First I should mention my personal opinion, vault is the lamest discipline of German wheel. I find Straight-line and Spiral vastly more interesting, unique, and valuable disciplines than Vault. Within vault there is: less trick variability, more setup required, more space/equipment needed, and more risk of injury. If the sport of Gymnastic wheel were to get rid of the entire competitive discipline of Vault, I would applaud the decision. Despite all that, here are the reasons you should continue to practice your vaults.
- If you want to compete you need to Vault. I may joke about them removing Vault from the competitions, but will not be happening anytime soon. As long as Vault is in the competition you should at least have a basic vault you can use to compete, otherwise you are just throwing point away. Even if you do a straddle over as your vault that is still a few points that will be added to your overall score. Your overall score will never be lowered by competing in another event. If you want to get a strong overall score you muse compete in all 3 disciplines.
- There are some usefully skills in vault. I break Vault into 2 basic sequences. A-getting onto the wheel and B-getting off the wheel. The 2nd half of the equation is all about your personal tumbling experience. Can you do a back full on the ground? Now do it off a wheel. This is the more impressive part of vault, but for me the less useful section. If we ignore all the jumping off and flipping business then we can focus on the more valuable half, getting on (balancing on) the wheel. A simple straddle vault can offer you some interesting trick variations, and any standing on top of the wheel is a very easy and impressive trick for performance.
- Practicing vault will make your other skills better. The topside of a wheel is not a space we find ourselves often in other basic skills. Basic vaults allow us to develop that “wheel sense” of knowing how to move or balance a wheel even when you are standing on top of it. Cultivating that “wheel sense” will give you more control as you beginning to work on more advanced decentral elements. The straddle vault is the easiest and safest way to begin to train this skill set.
So it is not the most fun or glamorous discipline of German wheel but I believe that vault is still an important skill set to cultivate, even if you don’t plan on being a competitive German wheeler. So go out there and practice your jumping vaulters.