Twisting to the Net

Twisting to the Net

By Penelope Knowles & Don Dinh


The main goal of any trapeze artist is to learn how to throw tricks out of lines to a catcher and return to the board. This goal cannot and will not be met until the athlete and the coaches are confident in the athletes twisting abilities. In case of any error on the athlete's part or the catcher’s, the flyer must learn how to safely twist to the net.


Trapeze prerequisites:


1. The flyer should be able to perform a full swing on their own timing 

2. The flyer should be competent at executing the swing and a trick without any physical help from the lines person.  

Learning simple progressions on the trampoline is a great way to speed up the process of learning how to twist to the net. The correct progressions will teach the athlete aerial and spacial awareness which are necessary for remaining safe twenty five feet in the air. The trampoline progressions for twisting to the net are:

1. Jump half turn

2. Doggy drop, half twist to back

3. Stomach drop half turn to back

4. Straight jump half twist to back

In most cases, the first trick that an athlete will attempt to take out of lines is a backend trick. With the exception of the backend split, the steps for twisting out of any backend trick are the same. First, the flyer must perform a smooth transition from the swing into the trick. From there, the athlete must hold the position until the instructor yells “hup!” as usual. The flyer should open up in the superman position, showing their hands to the catcher. After they have fallen away from the catch point, the athlete looks down towards the net, and, with their feet together and hands above their head, “turn their toes” to twist safety to their backs.

Common errors:


1. Letting go of the bar too early: Letting go of the bar too early can be dangerous. Those who let go of the bar early may have a difficult time landing on their backs.

2. Head out or spotting too early in blind tricks: Spotting for the catcher too early puts the athlete at the wrong angle for a twist. The athlete may not be able to land exactly on their back.  (see figure 2A)

3. Twisting too early: Turning too early is contradictory to the athlete’s goal - not only does it decrease the chances of someday catching out of lines, but it is also physically harder to turn. Similar to looking/spotting too early, they may not achieve the correct angle for their backdrop in the net. (see figure 2B).

4. Crossing arms or feet during the twist; dropping arms: This is NOT an effective way to turn the body. This can be fixed by doing the progressions on trampoline and applying it to flying. Athletes must learn to keep their arms overhead during the twist.  (see figure 2C).