gymnastics – teaching Overshoot on Bars

Do you call it overshoot? Shootover? Shoot half? Bail to Handstand?

This skill has many different names.

Here’s a nice series of progressions posted by Bart on

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Next, this non-spotting set-up used by Coach Milo. Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The One Arm Drop drill only needs be used if a girl has problems with the system above.

Most coaches end up standing in on this skill in competition for a long, long time. It gives the kids confidence to go for handstand.

Pak is a better alternative, in my opinion.

Published by

coach Rick

Career gymnastics coach from Calgary, Canada.

17 thoughts on “gymnastics – teaching Overshoot on Bars”

  1. If you do a pak, you’ve got to do one more thing to get turned around back on to the high bar. Or, catch the high bar and take a dead swing. Either way, pak = more stuff in the routine. More stuff = more room for deductions, places to fall, things to get tired on, etc.

  2. If the gymnast is hanging out on the low bar, there are a lot of things she could be doing to get credit down there so what’s the rush to get back to the high bar?

    I’m not sure what you mean by dead swing. Nothing that can be done out of a pak should result in a dead hang/empty swing deduction if it’s done right.

  3. I didn’t say rush back to the high bar, I said extra skills. Overshoot to low bar, do anything you want down there, stalders, clear-hands, whatever, have a blast. But you’re already facing the high bar, so no need to add a half pirouette or swing-half-turn kip or something. A dead swing meant something where you catch in reverse or mixed grip, swing out, flip hands, swing back to start a kip. Personally, I find those to be a waste of time and energy, and compositionally they make the routine look less flowy.

    There are ways around it, sure, if you do a pak and then put a half twist into whatever release you do from low-to-high, fine, I have no argument with that. But just compositionally speaking, a pak isn’t something you can add in to a routine without needing to train/add other skills as well. It’s a pak+ something. Do an overshoot, and the girl likely already has everything she needs to get back to the high bar and gear up for the finish. So, time wise in the gym, if you’re teaching a pak, you’re teaching other stuff too, or you’re just adding parts into the routine that might not have worthwhile value.

  4. “…Shaposhnikova, uprise, free hip…” ieww. That combo pegs my ugly meter. It’s so jerky going from the uprise to the free hip.

    “…if you’re teaching a pak, you’re teaching other stuff too, …”

    That might depend on how the coach has prepared the gymnast up to that point. If you say the gymnast can learn a bail 1/2 and already have everything she needs to get back to the high bar, the same should be true of the pak.

    What are your thoughts on how the gymnast gets back to the high bar after the bail 1/2 ?

    1. “one arm drop drill only needs be used if a girl has problems with the system above.”

      … Even if you don’t tell the kids to do it, they will release one hand before the other to help with the twist.

      But I wouldn’t do the one arm drill with every girl. If they were doing well with the previous drills, no need. It’s most useful for kids who simply cannot hang on long enough to go to handstand. (And possible for orientation once or twice when they are first learning it.)

  5. Sher- she can do a kip…and a pike on…which she should have…

    Overshoot, any skill she wants to do on the low bar, then kip and pike on, stand up, jump to high bar. Basic overshoot connection, super basic skills.

    If you’d like to do more, toe-shoot, whatever, then yes, you have to train additional skills. But the most basic pak involves a kip (with a lot of out-going force that makes a peel off the bar more likely) and then a 1/2 pirouette or a swing half kip. She likely has the 1/2 pirouette, but it’s still more of a deductible skill than a kip/pike on. Bottom line: pak adds stuff to the routine, more stuff, more deductions.

  6. Wow, those are super basic skills. I thought you were at least talking about the toe-shoot.

    “Bottom line: pak adds stuff to the routine, more stuff, more deductions.”

    Good routine composition would mean no “extra” stuff in the routine pak or no pak. Good coaching would mean minimal deductions on all chosen skills regardless of what those skills actually were.

    But that’s just my opinion.

  7. Bail to hand looks stunning (like a men’s dislocate on hb to handstand). The most impressive ones are the ones where you worry they will go wrong side over. Pak looks dumpy.

    Plus Shawnie does one and Nastia, the other.

  8. While we are talking about extra deductions, not landing in the handstand is also a deduction for the overshoot, and potentially a devalued skill. The pak seems to have less chance for error. As Rick said, connected to a shaposhnikova looks very cool.
    If a gymnast performs a kip and pike on she has deductions for bar change without an element and likely cast amplitude too, so the coach still needs to teach her some other skills

  9. When you are talking about extra skills with the Pak compared to the “BAIL” it matters what level you are talking about.

    If you are talking about an Elite they may be able to learn the extra skills like a Shaposhnikova with extra time & Talent, but when you are dealing with a group of level 9’s & 10’s.

    I would pick the bail over the shapash. It is the same reason Elite kids that go to collage water down there routines they get better scores with less numbers of skills and less difficulty.

    I have a level 9 that has a pak. We do not put it in because she scores better with a hop change straddle back.

    Hey I don’t make the rules I just try to survive. Believe me I would rather her do the pak it is way cooler.

  10. It’s so hard to get combination bonus out of a pak when you are dealing w/ 9’s and 10’s. The pak has to be superb to do a freehip or stalder out of it…not many kids can do it that way imo. But with the bail it’s so easy to add an immediate uphill or free hip.

  11. I love the one arm drop drill, although what I do would more appropriately be called a one hand release drill (the arm doesn’t drop, but stays by the ear). I use a progressive series of 4 one hand release drills to teach underswing 1/2 to handstand. None take long to master. My girls believe that a bail to handstand is the easiest skill of its value in the code of points. For a gymnast with a tight body, it takes very little effort to “fall” from the high bar to the low bar and end up in a handstand. If you teach the one hand release style, don’t have your girls try to turn from the toes or with the torso. Releasing one hand at a time will cause the body to turn, and with very little effort, increasing the chances of keeping feet together, etc. There are several good ways to teach underswings. Go with the one that works best for you. The same holds true for the Pak vs. bail decision. Go with the one that works best for the gymnast.

    1. Thanks Mark. You and Dave Adlard are the strongest advocates for the early one hand release drills. If it works, great. Many girls have problems with that skill, as you know.

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