A Painless Approach
Rolls are "any movement where the baton makes one or more revolutions on the
surface of any part of the body without being held or caught in the hand."
Tips for successful teaching
Approach a roll scientifically, making the athlete aware of what makes it work.
Athletes become frustrated when they practice rolls because they do not understand the
basic mechanics and cannot make the necessary corrections during practice. Rolls often
take more time to learn than "tricks", but you can speed up the learning process
if you lay the right foundation from the very beginning Do not allow cheating at any time.
Do not allow bad habits to develop. Most important, don't try to speed up the process by
Teach rolls in a proper progression. Never teach a roll that has several elements
without out teaching each of the individual elements first. Drill the elements until they
are perfect and the athlete can "feel" the roll.
Teach all rolls Left and Right, Forward and Reverse
Break the roll down into its elements so that the athlete has a complete understanding
of what will make it work.
Body and footwork control all rolls. Teach body and baton separately to insure success
Make sure the athlete understands the importance of the following
· Proper path
· Correct position of hand, arm, or elbow
· Balance point of baton
Always teach a preparation and a follow through This helps to maintain the proper
Sometimes "catch" is a naughty word
Develop a variety of rolls. Don't just use variations of the same roll.
Construct a roil series so that it can lead to connection when the athlete is ready.
Maintain a positive attitude when teaching rolls
You as the coach do not have to be able to do the roll to teach it, but you do have to
understand its mechanics.
A. Single element rolls (teach them left and right, forward and reverse)
1. Straight arm roll
2. Hand roll
3. Wrist roll
4. Elbow roll
5. Neck roll
6. Open arm roll
B. Simple combinations of single element rolls
1. 2 hand rolls
2. Elbow extension
3. 2 arm rolls
4. Retraction roll
5. Hand/elbow/layout roll
C. Continuous figure 8 rolls
1. ½ fishtail
2. ½ reverse fishtail
3. Teach in increments of 1/2
4. Add variations as the athlete becomes ready for
them (forward and reverse carries)
D. Continuous elbow rolls & continuous back neck rolls