Home
 
My my My my
 
 
 
 
 
 
Take One Cheer Academy is offering the following Stunt Classes for Summer 2009:

Cheer and Tumbling Camp: From last week in June to Second week in August - $195.00 per week.

Stunt clinics: Teams or individuals welcome. June 14th, July 12th, August 9th from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. $25.00 per session. You must call to reserve a spot - 203-794-9008.

--------------

MHS is planning to host a three day cheer camp to get girls "game ready" the last week in July. Go to Cheer News tab for full details
--------------

Basic Stunting Techniques

Introduction

Stunting is one of the most impressive parts of cheerleading, but unless squad members are

trained in proper technique, it can also lead to injury. Below are guidelines for a thigh stand,

shoulder sit, and an extension prep.

This report will refer to the squad members on the ground as bases, the members in the air as

flyers, and those on the ground providing extra support as spots. During a description of the

stunts, the spots will be designated as back spots and front spots, depending on their role in the

stunt.

Correct Technique

Spots

For all stunts, spots should be nearby to assist. When spotting, especially as a designated part of

the stunt, the squad member should have their eyes fixed on the flyer at all times. This will help

the members catch a flyer when she is falling, as well as allow the spot to see problems that may

be missed by the coach or the other members in the stunt.

Flyers

The flyer should begin every stunt with her eyes on a fixed point, preferably above eye level,

since she will soon be in the air. This forces her momentum up and helps her avoid wobbling.

She must always keep her legs “locked out,” or as straight as possible with the knee tightened,

and her glutes held in tight to stabilize the stunt.

Bases

The bases should maintain a straight back throughout any stunt. As with any lifting, the legs

should absorb the weight to keep strain off the back and arms. Once in the stunt, the bases must

avoid movement as much as possible. The steadiness of the stunt depends on those holding it, so

any fidgeting will make the flyer more likely to fall. Finally, bases’ eyes must always remain on

the flyer, so they can catch her if she falls.

Falling

Falling is an inevitable part of stunting, and just as with any other move, it must be taught

properly. To avoid causing injury, coaches need to decide with their squads which falling

technique to employ.

There are two common ways to come down from a stunt that is too unstable to hold. The first is

the cradle fall, where flyers sit back into a cradle position and bases and spots catch her, as they

would any normal stunt. If your squad is not ready for cradles, try the pencil fall.

In the pencil fall, the flyer pins her arms to her sides or above her head, whatever is most

comfortable. She comes down straight, like a pencil, to be caught around the waist by the spots

and the bases. They should cushion her landing, but she should remain upright enough to land

on her feet.

Whichever fall is chosen, coaches must ensure that flyers to not flail their arms in an attempt to

protect themselves or hold onto a stunt that is falling. Doing so can injure the bases and make it

impossible for them to catch the flyer.

Bases and spots, in turn, must always be ready to catch a falling stunt. It is essential that the

flyer never hit the ground, even if that means someone else does. The back spot’s most

important job is to protect the flyer’s head and neck. She will be fine if she smacks her legs

against the ground, but the same cannot always be said for the head and neck.

Attire and Hygiene

All cheerleading stunts should be done in cheerleading shoes with flat soles. This is especially

important for flyers, who can injure their bases by wearing the wrong footwear.

Hair should be out of the face and stay tucked back, even during strenuous movement.

Fingernails must be cut short. Long fingernails can scratch other stunt members and make it

impossible for them to sufficiently support the stunt.

Stunt 1: The Thigh Stand

Step 1

Bases line up in opposite lunges, creating a pocket with their bent legs. Their feet should overlap

to give the stunt more stability.

Step 2

The flyer places one foot in the pocket of one base. It does not matter which foot the flyer

chooses; it is her preference. She places her arms on the bases’ shoulders. The back spot firmly

supports her waist, lifting up to take weight off the bases.

1

In this variation, the flyer gives her hands to the bases before starting, instead of using their shoulders for

momentum

Step 3

On a designated count, the flyer pushes off the foot on the ground and straightens her arms,

giving her the height to place her other foot in the pocket of the other base. When she is steady,

she can hit different arm motions to add variety.

The back spot should assist the flyer with height, guiding her upward and maintaining her hold

on the waist to stabilize the stunt when it is in the air.

Bases should wrap one arm around the leg of the flyer, holding her securely at the knee.

1

The bases’ arms are wrapped around the flyer’s knees, their legs are overlapping for stability, and the spot is holding

the flyer securely by the waist.

Step 4

To dismount, bases should take their free hand and reach up to grab the hands of the flyer. They

then release their other hands and pop her up slightly, enough to dislodge her from the pockets in

their legs. They should support her weight as she comes down on her feet, and their free arm

should come to rest on her upper arm.

The back spot should help the bases pop the flyer up slightly and should help guide her down,

making sure she lands on her feet with no problems.

Variations

This stunt can be made more difficult by taking away one base, making it a one-base thigh stand.

To begin, the stunt group sets up as normal, with one base, a flyer, and a back spot. In this

variation, the flyer gives her hands to the base before starting.

On a designated count, the flyer pushes off the ground, using the base for momentum. When her

leg is straight, she pulls the other leg up to her knee, creating a liberty position. The base wraps

her arm around the flyer’s leg, as described above, to provide stability.

To dismount, the base grabs the flyer by the waist and pops her slightly, guiding her down with

the help of the back spot.

The back spot can be eliminated in this stunt if the coach feels the stunt is solid.

2

An example of the thigh stand variation

Stunt 2: The Shoulder Sit

Step 1

The base lunges, bending either leg, like in the thigh stand. The flyer places her inside foot in

the pocket of the leg, with her hands on the base’s shoulders. This means that the flyer should be

behind the base slightly and overlapping her, because she needs the leg closest to the base to be

free.

Step 2

On a designated count, the flyer pushes off from the ground, using the base’s shoulders for

momentum. She swings her free leg around the shoulder of the base, and follows with the leg

that was in the pocket. The base stands up and wraps her arms around the flyer’s knees. The

flyer should tuck her feet behind the base, hugging the base’s back for more stability.

3

An example of a shoulder sit

Step 3

To dismount, the flyer should unhook her legs from the base’s back. The base should bend her

knees slightly and shove upward, popping the flyer off her shoulders. The flyer pops off

backward, landing on her feet behind the base.

For a more difficult dismount, the flyer unhooks her legs from the base’s back and gives her

hands to the base. The base leans forward and tucks her head down, bouncing the flyer over her

shoulders. The flyer should land in front of the base on her feet.

A spot can be used in this stunt but is generally not needed. The spot can assist the flyer in

climbing into the stunt, but does not touch the flyer when she is stable. To help dismount, the

spot can grab the waist of the flyer as she comes down to slow her descent and make sure she

lands smoothly.

Stunt 3: The Extension Prep

Step 1

Two bases face each other and squat, keeping their back straight. Their arms are bent at 90

degrees and held tight to the sides. The palms are up and the hands are cupped in order to grab

the flyer’s shoe.

Step 2

The flyer can enter the stunt in two ways. She can step in, by putting one foot in the bases’

hands at a time, or she can jump in, by putting both feet in at the same time. The step in

technique will be explained here.

The flyer puts one foot in a base’s hand and puts her hands on their shoulders, supporting herself.

There should be no weight in the base’s hand at this time. On a designated count, she pushes off

the ground and places the other foot in the other base’s hand, supporting herself on their

shoulders. Again, there should be very little weight in the base’s hands at this point.

The spot grabs the flyer around the waist and bounces with her, supporting her weight and

helping her get into the bases’ hands. She should assist the bases in pushing the flyer up.

Step 3

Once in the bases’ hands and squatting, the flyer should push off their shoulders at the same time

that the bases straighten their legs. The flyer must keep her legs pulled in tight to avoid pushing

her bases out too far. She must keep her knees locked and her eyes up.

The bases, once they have the flyer squatting in their hands, bend their knees slightly more for

momentum and straighten the legs, taking their arms to chest height and settling there. The flyer

should be standing on their hands at chest height with the spotter’s hands supporting the flyer’s

ankles and pulling up to take some of the weight off the bases.

To jump into this stunt, the flyer will start with her hands on the bases’ shoulders and push off

the ground, putting her feet into their hands at the same time. The stunt is then ready for Step 3

and finishes the same as the walk in prep.

4

The back spot is holding the flyer securely by the ankles, the flyer has her knees locked out, and the bases are

watching her

Step 4

To dismount, squads can either use the cradle or the walk down. The walk down is where the

flyer will lean forward slightly, keeping her knees locked, and takes the hands of the bases. This

means the bases will have to support the flyer with only one hand for a short time.

The bases then pop the flyer upward slightly and release her feet, guiding her to the ground with

their hands. The spot pushes up on her ankles to help the pop and grabs the flyer’s waist,

softening her landing.

The cradle landing is more advanced and may require many spots at first. The bases and spot

bend their legs and pop up at the same time, pushing their arms all the way up and releasing the

legs of the flyer.

The flyer must keep her legs locked throughout the entire cradle, letting the bases push her into

the air. Once in the air, she should bring her arms down to her sides and ride the cradle as long

as she can.

When she hits the top, she should whip her body into the pike position, bending at the waist and

letting her arms come out to the sides.

After releasing her feet, the bases and spot make a basket for the flyer to land in, overlapping

their arms for more stability. The spot should have her arms out straight with her hands in

blades, not fists. The spot will grab underneath the flyer’s arms when she lands. It is important

to avoid fists because if there is jostling in the cradle, the spot may punch a base or the flyer.

The flyer comes down and wraps her arms around the bases, helping support her weight. Her

toes are pointed and her legs are together. This requires core muscle strength to keep the cradle

from collapsing.

The bases absorb the landing by bending their knees slightly. They then pop her out of the

cradle by taking their arms forward and up, helping her land on her feet.

4

Extension Prep Drills

To practice timing for the bases, the flyer can place her hands in the bases’ hands, as if they were

her feet. She puts pressure on them, and the bases, on a designated count, push upward,

watching each other to ensure they push at the same time and with the same amount of power.

To practice timing for the cradle, the spot should firmly grab the wrists of the bases and call out

the timing. The bases should bend and pop together, making sure to bend the same amount and

let go at the same time. The spot should be able to feel whether or not the bases are together, and

can call the drill as many times as is necessary to make sure everyone bends at the same time.

Conclusion

Regardless of the stunt being performed, it is important for coaches to watch for negligence by

squad members. Bases and spots should always have their eyes on the flyer. The flyer should

always have her knees locked out straight and her body pulled up tight to keep from wobbling.

If a stunt is going to fall, members need to use either the cradle fall or the pencil fall to avoid

injury.

By teaching members these safety techniques, you will help your squad memorize healthy

practices and perform solid stunts!

Notes

1 http://www.cheerleading.org.uk/handbook/thighst.htm

2 http://cheerleading.about.com/library/stunts/blstunt_shanna.htm

3 http://cheerleading.about.com/library/stunts/blstunt_ozark.htm

4 http://www.varsity.com/index.asp?article=15
----------------------------

Spots

For all stunts, spots should be nearby to assist. When spotting, the squad member should have

their eyes fixed on the flyer at all times. This will help the members catch a flyer when she is

falling, as well as allow the spot to see problems that may be missed by the coach or the other

members in the stunt.

Flyers

The flyer should begin every stunt with her eyes on a fixed point, preferably above eye level,

since she will soon be in the air. This forces her momentum up and helps her avoid wobbling.

She must always keep her legs “locked out,” or as straight as possible with the knee tightened,

and her glutes held in tight to stabilize the stunt.

Bases

The bases should maintain a straight back throughout any stunt. As with any lifting, the legs

should absorb the weight to keep strain off the back and arms. Once in the stunt, the bases must

avoid movement as much as possible. The steadiness of the stunt depends on those holding it, so

any fidgeting will make the flyer more likely to fall. Finally, bases’ eyes must always remain on

the flyer, so they can catch her if she falls.

Falling

Falling is an inevitable part of stunting, and just as with any other move, it must be taught

properly. To avoid causing injury, coaches need to decide with their squads which falling

technique to employ.

There are two common ways to come down from a stunt that is too unstable to hold. The first is

the cradle fall, where flyers sit back into a cradle position and bases and spots catch her, as they

would any normal stunt. The other falling technique is the pencil fall.

In the pencil fall, the flyer pins her arms to her sides or above her head, whatever is most

comfortable. She comes down straight, like a pencil, to be caught around the waist by the spots

and the bases. They should cushion her landing, but she should remain upright enough to land

on her feet.

Whichever fall is chosen, coaches must ensure that flyers to not flail their arms in an attempt to

protect themselves or hold onto a stunt that is falling. Doing so can injure the bases and make it

impossible for them to catch the flyer.

Bases and spots, in turn, must always be ready to catch a falling stunt. It is essential that the

flyer never hit the ground, even if that means someone else does. The back spot’s most

important job is to protect the flyer’s head and neck, the essential parts of her body.

Hygiene and Attire

Squad members must keep their hair back, so they can see with no problems. Nails must be cut

short, to avoid scratching or poking someone in the eye if a stunt falls.

Flyers should always wear cheerleading shoes with flat bottoms to avoid hurting bases.

Stunt 1: The Extension Prep

Step 1

Two bases face each other and squat, keeping their backs straight. Their arms are bent at 90

degrees and held tight to the sides. The palms are up and the hands are cupped in order to grab

the flyer’s shoe.

Step 2

The flyer can enter the stunt in two ways. She can step in, by putting one foot in the bases’

hands at a time, or she can jump in, by putting both feet in at the same time. The step in

technique will be explained here.

The flyer puts one foot in a base’s hand and puts her hands on their shoulders, supporting herself.

There should be no weight in the base’s hand at this time. On a designated count, she pushes off

the ground and places the other foot in the other base’s hand, supporting herself on their

shoulders. Again, there should be very little weight in the base’s hands at this point.

The spot grabs the flyer around the waist and bounces with her, supporting her weight and

helping her get into the bases’ hands. She should assist the bases in pushing the flyer up.

Step 3

Once in the bases’ hands and squatting, the flyer should push off their shoulders at the same time

that the bases straighten their legs and drive their arms up, ending at chest height. The flyer must

keep her legs pulled in tight to avoid pushing her bases out too far. She must keep her knees

locked and her eyes up.

To jump into this stunt, the flyer will start with her hands on the bases’ shoulders and push off

the ground, putting her feet into their hands at the same time. The stunt is then ready for Step 3

and finishes the same as the walk in prep.

The most important part of the stunt for the flyer is when she is supporting herself on the bases' shoulders. She should have her arms locked out to take weight off their hands and make it easier

for them to push her upward. It is essential that she know how to manage her own weight to

avoid injuring her bases.

1

The back spot is holding the flyer securely by the ankles, the flyer has her knees locked out, and the bases are

watching her

Step 4

To dismount, squads can either use the cradle or the walk down. The walk down is where the

flyer will lean forward slightly, keeping her knees locked, and takes the hands of the bases. This

means the bases will have to support the flyer with only one hand for a short time.

The bases then pop the flyer upward slightly and release her feet, guiding her to the ground with

their hands. The spot pushes up on her ankles to help the pop and grabs the flyer’s waist,

softening her landing.

The cradle landing is more advanced and may require several spots at first. The bases and spot

bend their legs and pop up at the same time, pushing their arms all the way up and releasing the

legs of the flyer.

The flyer must keep her legs locked throughout the entire cradle, letting the bases push her into

the air. Once in the air, she should bring her arms down to her sides and ride the cradle as long

as she can.

When she hits the top, she should whip her body into the pike position, bending at the waist and

letting her arms come out to the sides.

After releasing her feet, the bases and spot make a basket for the flyer to land in, overlapping

their arms for more stability. The spot should have her arms out straight with her hands in

blades, not fists. The spot will grab underneath the flyer’s arms when she lands. It is important

to avoid fists because if there is jostling in the cradle, the spot may punch a base or the flyer.

The flyer comes down and wraps her arms around the bases, helping support her weight. Her

toes are pointed and her legs are together. This requires core muscle strength to keep the cradle

from collapsing.

The bases absorb the landing by bending their knees slightly. They then pop her out of the

cradle by taking their arms forward and up, helping her land on her feet.

1

Stunt 2: The Extension

The set up for the extension is the same as for the prep. The difference in the stunt is that instead

of stopping at the chest level, the bases will extend their arms straight above their heads.

Step 1

When the flyer is loaded in the bases’ hands, the group will take a bounce and the bases will

drive their arms upward. They should seek to lock out their arms as soon as possible. This will

force their legs to push the flyer up the rest of the way, which is good, since the legs are

considerably stronger than the arms.

When the flyer is all the way in the air, coaches should watch that bases keep her slightly in front

of them. Holding the girl directly overhead will cause the bases’ backs to curve, putting

unnecessary pressure on the lower back and making the stunt more dangerous, if it were to fall.

2

The flyer’s legs are nice and close together. All eyes are on the flyer, and the spot holds the ankles securely.

Step 2

For this stunt, the flyer repeats the motions she did for the extension prep, staying even tighter in

her core as she is pushed up. It is easy on this stunt to let the legs go out, which pushes the bases

out and does not give them the power to finish the stunt. The flyer should keep her arms at her

sides until she hits the top.

Step 3

The back spot in this stunt sets the flyer in as with the extension prep, pushing up on her waist to

give more momentum to the bases. The spot then lets go of the wais and can either grab the

flyer’s ankles or the bases’ wrists, whatever is most comfortable to the group. The purpose of

the spot is to provide stability, so if she can reach the ankles, this is better. However, some bases

prefer the wrists because it takes pressure off them.

A front spot can be used for this stunt to provide extra wrist support. The front spot will come in

as soon as the flyer is loaded in the bases’ hands. She will immediately grab the bases’ wrists

and help push them up and together, making sure to keep the flyer’s legs close together.

During this stunt, it is essential that all eyes be on the flyer, since she is so high in the air.

Step 4

To dismount, squads should cradle. It is the safest way to get out of a stunt that high, and any

squad advanced enough to do an extension should have no problems with a cradle.

Follow the guidelines above for the cradle. It is the same as with the extension prep except that

the bases do not shove their arms all the way up. They simply slightly bend their knees and flick

their wrists up to dislodge the flyers.

Bases must never unlock their arms during a cradle from extension. Doing so will cause the

stunt to collapse. The flyer does not need nearly as big a pop as from the extension prep, since

she is already so high.

If a front spot is used, she will bend and pop with the stunt members and move to the side, next

to one of the bases to avoid being kicked by the flyer’s legs. She should never stay in front of

the stunt, because she is at greater risk for injury by the flyer.

Extension Drills

To practice timing for the bases, the flyer can place her hands in the bases’ hands, as if they were

her feet. She puts pressure on them, and the bases, on a designated count, push upward,

watching each other to ensure they push at the same time and with the same amount of power.

To practice timing for the cradle, the spot should firmly grab the wrists of the bases and call out

the timing. The bases should bend and pop together, making sure to bend the same amount and

let go at the same time. The spot should be able to feel whether or not the bases are together, and

can call the drill as many times as is necessary to make sure everyone bends at the same time.

Stunt 3: The Basket Toss

The basket toss is one of the most dangerous stunts performed because it is one of the most

unpredictable. A girl bounces off the hands of the bases, flies in the air, and lands in a cradle

position. At the top of the stunt, she often performs a skill, such as a toe touch or a twist.

Step 1

Two bases squat, facing each other with their backs straight. They must be very close together,

because they will be interlocking wrists. The bases grab their left wrist with their own right

wrist. With their left wrist, they grab the right wrist of the other base, creating a small flat area

for the flyer’s feet.

3

The hands are firmly gripped and overlapping

Step 2

A front spot may be used in this stunt to provide extra power. She sets up with the bases, placing

her hands palm-side up underneath the stunt or grabbing the front wrists of the bases, whichever

is more comfortable for the bases.

Step 3

The flyer can either step in or jump in to this stunt as well, and she starts with her hands on the

bases’ shoulders. With the help of the back spot, she loads her feet flat on the bases’ hands,

making sure to set herself in the middle of their hands.

3

The flyer is set firmly in the middle of the hands. The bases’ backs are straight and close together.

Step 4

The back spot holds the flyer’s waist and helps set her in. When the bases bend and push, the

back spot can either maintain contact with the waist or switch her hands to underneath the bases,

whichever provides more stability.

Step 5

As a group, the stunt bends and pushes. The flyer must let herself be thrown and not try to jump

off the hands of the bases. This will push them down and keep them from fully extending their

arms. When the push begins, she should lock out her arms and imagine being shot straight up

through a tube. Her back should stay straight and her eyes up to help her fly straight in the air.

The bases and spots fully extend their arms, letting go of the flyer as the shoot up. Their hands

should then assume the cradle position, as this is how she will be coming back down.

It is essential that they watch the flyer in the air, as she is likely to move forward or backward the

first several times of practice. The stunt members on the ground must be ready to move with her

to catch her.

 

As your squad will already know, safety is incredibly important in stunting. However, many

squads are unaware that certain techniques can decrease injury and make stunts more stable.

Below are guidelines for an extension prep, an extension, and a basket toss.
---------------------

As your squad will already know, safety is incredibly important in stunting. However, many

squads are unaware that certain techniques can decrease injury and make stunts more stable.

Below are guidelines for an extension prep, an extension, and a basket toss.

Correct Technique

Spots

For all stunts, spots should be nearby to assist. When spotting, the squad member should have

their eyes fixed on the flyer at all times. This will help the members catch a flyer when she is

falling, as well as allow the spot to see problems that may be missed by the coach or the other

members in the stunt.

Flyers

The flyer should begin every stunt with her eyes on a fixed point, preferably above eye level,

since she will soon be in the air. This forces her momentum up and helps her avoid wobbling.

She must always keep her legs “locked out,” or as straight as possible with the knee tightened,

and her glutes held in tight to stabilize the stunt.

Bases

The bases should maintain a straight back throughout any stunt. As with any lifting, the legs

should absorb the weight to keep strain off the back and arms. Once in the stunt, the bases must

avoid movement as much as possible. The steadiness of the stunt depends on those holding it, so

any fidgeting will make the flyer more likely to fall. Finally, bases’ eyes must always remain on

the flyer, so they can catch her if she falls.

Falling

Falling is an inevitable part of stunting, and just as with any other move, it must be taught

properly. To avoid causing injury, coaches need to decide with their squads which falling

technique to employ.

There are two common ways to come down from a stunt that is too unstable to hold. The first is

the cradle fall, where flyers sit back into a cradle position and bases and spots catch her, as they

would any normal stunt. The other falling technique is the pencil fall.

In the pencil fall, the flyer pins her arms to her sides or above her head, whatever is most

comfortable. She comes down straight, like a pencil, to be caught around the waist by the spots

and the bases. They should cushion her landing, but she should remain upright enough to land

on her feet.

Whichever fall is chosen, coaches must ensure that flyers to not flail their arms in an attempt to

protect themselves or hold onto a stunt that is falling. Doing so can injure the bases and make it

impossible for them to catch the flyer.

Bases and spots, in turn, must always be ready to catch a falling stunt. It is essential that the

flyer never hit the ground, even if that means someone else does. The back spot’s most

important job is to protect the flyer’s head and neck, the essential parts of her body.

Hygiene and Attire

Squad members must keep their hair back, so they can see with no problems. Nails must be cut

short, to avoid scratching or poking someone in the eye if a stunt falls.

Flyers should always wear cheerleading shoes with flat bottoms to avoid hurting bases.

Stunt 1: The Extension Prep

Step 1

Two bases face each other and squat, keeping their backs straight. Their arms are bent at 90

degrees and held tight to the sides. The palms are up and the hands are cupped in order to grab

the flyer’s shoe.

Step 2

The flyer can enter the stunt in two ways. She can step in, by putting one foot in the bases’

hands at a time, or she can jump in, by putting both feet in at the same time. The step in

technique will be explained here.

The flyer puts one foot in a base’s hand and puts her hands on their shoulders, supporting herself.

There should be no weight in the base’s hand at this time. On a designated count, she pushes off

the ground and places the other foot in the other base’s hand, supporting herself on their

shoulders. Again, there should be very little weight in the base’s hands at this point.

The spot grabs the flyer around the waist and bounces with her, supporting her weight and

helping her get into the bases’ hands. She should assist the bases in pushing the flyer up.

Step 3

Once in the bases’ hands and squatting, the flyer should push off their shoulders at the same time

that the bases straighten their legs and drive their arms up, ending at chest height. The flyer must

keep her legs pulled in tight to avoid pushing her bases out too far. She must keep her knees

locked and her eyes up.

To jump into this stunt, the flyer will start with her hands on the bases’ shoulders and push off

the ground, putting her feet into their hands at the same time. The stunt is then ready for Step 3

and finishes the same as the walk in prep.

The most important part of the stunt for the flyer is when she is supporting herself on the bases’

shoulders. She should have her arms locked out to take weight off their hands and make it easier

for them to push her upward. It is essential that she know how to manage her own weight to

avoid injuring her bases.

1

The back spot is holding the flyer securely by the ankles, the flyer has her knees locked out, and the bases are

watching her

Step 4

To dismount, squads can either use the cradle or the walk down. The walk down is where the

flyer will lean forward slightly, keeping her knees locked, and takes the hands of the bases. This

means the bases will have to support the flyer with only one hand for a short time.

The bases then pop the flyer upward slightly and release her feet, guiding her to the ground with

their hands. The spot pushes up on her ankles to help the pop and grabs the flyer’s waist,

softening her landing.

The cradle landing is more advanced and may require several spots at first. The bases and spot

bend their legs and pop up at the same time, pushing their arms all the way up and releasing the

legs of the flyer.

The flyer must keep her legs locked throughout the entire cradle, letting the bases push her into

the air. Once in the air, she should bring her arms down to her sides and ride the cradle as long

as she can.

When she hits the top, she should whip her body into the pike position, bending at the waist and

letting her arms come out to the sides.

After releasing her feet, the bases and spot make a basket for the flyer to land in, overlapping

their arms for more stability. The spot should have her arms out straight with her hands in

blades, not fists. The spot will grab underneath the flyer’s arms when she lands. It is important

to avoid fists because if there is jostling in the cradle, the spot may punch a base or the flyer.

The flyer comes down and wraps her arms around the bases, helping support her weight. Her

toes are pointed and her legs are together. This requires core muscle strength to keep the cradle

from collapsing.

The bases absorb the landing by bending their knees slightly. They then pop her out of the

cradle by taking their arms forward and up, helping her land on her feet.

1

Stunt 2: The Extension

The set up for the extension is the same as for the prep. The difference in the stunt is that instead

of stopping at the chest level, the bases will extend their arms straight above their heads.

Step 1

When the flyer is loaded in the bases’ hands, the group will take a bounce and the bases will

drive their arms upward. They should seek to lock out their arms as soon as possible. This will

force their legs to push the flyer up the rest of the way, which is good, since the legs are

considerably stronger than the arms.

When the flyer is all the way in the air, coaches should watch that bases keep her slightly in front

of them. Holding the girl directly overhead will cause the bases’ backs to curve, putting

unnecessary pressure on the lower back and making the stunt more dangerous, if it were to fall.

2

The flyer’s legs are nice and close together. All eyes are on the flyer, and the spot holds the ankles securely.

Step 2

For this stunt, the flyer repeats the motions she did for the extension prep, staying even tighter in

her core as she is pushed up. It is easy on this stunt to let the legs go out, which pushes the bases

out and does not give them the power to finish the stunt. The flyer should keep her arms at her

sides until she hits the top.

Step 3

The back spot in this stunt sets the flyer in as with the extension prep, pushing up on her waist to

give more momentum to the bases. The spot then lets go of the wais and can either grab the

flyer’s ankles or the bases’ wrists, whatever is most comfortable to the group. The purpose of

the spot is to provide stability, so if she can reach the ankles, this is better. However, some bases

prefer the wrists because it takes pressure off them.

A front spot can be used for this stunt to provide extra wrist support. The front spot will come in

as soon as the flyer is loaded in the bases’ hands. She will immediately grab the bases’ wrists

and help push them up and together, making sure to keep the flyer’s legs close together.

During this stunt, it is essential that all eyes be on the flyer, since she is so high in the air.

Step 4

To dismount, squads should cradle. It is the safest way to get out of a stunt that high, and any

squad advanced enough to do an extension should have no problems with a cradle.

Follow the guidelines above for the cradle. It is the same as with the extension prep except that

the bases do not shove their arms all the way up. They simply slightly bend their knees and flick

their wrists up to dislodge the flyers.

Bases must never unlock their arms during a cradle from extension. Doing so will cause the

stunt to collapse. The flyer does not need nearly as big a pop as from the extension prep, since

she is already so high.

If a front spot is used, she will bend and pop with the stunt members and move to the side, next

to one of the bases to avoid being kicked by the flyer’s legs. She should never stay in front of

the stunt, because she is at greater risk for injury by the flyer.

Extension Drills

To practice timing for the bases, the flyer can place her hands in the bases’ hands, as if they were

her feet. She puts pressure on them, and the bases, on a designated count, push upward,

watching each other to ensure they push at the same time and with the same amount of power.

To practice timing for the cradle, the spot should firmly grab the wrists of the bases and call out

the timing. The bases should bend and pop together, making sure to bend the same amount and

let go at the same time. The spot should be able to feel whether or not the bases are together, and

can call the drill as many times as is necessary to make sure everyone bends at the same time.

Stunt 3: The Basket Toss

The basket toss is one of the most dangerous stunts performed because it is one of the most

unpredictable. A girl bounces off the hands of the bases, flies in the air, and lands in a cradle

position. At the top of the stunt, she often performs a skill, such as a toe touch or a twist.

Step 1

Two bases squat, facing each other with their backs straight. They must be very close together,

because they will be interlocking wrists. The bases grab their left wrist with their own right

wrist. With their left wrist, they grab the right wrist of the other base, creating a small flat area

for the flyer’s feet.

3

The hands are firmly gripped and overlapping

Step 2

A front spot may be used in this stunt to provide extra power. She sets up with the bases, placing

her hands palm-side up underneath the stunt or grabbing the front wrists of the bases, whichever

is more comfortable for the bases.

Step 3

The flyer can either step in or jump in to this stunt as well, and she starts with her hands on the

bases’ shoulders. With the help of the back spot, she loads her feet flat on the bases’ hands,

making sure to set herself in the middle of their hands.

3

The flyer is set firmly in the middle of the hands. The bases’ backs are straight and close together.

Step 4

The back spot holds the flyer’s waist and helps set her in. When the bases bend and push, the

back spot can either maintain contact with the waist or switch her hands to underneath the bases,

whichever provides more stability.

Step 5

As a group, the stunt bends and pushes. The flyer must let herself be thrown and not try to jump

off the hands of the bases. This will push them down and keep them from fully extending their

arms. When the push begins, she should lock out her arms and imagine being shot straight up

through a tube. Her back should stay straight and her eyes up to help her fly straight in the air.

The bases and spots fully extend their arms, letting go of the flyer as the shoot up. Their hands

should then assume the cradle position, as this is how she will be coming back down.

It is essential that they watch the flyer in the air, as she is likely to move forward or backward the

first several times of practice. The stunt members on the ground must be ready to move with her

to catch her.

Coaches should watch to make sure:

·

·

·

3

The bases and spots extend their arms as high as they will go. The flyer lets herself be pushed up and keeps her

body as straight as possible.

Step 6

Once in the air, the flyer rides the toss like a cradle. She will be high enough in the air to hit a

toe touch or some other skill, if desired, but only after the basic ride has been mastered. When

she feels herself coming back down, she should sit into a pike position, getting ready for the

cradle.

3

Once at the top of the stunt, the flyer can perform a stunt, if previous throws without stunts were high, straight, and

cleanly caught.

Step 7

The basket toss is caught just like a cradle. The front spot moves to the side to avoid being

kicked, and the bases and back spot absorb the flyer as she lands in their arms.

Basket Toss Drills

To practice a basket toss, the flyer should place her hands on the bases’ hands, imitating her feet.

On a designated count, the bases should pop their hands in the air, making sure that they throw at

the same time and with the same amount of power.

When the flyer is ready to practice being thrown, the squad can do “torches,” where the flyer

jumps in like normal and the bases raise her to eye level but do not pop her off their hands. This

can only be held for a few seconds, so as to not tire out the bases, but it gives the flyer a good

feeling of how the stunt will work.

Conclusion

All of these stunts must be performed with a coach present and extra spots around. The stunts

should be learned in the order presented, to give the squad enough time to perfect certain aspects

of stunting before moving on. For instance, squads must have consistent cradles before they can

move on to basket tosses.

Coaches should look to make sure that bases are always moving in unison, that backs are

straight, and that flyers are holding their core muscles and legs tight.

Staying alert is the best way to prevent an accident, so coaches should instill in their squad

members an understanding of the importance of paying attention, catching the flyers, and

achieving consistency.

Notes

1 http://www.varsity.com/index.asp?article=15

2 http://www.varsity.com/index.asp?article=757

3 http://www.varsity.com/index.asp?article=78

The flyer keeps her eyes up
Bases are throwing with the same power
Bases are throwing at the same time

Advanced Stunting Techniques

Introduction

Correct Technique