For Coaches Ethical Spotting?

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Geoffrey Taucer

Staff member
Gold Membership
Jan 21, 2007
Baltimore, MD
To me, every time I find a way to eliminate spotting from a skill progression, I feel like the results improve significantly.

And casts are the best example; I used to spot them a lot, then I started teaching p-bar swings and completely stopped spotting casts altogether, and suddenly all of my L5's were cleanly hitting handstand.


Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
Finding ways to reduce the need to spot can be so beneficial. It means you develop an array of new drills to help your gymnasts learn to understand the actions required.

It also saves your own body, coach injuries and wear and tear are not going to help your gymnasts.

Also many coaches are not so big themselves, we were gymnasts. I am 5’0” so there are some practicality issues to overly relying on spotting.

Having said that there are some skills I would always spot. Spotting every gymnast when they jump to high bar or swing on high bar at least u til level 6, when I know they are very experienced with it for example.

I always spot early work on back handsprings, round off back handsprings, back tucks etc. when gymnasts start these skills it’s a very new feeling and they are new doing backwards tumbling, it’s too early to know who is going to get scared and pull out.

I do spot cast handstands but not for strength. It’s too much in the body to spot hundreds of vast handstands. I spot them to help the gymnast feel where they need to be. Kips are similar.

I would always spot giants, flyaways, the first flipping vaults, the first Yurchenko timers, early attempts at backwards skills in beam etc. Skills where there is the potential that an athlete who is new to the skill may freeze or pull out mid skill.
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