Posted by Team SAM on 18th Oct 2017
Some, not all, athletes experience some level of fear as they work through spotting levels. From springs on a trampoline, to a tumble track, to a rod floor, then finally to a spring floor. Some coaches hand spot some don't. Moving from a tramp to a floor is a big deal. Athletes can fear falling, fear injury, the floor surface responds back a a very different rate than the tramp. All these factors make it tough to have the same level of confidence. Or when an athlete has to step away from the hand on the back. Many coaches have gone through this. Athletes even say...." just lightly hold my shirt". We considered all these factors when designing SAM. This research and athlete interviews drove numerous rounds of testing and evaluation. We used this to design the force our bungees use to lift the athlete and the number of bungees on the system. You can start with a full spot on SAM. Meaning use enough bungees to fully lift the athlete off the ground. Work body positions, arm positions, timing, move slowly through the skill to help air awareness. Then reduce the spot by removing one bungee per side or use the adjustment crank on the side. Now the athlete has a little bit of weight in their toes. Let them work the skill and train all the positions and timing. Then remove another bungee. Now again, the athlete has even more weight in their toes. Continuing this allows very small manageable changes in level. It's significantly smaller than a tumble track to a spring floor. This helps manage fear. It helps the athlete learn they must jump harder, be more explosive, must pull harder, etc... all along they are not crashing to their knees. Crashing and the fear associated takes over and pulls focus from the harder jump, the powerful pull. With SAM, your not crashing to your knees and you keep that focus on the aspects that matter.
Its quite easy to think SAM is an employee's name or possibly the inventor of our system, but SAM is an acronym. S.A.M. = Spotting Assistance Machine. We did this way back in 2009 when we got our first prototypes designed and out in the field for evaluation. We found athletes and coaches calling the [...]
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