Reminders to Achieve Consistent One Spin

REMINDERS TO ACHIEVE CONSISTENT ONE SPIN: [Or any other multiple spin] Carrie B Jerger 2/16

  1. KNOW and practice all TECHNICAL ELEMENTS as described below
  2. PRACTICE 2 times per day for 4 different days for two straight weeks [5 minutes max each time – do NOT practice when you get dizzy; go to other practice – rolls, sections, routines, etc.
  3. Be FOCUSED and ANALYZE each effort – determine why you were successful or why you were not & THEN MAKE APPROPRIATE ADJUSTMENTS – refer to descriptions below
  4. BE DETERMINED – only then will you succeed…

ELEMENTS: [For One spin – most apply to multiple spins]


  • Flourish-whip – straight arm on flourish, hide hand behind back on whip
  • Hand/baton in center grip on baton and pull around to center front of body at naval
  • LA out shoulder height to L throughout set-up AND release
  • Weight on LF, RF tendu front
  • Posture is tight abdominal muscles and gluteal muscles [bum]; lift ribs & maintain [lift trunk not shldrs]
  • EYES – focus straight ahead – do not shift eyes around on set up

Correct Thumb TOSS TECHNIQUE [center of baton – center of body]

  • Start thumb toss with wind-up of wrist at naval height
  • After wind-up of wrist, do Quick & straight action to lift baton straight up center of body for release over thumb [baton should roll between knuckles of thumb]; Baton leaves thumb between throat & nose height in FRONT PLANE; a correct technical release will result in a front plane pathway for return of baton
  • Contract [tighten] the abdominal, gluteal and pectoral [chest] muscles, as well as the biceps and triceps of arm at time of release over thumb
    • Incorrect releases:
      • Early release [before wind up of wrist] results in baton rolling over knuckle of pointer finger rather than thumb. This also results in weak control for consistent placement, height, revolution.
      • Lifting hand too soon results in this same early release problem
      • Late release results in baton dropping with no height to toss
  • Fine micro-second differences between a properly controlled thumb release, and an early or late release
  • Learn the subtle difference and always strive for proper release since this is what controls your success on this skill. Correct thumb release is essential because it controls height, placement, revolution, and control of aerial for this and the majority of other aerial skills
  • Set-up, toss [release] with hips and shoulders squared to front plane and with weight on spin foot
  • Do not shift weight to front foot on release, as this can cause the baton to be pushed forward on release.
  • Do not step back for spin as this can cause baton to be pulled back on top of twirler.
  • Hold set up position of feet and free hand throughout release
  • EYES – SPOT [LOOK] at baton on release
  • See Section on TIMING of all elements that follows


  • A SPOT SPIN requires weight on ball of one foot and then spinning on that foot
  • Body must be centered and balanced over the ball of base foot THROUGHOUT release and spin
  • Posture is straight throughout spin; centered on ball of base foot; 2nd foot tight against ankle on spin
  • Arms are tight against body [typical is arm of toss hand across front of body, other arm behind body]
  • Important Note: Centered ONE FOOT spin also required for multiple spins; correct technique required on one spin to establish habits for progression to multiple spin. Any idiot can toss the baton then turn around 1 time, and catch it; it takes correct technical skills to do so consistently or with multiple spins.
  1. The SPOT means LOOKING quickly at BATON at point of release, and hold eyes on baton until natural spin action pulls eyes away from baton;
  2. Then BLINKING EYES CLOSE on spin action;
  3. Then snapping head & EYES around to SPOT [LOOK] on baton, before the rest of the body rotates to front
  4. The brain is quicker than the EYES – learn to perceive the placement and positioning of the aerial on the SPOT of the release, and to make minor adjustments for reception [catch] on less than perfect aerials. With practice, your brain perceives baton pathway accurately to enhance this skill


  • Must execute accurate release – starting with accurate set-up twirl, and the correct height, placement, and timing of toss with other physical actions; See TIMING SECTION that follows
  • Must execute accurate spot spin
  • Spot on baton after spin with quick snap of head and then fast reaction to grab baton center shaft for catch
  • Gravity is allowing the baton to come down, while it is spinning.
  • Match the timing and the revolution with the action of your hand
  • Receive baton in thumb pocket – the soft space where thumb attaches to hand. Fingers should be vertical and softly together. Thumb should be forward in perpendicular relation to palm. [Rather than a flat palm with thumb to left of palm.
  • Match revolution [spin] of baton with quick grab in center of baton. Hesitation, slow, or half-hearted attempts to catch will result in drop.
  • Do not reach up for catch – catch at eye level
  • To receive credit for spin tricks, you must catch the trick.
  • YaGottaWanna’! Go for it! Commitment needed! Why waste your time & energy on half-hearted attempts?!


  • Since the baton is coming down and spinning the reception must follow-through with these same actions and pathway for soft, smooth, and comfortable follow through.
  • Typical follow-through is a flourish by lowering receiving hand and rotating wrist to mirror actions of baton. Must be same tempo as aerial.

CORRECT TIMING – Put ALL technical elements together for success

  • Toss on 1 – Spin on 2 – Catch on 3 – from beginning to end of skill should be about 3-4 seconds.
  • Be aware of L free arm extended shoulder height at L in your peripheral vison, at the time of the release
  • Do not anticipate the spin by starting the rotation BEFORE the release. This will almost always result in incorrect placement of toss [usually to right on RH TH toss] and drop.
  • Check TIMING, and each element for accurate execution.

Carrie Jerger

Carrie Jerger lives in Anchorage, Alaska, and was inducted into USTA's Hall of Fame in 2003. She has served USTA as a Board member, Chair of the Judges’ Commission, developed the first-ever USTA Judges Manual, Chair of the Coaches Commission, and edited the current Level I and Level II Coaches Manuals. She also served as a Past President of the Alaska State Council, and she was the Director of the Alaskanette Baton Corps, which has won many national championships and performed around the world.

One thought on “Reminders to Achieve Consistent One Spin

  • April 5, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Nice article Carrie..great to see technique reinforced to get to the end result!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: