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15 May 2017

Belt Spotting

Remember it is no mistake to leave a belt on too long, but it is a disastrous mistake to remove it too soon. Always be conservative about removing a belt. Further, if a horizontal exercise bar is recommended the stunt is dangerous, and the student must be protected.

The Hand Spotting Belt

When the beginning tumbler is sufficiently accomplished to attempt somersault stunts, the use of the hand spotting belt becomes imperative. The hand spotting belt is most frequently used when students are learning the back somersault, the round-off back hand spring in series, and the round-off back somersault. When the round-off is to be used, the supporting ropes must be crossed, one in front and one behind the participant, depending upon which way he turns when he executes his round-off. The hand belt is very versatile in that the spotters can run along with the participant, but, once again, care and skill are essential.

The Overhead Spotting Belt (Mechanic)

The overhead spotting belt is most useful for such apparatus as the trampoline on which the individual does, or attempts, the stunt in a relatively stable position - that is, he travels vertically but not horizontally while executing the stunt. This equipment is also useful for spotting giant swings on the horizontal bar. Under these circumstances, the belt must of course be carried around the horizontal bar, in anticipation of the participants direction of travel. This belt is also useful when students are attempting such moves as the back over-bar on the horizontal exercise bar. Here again, the direction of rotation must be anticipated. When using the belt, care must be taken to provide the participant with sufficient freedom to that portion of his move where no support is required, then the slack must be taken from the ropes, in anticipation of a point of danger.

With specific reference to the trampoline, an effort should be maintained to keep the slack from the ropes at all times. his means that the spotter will have to draw on the ropes each time the participant bounces from the trampoline. Naturally, no particular concern is felt for the welfare of the trampoline participant when he is in contact with the trampoline, but the spotter must be sensitive to the participants position in the air --in anticipation of his descent to the trampoline - and manipulate the belt so as to provide the participant ample time to achieve a safe and balanced position on the trampoline when contact is made with the trampoline bed.

The Overhead Traveling Spotting Belt

The overhead traveling belt has the same arrangement of pulleys as the overhead spotting belt, except that in addition to the mechanic, a set of wheels is arranged supporting the mechanic which ride on a taut cable or track across the gymnasium. This type of installation is similar in all respects to the overhead spotting belt, except that it provides for mobility. It is very useful in teaching tumbling activities. Its principal disadvantage is the initial expense of installation.

The Twisting Belt

The twisting belt is a simple hand spotting belt arrangement with the additional factor that a ball bearing suspension is arranged around the individual's waist. It was originally developed to enable students to learn twisting stunts in tumbling and on the trampoline, as well as certain grip changes and twists on the horizontal bar.

Web Belt Loops for High Bar

Some instructors utilize web belt loops to secure the pupil to the high bar by his wrists. This technique is useful to aid students in making rapid progress. However, the instructor must be sure all fundamental moves leading to a new stunt have been accomplished without the straps (loops) before the straps are utilized.

Protecting the Hands

It is recommended that beginners be introduced to the use of palm protectors early because often the condition of the hands limits the workout period. It seems that boys who work as beginners without protection find it difficult to utilize palm protectors when they become competitors. With particular reference to the horizontal exercise bar, use fine Emory cloth to keep the bar free of caked chalk. Always provide plenty of hand chalk, and insist that it be used to keep the hands dry.


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