Safety First - Safety Always
It’s all fun and games ... so let's not have anyone get hurt!
Whether you’re doing the highest level standing Acrobatics or giving/receiving therapeutic flying. No matter if it’s your first Jam or you’re a seasoned veteran, we highly encourage Active Spotting!
Yes, falls will happen when practicing AcroYoga. You could fall doing a move you’ve done 100 times before or when attempting a new move for the first time. That said, the Spotter is an integral part of the Base/Flyer/Spotter team and is very important to create success of familiar, new, or difficult moves!
It can take years to become a skillful spotter, so be patient with yourself and others. Educate each other on what spotting means and how to spot safely. At any given time the magic word “DOWN”, can be said equally by either Base/Flyer/Spotter. If someone feels unsafe, has a toe in an uncomfortable position, wants to clarify the move or has to go to the bathroom, has a muscle cramp, then all parties involved work to get everyone down safely to ground promptly. As AcroYogis, we are playing with the laws of gravity and physics, and we all want everyone to walk away to tell the tale!
RULE #1: The biggest goal is to keep the head safe!
The spotter should know what the Base and Flyer are working on, so they know which way to go.
HEAVY SPOT - where the Spotter physically has their hands ON the Flyer.
READY SPOT - where the Spotter's hands are either hovering around torso like a cage, under the torso like a forklift, or holding hands BUT make sure the Spotter isn't part of the pose....just there in case.
HOT POTATO - A ‘hot potato’ spot, where the spotter offers an occasional light touch where needed or being a ‘stop’ for the Flyer to know they have gone too far. Usually without holding, but lightly touching follow the Flyer.
What is Active Spotting?
Be present! Know what the move being attempted is or the general direction of the move if it’s new.
Don’t get so involved with watching a cool move, that you actually watch someone fall.
Be in a ready stance: Chest up, Spine Vertical, Have bent knees, horse/goddess/adjusted warrior stance as three main options.
Have your hands up and ready!
Be in close proximity to the Base/Flyer. Like almost uncomfortably close, like inches away. Being that close will help save a potentially bad fall. It’s always better to over spot at first and then communicate the needs of how much spotting is necessary.
How do I spot?
Standing nearby is not spotting. Spotting can be the riskiest role. The spotter is responsible not only for the safety of the Flyer and Base, but also for their own safety. Doing that effectively requires knowledge and experience of the exercise being spotted. We try not to grab for feet; people instinctively can "sometimes" land on their feet.
You can ask if someone wants a spot too
A Base/Flyer combo might not have seen a free person when they started a flow, but once someone is free, they can offer to spot.
A Flyer can ALWAYS ask for a spot
Asking for a spot is not a criticism of the Base's skill. But remember, a spotter does not magically make things safe. Attempting difficult tricks beyond the skill level of the Base or Flyer puts everyone, including the spotter at risk of injury.
What Active spotting IS NOT!
IS NOT standing 5 feet away thinking, “oh yeah, I’m watching them and ready to move in to help, if needed.”
IS NOT gazing off at others across the room.
IS NOT day dreaming, planning you next meal, or thinking of who to going to play with next.
IS NOT having your hands in your pockets.
IS NOT wishing you were working with that hot shot Base/Flyer Across the room and not paying attention to your spotting duties.
IS NOT feeling overwhelmed and not sure if you can help if something goes wrong. IF that’s the case, please say so and have the team find another spotter!