Cheerleading 101

basket toss

Stunts

umbrella stunt

Stunting is what puts the trust within a team. In order to stunt and perform well, the team has to learn to trust one another. Within a stunt group there is a flyer, base, backspot, and sometimes a frontspot. The flyer is the person you see in the air, the base and backspot who hold the flyer. The bases are under the flyer while the backspot is to the back of the group. Each person has an important role in the group. If one person doesn't do their job, it could cause everyone to get hurt.

Ill start by explaining the flyer and the skills it requires to be in the air. A flyer is usually small so it is easy to lift her/him in the air. The flyer must remain tight at all times. the flyer begins on the ground, usually with one foot in a bases hand. The flyer pushes off the shoulders of the bases and sucks her/his tummy in the whole way up. Once the flyer hits the correct spot in the air, he/she may not release. They have to stay tight, sucking the stomach in and pulling the shoulders up. This will provide the flyer with good technique and form to be able to pull tricks in the air.

There are usually 2 bases and 1 backspot to a group and they stay on the ground at all times with their feet planted in the ground. The bases and backspot rarely ever move unless it is in routine to move to a different location. As said before the flyer usually starts with one foot in the "main bases" hand. The main base is usually the strongest and usually has most of the control in a stunt. When the flyer pushes off the shoulders it is the bases duty to grip the foot tightly turning the wrists inward as the flyer goes up. This will give the base a good grip on the heel and toes of the flyer. This makes the flyer feel sturdy. The power of the base does not come from the arms, it comes from the legs. With that being said, when pushing to different levels the bases must be sure to dip with their legs and push up with their arms as they stand up.

The backspot is very similiar to the bases except for the hand placements. It is the backspots duty to help the flyer stand up in the air. When starting out the backspot keeps her hands on the flyers waist to guide her/him in the air safely. The backspot then grabs the ankles of the flyer and lifts upward to help the flyer feel secure and to take weight off the bases hands.

There are many different stunts and tricks. Cheer teams are limited on what they can do by the size of their team. The more girls to a squad the more stunt groups which can lead to difficult stunts.

The most basic stunt is called a "half" or "prep." This is where the bases life the flyer to chest level. When the bases push up over their heads it is called a "full" or "extension." There are many one leg stunts. The most popular is a "liberty." This is where the main base takes the lead role in controling the stunt. The flyer stands up in the main bases hand with one leg pullung the knee up forming a 90 degree angle. The secondary base and backspot both help in the stunt but they hold in different positions. These are just a few examples of what can be done while stunting.