uprise-Shoots typically have an easy transitioning into to the Forward-Over. More often than not, it only takes a few weeks to possess a great Forward-Over, if one has mastered the Shoot-over. It is suggested that in learning the Forward-Over, to go back to the Shoot at the beginning or end of each session review the basics. Learning a Forward-Over should not hinder one’s ability to perform a good Shoot. Just as practicing a Shoot will not hinder your ability to perform a Forward-Over. On the contrary, the two tricks build upon one another.