Isn’t it fun to spot your smallest students? It’s so easy, and you don’t have to strain your own body to help them achieve a trick!
Well, I’ve got good news… spotting all of your students can, and should be, just as easy; You should never put unhealthy strain on your own body to help your students achieve a trick. And yes, this includes students that are taller and/or heavier than you!
With our small students, it’s easy to get in the habit of “over-helping” or “muscling it.” i.e. getting a student to achieve a trick faster by spotting them through it. However, we can’t spot our taller or heavier students this way without sacrificing our own bodies or risking an injury. A more manageable strategy is using drills to break things down and work on specific trick elements. Once your students have mastered the various parts of a trick via drills, they will be fully prepared to “go for it,” and your job as a spotter will be to guide them through (instead of doing the work for them!)
Still feeling nervous about spotting your heavier or taller students? Bring in a second spotter! An assistant teacher is great for this, or, in your senior-level classes, you can utilize a mature student in the class. You will be the Primary Spotter (in charge and doing the majority of the spotting) and your assistant will be the Secondary Spotter (following your lead). Don’t feel deflated or shy about calling in a second spotter – it doesn’t say anything about yourself as a teacher or the student you’re spotting, it just means you are looking out for everyone’s safety.
Have fun spotting, and remember you’re in control, and you can get your students to high-level tricks while also being kind to your body!