Friday, May 9, 2008

Don't Let Go of the Ropes!

During the 2008 FINA Grand Prix International Diving Meet at the Hall of Fame Aquatic Center, some coaches were "testing out" of overhead spotting proficiency on both trampoline and dryboard. Our proficiency test took place under the watchful eyes of legendary spotters Dick Kimball (University of Michigan -- retired) and Julian Krug (Univ. of Pittsburgh). My group included Ted Hautau (NC State University) and Kevin Sage (Sagebrush Diving -- CO).

While I was waiting my turn to "test" my skills, I recalled what my mentor Charlie Casuto told me when he taught me how to "spot" trampoline more than 20 years ago -- these words still hold true today:

  1. NEVER, EVER let go of the spotting ropes when you have an athlete in the belt -- even when you are not actively "spotting" them.
  2. Make sure the athlete in the spotting belt understands what skill you want them to do.
  3. Never take your eyes off the person in the spotting belt when you are actively spotting them.
  4. Make sure the athlete you are spotting knows and understands that they are NOT to "go" until you are looking at them AND you have given them the "go" command.
  5. Avoid anything that could distract you or cause you to lose your focus when you are actively spotting an athlete.
  6. Practice, Practice, Practice!

WORD OF CAUTION: All coaches should first learn how to spot over a trampoline. After getting proficient at trampoline spotting, then you can move on to spotting dryboard and finally, you can learn "over-the-water" spotting. The reason this is important is when spotting over the water, you must "let go" of the ropes after spotting the skill so the diver can drop into the pool. Without exception, you NEVER LET GO of the ropes when spotting above a trampoline or dryboard so you must learn this VERY IMPORTANT lesson first.

1 comment: said...

How do I learn how to pull ropes on a trampoline? Is it hard to figure out?