Coach Wayne,I coach 8th grade cheerleading and many of my girls are working on round off back handsprings and round off back tucks. Can you give me some tips to spot them. I get scared because I am not real sure where they land and it all happens so fast. I am fine spotting standing BHS and tucks.Thank you so much,
The best approach is to become VERY comfortable spotting your girls in VERY fast Round-off RE-BOUND jumps … an full speed back Handspring Rebounds. Make sure you are COMPLETELY behind the kids in their rebound and help to lift/direct… and then decelerate their bodies for soft landings.
If they aren’t at a significant speed (power) then you don’t have much work to do and it probably is premature to be working on combinations. However if they have got some SERIOUS power in their rebounds… you need to start moving BEHIND them to FULLY support the rebound…. A REBOUND-CATCH.
Have them practice BOTH vertical rebounds and horizontal rebounds… and learn to spot BOTH. Depending upon their HEIGHT and SPEED in the rebounds… you’ll be grabbing them (from behind) at the hips… or slightly higher.
On BOTH skills… you’ll need to be standing BESIDE them as they enter the skill… and then QUICKLY (as you know) move BEHIND them for the rebound-CATCH. Yes it’s fast… yes it takes finesse… NO you cannot EVER miss the spot. YES you should help them in the pre-rebound skill… to accelerate & guide it… and THEN… be behind them to lift (or guide back) the rebound… and then slow their decent.
Practice 50-100 rebound-catches…. Just to get your body accustomed to moving quickly into position. AFTER that the transition to spotting a skill should come much easier.
HOWEVER, make sure your girls have VERY good handsprings and tucks STANDING… then moving them to combination skills is MUCH easier on YOU.
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Coach Wayne is the Head Coach for the Savannah College of Art and Design Cheerleading team and Executive Coach of Olympic Gymnast Zuzana Sekerova. His articles, videos and books have been used by students and instructors world wide since 1991. Coach Wayne is available for in-gym instructor training and performance tumbling clinics throughout the year. For booking information, coaches/owners should call 912.398.8082. Students and parents should request coaches/owners to contact Coach Wayne.