If the gymnast is having problems showing a tight arch and the coach is confident of being able to handle the gymnast’s weight he places a hand on the upper back reaching toward the further shoulder area while keeping the other hand on the hamstring. When the gymnast jumps back the coach stops the motion in mid air to allow the athlete to position her body into the correct shape. If the coach is spotting on the left side of the gymnast his right hand goes on the upperback to the far shoulder area and his left hand spots on the closer hamstring. This drill also allows the gymnast to work on her head position during the first flying phase. The head should not be stuck all the way down forward nor should it be all the way out backwards. It is more desirable to aim for a neutral head position or just slightly out in the flying direction. To master the second flying phase from hands to feet the gymnast must practice different drills because this one does not offer a good opportunity for arms repulsion. No coach should attempt this kind of spotting with gymnasts whose weight they have not tested first by lifting them from a standing position to a tight arch without any jumping back. For the large majority of gymnasts learning standing back handsprings the coach must spot standing up himself and placing his hands on the middle or far side of he gymnast’s lower back and the close hamstring. A coach may decide to kneel down only to spot very light or small gymnasts so he can reach under their weight better. A coach should never attempt to spot from a sitting position because he will be unable to follow the gymnast motions and move himself quickly and effectively too.
Back Handspring Spot and Stop
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