One of the many things I like about NCAA gymnastics is that I get to see plenty of straddled casts to handstand. I’d estimate more than 90% of the casts at the 2007 Championships were straddled.
Small animation is Amanda Borden on ShanFan.com.
This flies in the face of the philosophy of many (most?) elite coaches who insist on legs together casts.
Q. Why do College gymnasts end up doing straddle-up?
A. Because it is too difficult to hit precise handstand consistently without form breaks on straight body.
Straight body cast is a frustrating skill.
I recall watching double Olympian Kate Richardson, one of the best gymnasts in the world at that time, working on doing straight body cast perfectly. She could not do it consistently in routine. (Look for the form breaks next time you watch an international FIG meet on TV.)
Straight body casting is only a target skill for me for very small, light kids.
The smart coach teaches both techniques: straight body and straddle up. (And does not allow straight body with feet apart.)