For Coaches Spotting a heavier tumbler

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Oct 15, 2021
Hi, I teach tumbling at a dance studio and am looking for advice on spotting overweight/heavier students. I have a group of students that are all ready to start learning back handsprings. I could easily spot all but one of them since they are mostly younger or on the smaller side. There is one student who, despite being ready to start learning back handsprings, is a bit on the heavier/almost overweight side. I have limited mats/equipment and am waiting for my studio owner the purchase a handspring trainer but it doesn't seem to be a priority. I can't decide if I should continue to hold the other students back in order to keep the one from being self conscious or if I should go ahead and start back handsprings with the other kids and just make up an excuse as to why the one isn't ready. I feel horrible either way. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
Obviously you are limited by the situation, but with bigger students I aim to use drills to teach the skills rather than spatting. This can be useful for all the kids. I find when you rely more on drills and less on spotting you tend to get a better result, and the kids are less likely to lose skills.

But that method does rely on you having equipment to set those drills up with. The Back handspring trainer would be invaluable. Do you have another teacher you could double spot with? If it’s still an issue with two then a spotting belt can help.

How is her strength? Back handspring (especially if dome incorrectly, which they will at first) put pressure on the bones and joints. With a bigger child, they may need more prerequisites before attempting the skill safely, to ensure there is enough strength to avoid any stress injuries. The safety of both the athlete and the coach must be the first priority.
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