talking to your young athletes about SPOTTING

Amanda Loudin:

“Talk to your kids about good touch and bad touch and make sure they feel comfortable coming to you if something doesn’t feel right,” she said. “Regularly check in with your kids: Ask them what was good and what was bad about practice and if anything made them feel uncomfortable.” …

… “The highest risk areas are those that allow for one-on-one adult-child interaction, often at the elite level. Those activities that involve body positioning, such as swimming or gymnastics, exacerbate the risk because touching is a part of the training.” …


A word I like to use with kids is creepy. If anything feels creepy to them, it could be a red flag.

The less spotting in your program, the better.

And be cautious HOW you spot skills. For example, spotting on the sides of the body is safer than a sandwich spot front and back.

Wow – Giorgia Villa – Bars

I appreciate gymnasts with the confidence NOT to ask for a spotter to stand-in.

Click PLAY or watch it on Twitter.

introducing Flyaway on P Bars

Starting backwards Flyaway from Parallel Bars is fast, fun and easy.

Kids don’t need as much spot as there is less risk of hitting feet on the Bar. It works for both boys and girls.

This is Taiso, Saskatoon.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

BEST way to introduce Giants

I finally got back to a Gym where I’d coached 10 years — Taiso, Saskatoon.

Over the 3 weeks I had all beginners (and some trying to improve their backward Giants) do my favourite drill.

The beginner is focused on getting feet back on the spotting boxes as quickly as possible.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Here’s coach Matthew Sparks using the same progression on the actual Bars rail. Her first Giant.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

spotting Tsuk with a belt

Even if you have a pit, it’s not a bad idea to introduce the “flip” this way.

The first time I saw this done was in the 1970s. Crazy coach Dave Copeland asked me to be second spotter on the belt (a pair of blue jeans). It was at an outdoor summer camp. No pit. We RAN alongside the gymnast, spotting on the actual vault horse. Surprisingly, it worked well.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.