i've started training level 7's the past couple months and i'm ready to have them start working on back halfs. Unfortunately we don't have a pit and I have no experience spotting twisting. Can anyone help me out here by describing it or posting a video??
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After they do the layout jump 1/2 turn, throw a soft 8" mat on the floor for them to land on. Have them do the layout, when they see the floor turn. They shouldn't need a spot this way and when they do get it, they will have landed it 8" higher than they will need to land it later. Just make sure that your mat won't slide.
If you really want to spot it, you spot on the side that makes them twist towards you. I prefer to bump them with my inside arm then as they come down, put my other hand on the inside hip. My outside hand pushes the inside hip away while my inside hand helps guide the outer hip in. I don't know if that makes sense, but that's how I do it. I have also seen other coaches bump with the outside arm, then catch and turn. Really, you shouldn't have to turn the gymnast. A bump and catch should be enough. Or a soft mat should be enough. I never had a pit to practice in and still learned a full on the floor -- and never had a spot.