In this spotting approach the coach is assisting from the opposite side of the gymnast's free hip initiation and helping to assure that the athlete has enough flying momentum toward the upper rail and that her body, legs, and heels do not hit the lower bar.
Gymnasts begin learning back hip circles from a small cast. Right when their bodies start coming back down to the support, the coach standing on the opposite side of the bar, reaches with his arms under the rail and places one hand on the lower back and the other on the hamstring area. The hand that was on the lower back then reaches under the bar to stop the gymnast from "over rotating" the skill.
It is very important to understand the dynamic nature of spotting any gymnastics skill. The spotting patterns must be adapted to what happens on each individual attempt. the coach must be ready to move his hands to different areas according to the occurrences of each situation.
It is wise to spot a novice gymnast attempting front hip circles down until she can demonstrate control to lower down at a safe speed. At the beginning, the coach holds the nearest forearm to assure that he will have a firm grip on the gymnast encase she lets go or rips off the bar. He places the other hand on the back of her legs to help the athlete slow down the skill.
One of the main differences between spotting a front hip circle down and a whole front hip circle to support is that for the complete skill the spotter places himself on the same side of the bar that the gymnast starts the skill. Notice how after the back pull over the coach switched sides to spot the front hip circle to support when the gymnast begins to speed around. The coach standing on the left side spots the hamstring area with his left hand and his right hand spots the gymnast's back. If he is just spotting a front hip down he switches to the other bar side again.
In order to spot a front hip circle, the coach stands on the same side of the rail as the gymnast does when in front support. As the athlete falls forward, the coach moves his arms under the bar. He places one hand behind the knees or lower hamstring and the other on the middle of the back. The spotter keeps his hands behind the knees to keep the gymnast from moving away from the bar during the circle and uses the other hand to help the gymnast come back to a front support when she is finished.
Though male gymnasts tend to perform the higgins while already bailing down, this skill can be performed beginning in the handstand support as optimally seen on the uneven bars. Spotting the gymnasts on a low single rail allows them to experience the body weight transfer and technical motions required to move and turn from an overgrip to an eagle-grip position.
Back handsprings can be spotted with one hand on the lower back and the other hand on the closer hamstring. If the spotter stands on the left of the gymnast the right hand goes on the back and the left hand on the nearer hamstring. During the second flying phase the hands switch the left to the abdominal area and the right to the lower back to assist with any problems during the landing.
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.
Starting to teach back handsprings without arm swings may help the gymnasts to get used to keeping the arms closer to the head in the early learning stages plus it can save the coach a couple of face slaps. Place the gymnast on a position as if they were coming from a round off or another back handspring.
Once we are relatively sure that the gymnast is not going to throw the arms out too open we can add the arms swing to their spotted back handsprings. This gymnast is trying to master a hollow turn over second flying phase instead of just piking it down. Coaches may use every training opportunity to help establish good posture habits like standing up with stomach area in and buttocks tucked in too.
Once the gymnast has a fair snap down from folding mats, they can begin practicing back handsprings with a spot. This is a good introduction to connecting a handspring from the hands-to-feet flying phase and is very helpful as initial preparation for roundoff back handsprings.