I asked DD about it, because she is very picky about spotters. She said there has to be a sense of trust, (and I think she kinda has to like you as a coach) and she has to trust that you will NOT drop her. When she first joined team, she let all three coaches spot and one (hadn’t done gymnastics, was a mom of a level 10 and a XS, was shorter and on the larger side) would struggle to spot her, drop her, fall over when spotting, etc. The other two were prior competition gymnasts (one who did college and one who did level 7 and college cheer) and they were “typical gymnast build”. (They we’re also just better coaches in general and they made things easier to understand for DD. The non gymnast one would tend to explain things in ways for the younger kids to understand and DD wasn’t liking that. Now, however, all of the coaches have gone, and she trusts 1 coach more than the others, but will let the other two team coaches spot. (Other two are both in college, prior competition gymnasts, (lvl 7 and 10) but are kinda skinny and also the “typical build”) It took DD a bit to trust them because she wasn’t 100% sure that they wouldn’t drop her or mess her up. The other coach she 100% trusts. She’s kinda short, and on the larger side, but she really understands mental blocks (and will work with the girls in depth to help them) (DD had mental blocks on back tumbling, going to handstand on bars, and FHS vaults for the longest time). She’s only dropped DD once, and it was the first day (and it was kind of DDs fault - she needed a HEAVY spot and forgot to mention). She also mentioned that in her perspective, as long as your hands aren’t in her privates *purposefully* you’re okay in her book. She now trusts the one coach so much, she is willing to throw skills like back ticks (she’s never even done one on a trampoline spotted) off a panel mat onto the floor. She also said that some skills she just cannot be spotted on. She HATED learning the squat on with a spot because she thought she was going to hit the spotter and they’d both fall or she’d get injured. also hated spotting front ticks because they “just felt off” to be spotted on.
-trust matters big time
—also on trust, it matters how they think of you (are they comfortable, have you spotted other similar girls, were you a gymnast, etc.)
-some skills just aren’t things they like being spotted
-hand placement doesn’t really matter (at least to my teen)