For Coaches teaching/spotting backhandspings.

Status
Not open for further replies.

Robindq

Member
Dec 16, 2007
418
28
Ontario, Canada
I have just started teaching an acro class and 3 of the girls want to learn back handsprings. I coach rec gymnastics but i have never taught or spot (besides girls who know what they're doing) a back handspring before.

Two of the girls are definitely ready to learn back handsprings. One girl goes to my gym and has done them before (barely), and the other has learned back handsprings and roundoff back handsprings (with a spot) last year but has now quit gym. I think they are both small enough that i can easily support their weight. I really want to be able to spot these two girls so they can either improve their back handsprings for gym or continue learning/perfecting back hadsprings out of gym.

The other girl who wants to learn one has an ok backwalkover, she just sometimes has trouble kicking over. Should i wait until her backwalkover is better? Since she is older (grade 9, but still small) I will proably have someone help me spot her. I will try and bring in a friend i coach with, who has spot some backhandsprings before, to help me. Should i wait for a double spot for the other two girls also?

sorry about all the questions but basically i need to know what progressions i can do with the girls who haven't done them yet (i only have 2 strips of floor mats). Also, is there a certain way to spot backhandsprings when it is the kids first time? Because i definitely don't want anyone to get hurt.

Thanks,
Robin:confused::)
 
Did ChalkBucket help you?... help us too.

If you can't help financially... tell a friend about us!

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
You could double spot if you're really worried, but if they're small enough to pick up and hold, I just spot back to the handstand and stop them there the first few times (or the first few weeks ;) ).

A strong, tight HS where they can resist downward pressure is a must (push holding their legs...not ridiculously hard, just resistance.) They should be able to push from their shoulders and not bend their elbows.

I vastly, vastly prefer there to be a back walkover in the picture before a BHS. I have spotted BHS in cheer without a back walkover with some older girls, but if you're working with a younger kid from the ground up...personally I think the walkover should be a priority. I feel like you can spot them on the BHS but if they don't have the strength, control, and flexibility to achieve a walkover, in my experience the handspring usually has major technical issues and shoulder angle.

I work the snap down at the same time as the first part to HS. Jump back to a mat stack to a tight open body position is a good lead up (upper body should not be pulled in for the girls just learning at this level, i.e. not landing on back in dish shape. At least in my experience if you want them to get the idea of the correct positions).

I prefer to spot smaller girls kneeling on the ground...easier to push up than to carry them using your back. If you have them try the full thing then make sure to spot the second part. I start on a resi having them go off the end of the track (red strip). Some people like the wedge mat, personally I find that an unnecessarily awkward spotting position with one person, but maybe that's me. I've done that to fix issues or work through a fear, but I don't automatically go there. If you don't have soft mats, then I don't know what the optimal thing to do would be...I usually use several things to get the shaping but mostly softer mats.

Here is a video that shows some drills and spotting techniques. I would use your judgement and not do anything you are comfortable with or results in excessive impact on the kids' joints:

[YOUTUBE]yAOeZBDCDwA[/YOUTUBE]
 
B

BlairBob

Guest
Robin, ask a coach in your gym how to spot the back handspring and see if you can get them to double spot one of their gymnasts. You yourself need confidence in spotting gymnasts. Spotting is really a relationship of trust between the spotter and gymnast. If their isn't that trust, sometimes the skill isn't done with enough confidence and that can be disastrous. I don't spot if the gymnast or myself are not confident.

They should have some semblance of a HS. It's nice if they can do a bridge kickover of some kind. I make it a must for girls, but not so for boys. I still teach the motion somehow though ( down a wedge, off a block, front limber to wall, kick back over ).

Actually the front limber to wall is a good one. They will have to figure out how far to place their hands and end up on a bridge on the wall with their body arched. They need a competent handstand before trying this so they won't just collapse into the wall when kicking past handstand.

2 strips/stacks of floor mats can be a bunch of progressions but honestly a cheese would be more helpful or a barrel.

For munchkins, I kneel usually to save my back. Otherwise, it's a wide squat typically.

One hand on the lower back ( I grab the far oblique muscle with my forearm across their lower back ) and the other on the hamstring of the near leg. Sometimes, they express discomfort if I squeeze their oblique a bit during the spot mid-air. Eventually as they get better, I will place my hand on their lower back. When they are just about ready to get rid of that main hand spot, I will be using just my thumb and index and middle finger.

I spot this way in case I have to get in close mid air and grab around the side of their body and hamstrings to carry them of sorts. This is just in case something happens weird or bad. If they're bigger more than likely I will not be able to hold them in my arms standing mid air but I can lower them down slower, especially if there is a balk.

The hand on the leg can give them a bit of oomph to get over.

I am even more hesistant as the gymnast gets bigger and bigger and is more of a beginner.

Are you in a gymnastics setting or not? I am only asking because you would be liable if you're not.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
Actually the front limber to wall is a good one. They will have to figure out how far to place their hands and end up on a bridge on the wall with their body arched. They need a competent handstand before trying this so they won't just collapse into the wall when kicking past handstand.

Good one! :)

Are you in a gymnastics setting or not? I am only asking because you would be liable if you're not.

I wasn't sure about this as well, but I really wouldn't want to teach beginning BHS on just foam strips. Even with the easiest to spot girls I think the impact is too much personally if they aren't really well conditioned even if they can do the skill, but even then. In HS gymn our floor was wrestling mats or 1.5 inch foam and I could really feel it the next day (just tumbled on it for meets).
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Thank you for supporting our sponsors Energym Music & Norberts!