Pac man verses boulder to help learn back handsprings??

Liontamer

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Hi! I’m new here. Please help. I have several kids struggling to learn back handsprings. Which is better to help them, the smarter spotter, pac man, or boulder? I’ve always done hands on double spotting for beginners but I have one who is very frightened of going backwards. (I think it’s because she’s a bit heavier and she’s afraid of being dropped.)
 
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Jard.the.gymnast

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Pac man is not good for all sizes, especially bigger kids may struggle with their heads hitting the ground before their arms can reach
 

raenndrops

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They sell the pac man in different sizes which are designed for different heights. The same with the smart spotter and the boulder.
Of course, the boulder says you could just put panel mats in front of it (for shorter girls) or under it (for taller girls) to accommodate gymnasts of different sizes (which would also work with the smart spotter since they are basically the same thing).

All that being said, we have a pac man. It works well ... and for the taller / bigger girls, we can flip it upside down and have them go over the arc - which also works well for them for front walkovers and front handsprings (for smaller girls, we use an octagon for this drill).
 

Liontamer

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They sell the pac man in different sizes which are designed for different heights. The same with the smart spotter and the boulder.
Of course, the boulder says you could just put panel mats in front of it (for shorter girls) or under it (for taller girls) to accommodate gymnasts of different sizes (which would also work with the smart spotter since they are basically the same thing).

All that being said, we have a pac man. It works well ... and for the taller / bigger girls, we can flip it upside down and have them go over the arc - which also works well for them for front walkovers and front handsprings (for smaller girls, we use an octagon for this drill).
Ok great, that’s helpful. Thank you so much!
 

blankota

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All that being said, we have a pac man. It works well ... and for the taller / bigger girls, we can flip it upside down and have them go over the arc - which also works well for them for front walkovers and front handsprings (for smaller girls, we use an octagon for this drill).
 

Aussie_coach

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Personally, I hate the pac man for teaching flics.

When kids start by sitting in the cut out piece, ready to push back into the flic, there is often the tendency to roll forward, the feet tuck under and then the knees come forward in front of their toes, one of the worst habits to break and very Da gaming to the technique of their flic.

For the boulder on the other hand then need to jump backwards into the skill, just as they would on the floor.

Many kids also struggle to get a nice tight arch in the pac man, their drop their body into the cut out piece and go over with closed hips, almost in a tuck.

The boulder forces them into a better tight arch shape.

When kids are training with the pac man they need very close supervision and feedback in order to ensure the technique does not drop, while part of the purpose of these spotting devices is to allow multiple drills to occur at once, so all the focus of the coach is not just on the one station. The boulder on the other hand gives feedback to the gymnasts (does not eliminate the need for supervision of course.)
 

kiwi2406

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We use a pac-man for flics but we never have them start 'sitting' in the cut-out, for the reasons mentioned above. Instead we start them standing in a question mark shape (dish with bent legs) which ideally is how they would propel from a round off. This teaches the jump backwards, as well as the correct technique with lifting the hips instead of sinking onto the foam shape :)

We also find that pac-mans are more versatile, because we can turn them over and they have a stable rounded surface perfect for starting forwards handsprings and forwards walkovers.
 
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