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Concept of a spotting workshop

Diese "Einführung in die Bedingungen der Hilfestellung" wurde beim Frankfurter Akrobatiktreffen 2017 von Trudy, Wybren, Bart & ?? vorgetragen

​ (use 4 persons as instructors, that 1 person could only speak and explain and the 3 others could demonstrate)

A good spotting in acrobatics is an art and you need to learn and train it like acrobatics itself. So the idea of this demonstration and workshop is first to show some very common mistakes in spotting and later to train the right way of spotting.


1. One person is relaxing (“child’s-pose” from yoga)/two other people come close and are trying a shoulderstand/the flyer is falling to the back and on the relaxing person…

 => please take care, that you have enough space for your trick!

Just show and explain

2a. For this example, please add first, that the german word “ab” means “down”…(so the opposite from the english “up”)! Feet-to-hand on S-base (or box-pose ) and the arms of the base are really shaky/he says “ab!”/ the flyer jumps high, the arms of the base are collapsing and he shouts: “Fuck, why did you jump?!”

   =>​be aware of the language and agree on orders!

Just show and explain

2b. Two persons (pick and ask them in advance) are talking with “wild” gestures in a foreign language and going to 2-man-high. It is obvious, that the spotter does not understand anything! He shout’s: “Stop, stop…!”

   =>​be aware of the language and make sure, that everyone understands the subject!

Just show and explain

2c. Sitting on feet and the base says:” I throw her away with a half turn”/spotter takes her arm in the right way, but stays at the same spot/base throws and the flyer is pulled back from the spotter.

    =>​be sure that the trick is clear for the base, the flyer and the spotter

Show the good version too! Just show and explain

3. A big guy climbs on another guy to 2-man-high/they are doing the hand-2-hand grip but it’s really shaky/the flyer asks a little woman to spot/she comes closer, but then she realises, that it won’t work…

  =>​body-proportions: make sure, the spotter is able to spot

This also could mean, that if you will do a difficult and dangerous trick, don’t ask a beginner to spot! A similar case:​Trust and feeling => agree that everyone is feeling comfortable! If someone is not confident and happy (for example with the spotter), he should say it and step back. Just show and explain

4. Feet-to-hand on L-base/spotter is nearly a meter away from the flyer (and is distracted by someone or something)/flyer falls back and only by chance the spotter catches the flyer/ “I caught you!”

  =>​attention – be present and awake!

Just show and explain

5a. One-foot-to-hand on L-base/spotter is touching/suddenly the arms of base are breaking to the side/only by chance the spotter can catch…

  =>​by some tricks it’s necessary to have a touching grip!!! If the spotter has straight arms, he is too far away!

Show, explain and everyone tries the right version (hands touching on hips or arm arround)

5b. 2-man-high/spotter has a touching grip/flyer falls and spotter prevents any falling

  =>​The aim is to prevent any falling with a touching grip!!!
            Especially at some high tricks you won’t have a chance of catching, because of the big momentum…

First show and explain, then some preliminary practices for the students: a person falling from “bench”, bottom and 2-man-high and spotters will catch him (4 persons from the side) Later everyone tries the right version in 2-man-high (4 spotters and the flyer falls wherever he wants)

6. Shoulderstand on feet/legs of base are going slowly in front/spotter is holding the legs high/ flyer is falling on his head

 =>​In upside-down-positions of the flyer the aim is to bring the feet down to the ground!!!

​So never hold the legs and try to bring the flyer on his feet! ​Show the good version (which ever)! Show, explain and everyone tries the right version (teacher can go arround and pushing flyers down…J)

7a. A simple shoulderstand in hands on L-base/the spotter is standing a little behind/suddenly the base collapses and the flyer falls in the face of the base…

7b. or Reverse needle on feet (the danger is to slip from the feet and not the falling over)​

  =>​Think about the trick and the persons (level) and realize where the danger is.

​Aim for protecting the head! Show the good version! Show, explain and everyone tries the right version

8. Flyer runs and jumps to sitting on feet/feet from the base are slipping away and flyer falls down, because the spotters are going down too…

  =>​keep the flyer high and be aware, that things can happen fast

​Show the good version! Show, explain and everyone tries the right version (base decides, if he catches good or not)

8. “Supported-back-salto”: flyer stands/base stands behind, bringing his neck between legs of flyer/flyer leans back and base comes up/the flyer stumbles back and falls/spotters are losing the grip to early…

  =>​realize, that the spotter has to stay or go with the flyer until the movement has finished.

Show, explain and everyone tries the right version Explain first the counter-twist-grip (“pre-turned-2-opposite-hands-grip”) J!


In general: - if one person is not sure, don’t do it! - catch only tricks on your own level - if you are standing on the side, be very clear with your body-language, if you are spotter or watcher


Suggestion: introduce yourself to a new partner and tell your level of experience



That’s it…J

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