Coaches Drills + Tips for teaching backhandsprings to Taller Girls as a shorter coach?

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May 10, 2021
Hey all! I've been assigned to do privates for 3 13 year old dancers that are trying to transition to cheerleading (main goal is to get backhandspring) and they are all over 5'6" while I am 4'10". Most of my experience is with preschoolers so I was just wondering if there were any tricks or methods for drills that work for taller girls and put less strain on my back. Thanks!
You're actually in a better position to spot being shorter, you have to bend over less to spot them.
  • Bend you knees a lot when you are spotting.
  • Keep your elbows in close to your body and keep the athletes close to you as well. Watch your nose though, having them close is easier on the back, but easier to get hit or kicked in the face.
  • Try kneeling spotting if you think you can manage it.
  • Try spotting in an overhead spotting rig as you can stay fully upright when you are spotting.
  • Use hills.
  • Get a second spotter and double spot.
Overall, if they are not strong enough, then it doesn't really matter how many times you throw them over. Make sure they can do some basic strength, if not, then give them some to work at home and make sure they are getting stronger on it.
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This is great advice! I am shorter coach to and I have found myself struggling with this too!
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