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To SPOT or NOT????

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gymnastmom96

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Lately at meets, I have noticed the different coaching styles, in particular to spotting gymnast. Our coaches are not spotters (except when really needed). Her coaches let us know up front their beliefs regarding spotting. I agree with them. - They do spot on new skills and problem skills.

I see coaches out on the floor spotting during the meet - even in optionals! I don't get that. If you have to spot a child during a meet, maybe they should scratch that event.
My dd would rather stand on the beam in the same position for 5 minutes and cry trying to get her nerve up than ask for a spot. I have seen her coach offer and my dd declined.
Any ideas?
 

bogwoppit

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Our coaches will stand by the vault at a meet, just in case someone has a crash, my big DD was once saved from a nasty splat by her coach. I was a very happy Mum. But, they only let girls vault who can consistently do it at the gym.

They also will stand between the bars for the younger ones who are mastering the squat on jump to the high bar, out girls need it here for the level 4 equivalent, sometimes they miss or fall over the bar.

I have never seen a coach spot on the floor, the deduction is not worth it, at our gym if you don't have the skill you do not compete the event. On beam, bars and floor they would take the deduction. But remember we do not have compulsories in the same way as USAG, we can always add in an extra A somewhere.

In the gym they spot on new skills, or if a girls is returning from injury and feeling a bit nervous. I know there is a lot of variety from coach to coach with spotting, whatever works is good I suppose.:D
 
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gymnasticsbabie

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i love getting a spot haha. I only like it on somethings on bars and on floor. I hate getting spot on beam though. at meets I usually get my first double back spotted and the I'll do one by myself.
I dont know that it is healthy to stand there and cry rather than asking for a spot. I chose life, so i get a spot for safety reasons. If im not sure about something I would rather get spot on it first and get the feel of it.
 

gymjourneymom

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Our coach as doesn't believe in spotting at competitions...and I agree with this approach. The gymnast needs to "own" a skill both mentally & physically, in order to progress. So "forcing" a skill in a meet with a spot, doesn't help the gymnast "own" the skill by herself... it's not the same personal accomplishment for the gymmie. It may get her thru the meet in the short haul...but not the best help in the long haul for her development as a gymnast. We had experience with this last year. DD had a mental block about going backwards on the beam...wouldn't go for her BWO(although she could do it beautifully!). DD would stand there(for an eternity:)) in the "go" position & not "go" until the coach put her index finger in the small of dd back?!? Not really even a spot(LOL!). But it was all mental. If the coach would have done this in meets, dd would have probably become dependant on it. Instead dd didn't compete beam until she "owned" the skill & could do it both mentally & physically without a "spot". Long story short(well maybe not so short)...the 1st meet dd competed beam...took 1st on beam & 2nd AA. She owned the skill & it was beautiful memorable moment for her(one the most important life lessons she has learned so far), the coach(who has the patience of a saint!) & the team(who supported her all along). A real personal best moment:) Would it have had the same impact & meaning to dd if the coach "spotted" her at meets...I think not. In the end, this wasn't just about a gymnastic skill...it was a life lesson about trying hard & not giving up:) Knowing she has the power within herself...it's something she will use in every aspect of her life:) Can you tell I'm in awe of her:) What helped my dd was a the undying support from her coach & team. Everyone kept it positive & supportive...("You can do it, your the boss of the beam!")...DD learned positive "self talk" & visualization....(got a DVD from gymsmarts.com on fear/ CD on visualization on e-bay) it took months...a million BWO...until 1 day SHE did it...on her own. Now she's working on BHS, I honestly never thought I'd see this day! Best wishes to you & your DD. Hope you find something useful in my long winded reply:)
 

gymgymgymnast08

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I can see what you mean like gymnasticsbabie said getting spotted for the first one or whatever but if you need a spot during the routine you obviously shouldn't be doing it but I mean if you usually do it and suddenly at a meet it looks like you are going to hurt yourself I can see the coach jumping in and spotting it. I like my coach to like stand close if I'm learning a new skill but usually its more scary to have them spot! Just throw it over the pit first!
 

gymjourneymom

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Me again! Just checking....why does your dd say she can't go for her skill? Is this a mental block or does she not physically have the skill yet? In either case... spotting during practice &/or privates is just what she does need:)....as long as it's done in a positive/supportive manner. She should not feel "stressed" about asking for or accepting a spot during practice...that is her time for learning correct??? I just don't agree with spotting a skill in competition that the gymmie doesn't "own" yet. Can you schedule some private lessons with the coach your dd feels the most comfortable getting spots from? Maybe she doesn't want to get help in front of her teammates??? #1...she needs to be & feel safe doing the skill. #2 she needs to feel comfortable accepting a spot to attain #1. My dd is very "strongwilled" & there is only 1 coach in our gym that she felt "comfortable" enough with to accept her help. Others lost patience with her & told her to "just get over it"...those coaches made the whole process take much longer:( Sometimes it just takes the right personalities to click! My dd's coach is an angel:) Wish I could lend her too you,LOL! But then again... her style might not be right for your DD. Hope your dd finds her angel too. Keep me posted:)
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Our coaches have spotted the smaller kids on vault and bars. At her last meet, little DD was saved by her coach on vault. She had 1 foot on the springboard, and the other foot slipped off the front of the springboard, she had enough power to get up into the handspring but not enough to get the 2nd flight. If coach had not caught her, she would have slammed her head/neck on the vault table. As it was, she caught the back of her head on the way down.

The other day at practice, I asked her why she had coach spot her standing back tuck and she said "because I wanted her to" (coming from a 7 yr old).

My older DD would never ask for a spot.

I have been to meets where the coaches practically carry the level 4 girls through their BHS on floor or cartwheel on beam.
 
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KBT

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Back when I used to coach, I always stood there for things like bar dismounts and releases for safety. All my girls were competing elements they were able to do safely on their own, but you never know in a meet - different equipment, extra adrenaline - I like to be there just in case. I'll also spot skills in warm-ups for the same reason.

I coached a lot of high school gymnastics and sometimes we'd let kids do skills they couldn't do without a spot in meets. Things like backwalkovers on beam. It was mostly to get them exposure to competing and to get used to doing their new skills under pressure.
 
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cheekygirl93

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wen i was a gymnast, in competitions we would get a spot for the first tsukahara and then wed do it on our own. the spot was onli like our coach standing ther having an arm out for support. we onli got a spot because u dnt no wat the vault was going 2 b lik, so it was a sfty thing. but it didnt help me once wen i slid my hands on the vault, tuck tsuking and landing on mi head!!hehe luckily it didnt hurt!
 

Kayleigh

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My coaches pretty much decide on their own if someone should be spotted or not. For example; one of the girls on my team has some problems as far as arm bending goes, and her shoulder flexibility isn't all that great. During meets, she would get spotted on her BWO on beam because she just wasn't physically capable of doing it herself. But on the flipside, there's someone like me, TERRIFIED of doing my flyaway (they still scare me). About two weeks ago, my coach Dave stepped away and said, "You're on your own. You can do this, you don't need me there. I never even touch you." So after working up the nerve, I did it. And I'm actually really glad he stepped off.

Basically, they know what they're doing. If a spot is absolutely needed, they will. If they know you can do it by yourself, they won't spot. In optional, if you can't do the skill, you don't do it. That's why some of our 8's don't throw Tsuk's yet. :)
 

gymjourneymom

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Please don't take my post the wrong way...SAFETY is always job #1. (Didn't that used to be used in a Ford commercial???). Coaches standing by in case of a misshap is one thing...it's a given for safety reasons. Hands on spotting during meet warm up also fine, different equipment to get used to, etc. But hands on spotting to get a gymnasts to compete a skill in a meet during competetion? To me, that means the gymmie doesn't have the skill yet & should scratch that event until they "own" the skill. Are you really doing a level "whatever" skill if the coach has both hands on you & is "helping you over"? I guess it's the amount & type of spotting you're referring to, that needs to be clarified. I don't feel a gymmie should be competing at a certain level, if she needs hands on spotting"help"during actual competition just to complete the skill. She needs to scratch that event....go back to her own "familar/ comfortable" gym & get the skill there(with spotting)....until she can do it without spotting....then she can take it on the road(without hands on spoting) :)
 

Kayleigh

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No, I totally gotcha. The thing with that one teammate is she was in level 5 for three years, won bars at states last year, got 2'd on beam, etc. It would've been kind of rediculous to keep her there again. She moved up to level 6, and had a rough time again. She's novice now, though, and it's working out lovely for her. She doesn't need spots anymore. :)
 

gymjourneymom

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That's great your teammate was able to work thru her issues...I give her a lot of credit for sticking with it, I can imagine how stressed she was...she obviously had the skill & talent to perform so well at states:) Always nice to hear a success story:)
 

gymmomntc2e6

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my dd, L3, had needed a spot on her mill circle - to get up to top of bar when she fell back. She is still struggling w/ the skill, but she can pull herself up to upright again w/o spot now.

I understand the point of can't do it - don't compete. But at the same time I would hate for her to have been held back due to a struggle w/ one skill when she can do everything else for her level.
 
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I say in warm up it is not a bad thing to help with confidence but during the routine the gymnast shouldn't be getting a spot. Now on bar dismounts and vault for saftey sake yes they should be there just in case.

I know my dd likes a little spot to get the confidence as she says she likes to know she didn't loose it. Mind you she is 4 and well skills tend to be lost some where in the gym all the time and she has to find them. Prime example her back hip she can do it all the time if her first one is spotted. If she is not spotted the first time well she has a mental block and that skill is gone some where hiding in the gym waiting for her to find it again.
 

Kayleigh

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That's great your teammate was able to work thru her issues...I give her a lot of credit for sticking with it, I can imagine how stressed she was...she obviously had the skill & talent to perform so well at states:) Always nice to hear a success story:)
Definately! She qualified for sectionals at prep too, which she most likely wouldn't have done at 6. We were all so excited for her. :)

She was definately frustrated for a while. It's good she can look at the bright side of things. :D
 

cccam

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there are three types of coaches at my gym:

type #1:
the coach who just screams at you if you don't do it. [well not at me, but at this poor girl named svetlana, poor girl should've never come up to level 6 but that story's for another day.]

anyway, type #2:
the one who even though you've been doing this skill consistently and CAN most certaintly do it by yourself, she always has to stick her hand in their to spot. it gets annoying. and i only get that coach at the mock meets we have. OH JOY!

type #3:
the one who knows you are extremely scared of doing it by yourself, even though you are perfectly capable of doing it, says she will spot you, and then takes her hand away at the last second and does not spot. i personally like this coach because she proves it to her and me that i really can do it without a spot.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Spotting during a meet is something I avoid if at all possible, but I believe there are situations that warrant it. It all depends on the skill, on the kid, and on the meet.

I would not have a kid do a routine with anything that they they are not capable of doing without a spot. I might, depending on the kid and on the skill, allow them to compete a skill they only have with 80% consistency -- and I'd stand there ready to spot if necessary.

Also, sometimes mental issues come into play; for example, I had one girl who all of a sudden freaked out on back tumbling. Never crashed or anything, just was suddenly terrified of connecting a roundoff to a backhandspring. Because that skill is so essential, we did not take it out of her routine. Which meant a coach had to stand there on the floor so she'd do it.

Now, this is all for run-of-the-mill meets. For something like the state meet, I would not allow a kid to compete a skill they could not do without a spot. Period. For bars or beam I might stand there ready to catch if necessary, but that's it. The only exception is flyaways, and variants thereof, for which I ALWAYS stand there. This is more a result of doing so many meets under the boys' code than anything else -- with boys, a coach is REQUIRED to be standing right there for the whole routine.

Vault for me is the same as bar dismounts -- the boys code requires there to be a coach standing there, and I don't see any harm in it, so I do the same for girls.
 

tumblerK

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My teammates would get spot in meets occasionally, but that was a mixture of inability and fear. The coaches always said that if you didn't have all your skills you can't compete, but with a tiny team they really need everybody to compete. Then when my old coach left and a whole new batch of coaches come in I didn't like most of them and didn't trust them and decided to get brave rather than have them spot. Now when the old coach comes for a visit I don't like her spotting me even when things are going really crummy. (ex. beam BWO)
 
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gymnasticsbabie

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okay i'm sorry some of these replies are crazy. I can somewhat agree with the fact that lower level gymnast shouldnt "need" a spot (even though i firmly believe that when your learning any skill you should get a spot) but just TRUST me. when your daughter/you get to a high level and start doing doubles, yurchencos, paks, ect. she will want that spot. I don't care who you are or how good you are, i think its always better to learn it with a spot so you don't learn the wrong technique. for example: my coach always spots my yurchenco fulls. he literally throws my chest into the flip to speed up my rotation so i "set the flip in motion" before twisting. if he didn't spot me, i would basically be a.)dead, b.) in the hospital with 2 broken ankles, c.) in serious pain from landing short, or d.) i would have developed a mental block and probably never have gone for it again.

Let me give you another example if you still don't believe me. MY coach was spotting me on hindorfs. and they were going really well. And i could basically do it. so one day he was like what the heck try it by yourself. and i was like i don't know i'm not sure i'm ready. BUT i did it anyways because i can't say no to my coach (i'll probably get kicked out, ps: this is the gym i just left). So i go for it and because i hadn't gotten the "feel" for it i went straight up... and then straight down on the bar...shins first. i was practically in a kneeling position on the bar. ummm can i just tell you i have giant scars down my legs and people at my school think i got surgery on them?

and the reason i get spot at meets is the floor sometimes is harder/different. and lastly my coach has saved my life plenty of times while spotting me. I don't take the whole "not spotting" thing lightly. its kind of a big deal when you could possibly die on your skills.

and no, its not just me that coaches have saved, so please don't just assume that its only me who's appreciates a spot.
 
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