“The very symbol of the sport, the handstand, is indeed one of the most important fundamental elements in gymnastics. Although often viewed as an individual skill, the handstand shape is repeatedly seen in every event, every exercise, and virtually every movement sequence.” Dr Gerald S. George, Ph.D. “Championship Gymnastics. Biomechanical Techniques For Shaping Winners” 2010
The handstand is fundamental to gymnastics yet we often skip the body shape necessary before we ask an athlete to balance in that body shape. This is easy to do up against a mirror or wall. I prefer using the mirrors in my gym (minus the yucky finger prints) because it allows them to look into their own eyes and see their position. Notice that she is in handstand position without having to worry about balance.