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Cheer Tips: Be a Better Base


Are you a base and want to be better at your job? Do you wish your flyer was more confident and stable in the air? In this article we give you some great tips on how to Be a Better Base!

Group stunting with PRO Tumble ankle magnets

BASES


Have a Firm Grip - Have a firm grip on the flyer's foot or leg. It will make them feel more secure and comfortable in the stunt and/or pyramid.

Use Your Legs - When lifting the flyer, use your legs to initiate and follow through in the stunt/pyramid/basket. Use your legs explosively, with control and purpose.

Catch Softly - Make sure you always reach high, jump, catch high, bring the flyer into your body, and absorb release moves with your legs. This will give the flyer a softer landing.

Basket Grips - For basket tosses, make sure your grip is nice and loose. This will allow more movement and flexibility in the throw which will make the toss higher.



BACK SPOTS


Squeeze - Spread your fingers and squeeze the flyer's ankle/leg/foot. This helps her feel secure and gives you more control and ability to make adjustments or "save" the stunt.

Lift Up - Pull up on the flyer's ankle/leg to take some of the weight off the bases.

Catch Softly - Make sure you always reach high, jump, catch high, bring the flyer into your body, and absorb release moves with your legs. This will give the flyer a softer landing.

Safety - When a flyer falls, you MUST let go of the flyer's leg/ankle and focus on protecting the flyer's "Head, Neck, and Back".



FRONT SPOTS


Be There - Always be ready, front spots can make or break a stunt so pay attention.

Lift Up - Pull up on the flyer's ankle/leg to take some of the weight off the bases.


Give Way - Back spots and base grips have right of way. Place your hands last and so that they aren't in the way of the other bases.

Catch - Many (especially new) front spots think their job is done once the stunt is released but it's your job to catch too.

Step Aside - When group is performing a release move like a cradle, turn your position for the catch to keep yourself safe. Front spots need to manoeuvre quickly so they can both support the stunt whilst in the air as well as assist with the catch.



Partner stunting with PRO Tumble ankle magnets

ALL BASES

Prioritise Safety - Understand that the flyer does not touch the ground in any circumstance. Know that she must come down feet first, and that you need to get in close and catch high to make the landing as comfortable as possible for both you and the flyer.


Watch Your Flyer - Don't allow yourself to get distracted and watch your flyer like a hawk when she's in the air. A stunt will fall in a split second and if you are watching intently you will be able to anticipate the fall better, react faster and bring it down safely.


Get in Time - Perfect timing with your other bases and flyer. This is done by NOT hesitating, watching those around you, and feeling your way into the stunt/pyramid/basket. Marking your stunts without the flyer will help your group synchronise and work together better.


Use the Momentum - Using the momentum of the flyer will allow you to not expend as much of your energy, making your stunts look and feel effortless. When the flyer jumps into a stunt follow through her movements and don't lift too soon.


Get Close - the closer bases are together, the more 'under' the stunt they will be in lifting, holding and catching. This centralises the power and distributes the weight under the stunt.


Create a Solid Foundation - Keep all movements underneath the flyer as subtle as possible. If you are moving around too much under the stunt, this will cause the flyer to be uncomfortable and distracted.


Encouragement - Encourage the flyer when she's insecure and/or scared. Knowing that you care will make a huge difference to her confidence and skills in the air.

Don't Coach - (this can be tricky) If you are knowledgeable in the stunt and can help, then briefly let the flyer know what she can do to fix it. There are good ways and bad ways to go about this so beware. Please notice that this can have a negative effect if you are constantly correcting the flyer over and over again without positive reinforcement. Often it is just best to leave the coaching to the Coach.


DON'T USE YOUR BACK


Stunting with your back is common for bases of all-girl and co-ed teams. It's when the base tries to bend his/her back to hold a stunt up in the air. This is usually caused by a base NOT strong enough, bases with inflexible shoulders, a base trying to 'see' the stunt, OR just incorrect technique. Why is this wrong? This places too much of the flyer's weight on the base's lower back. The more the flyer gets held out, the heavier she will feel. The proper way to hold the flyer is straight above their head so that flyer is closer, and the weight can be held with more of the base's legs.


WHY STUNTS CAN FEEL HEAVY


  • You may be leveraging your back to lift

  • You might not be using your legs effectively or at all

  • You might have your arms too far in front of you when lifting

  • You might be stunting to far apart from the other bases

  • You may have improper timing with your flyer and are fighting one another

  • Your other base might be lifting faster than you and it's putting all of the flyer's weight on you

  • You are stunting too slow and momentum is getting lost

  • The flyer isn't tight

  • The flyer is new or has poor technique

  • Your lifting technique may be poor

  • You are NOT squeezing your grip, which is making the stunt move too much

  • You are NOT strong enough and should consider doing some weight training and/or stunt training to develop stability and core muscles


WHY CRADLES CAN FEEL HEAVY


  • Flyer isn't catching herself

  • Flyer isn't holding a tight cradle position

  • Bases aren't catching high enough to slow flyer down from the top

  • Bases using their back instead of their legs to absorb

  • Bases are too far apart

  • Back spotter is not assisting enough


WHY STUNTS FALL/LEAN FORWARD Flyer

  • Chest/eyes are down

  • Too much weight on your toes/pointing

  • Not Tight

  • Hips forward

  • Reaching for the ground

  • Legs bent


Bases

  • Not sturdy

  • Too far apart

  • Not squeezing the flyer's foot

  • Placing the flyer's feet behind her

  • Bad grip


WAIT FOR YOUR FLYER


An important key point to remember when it comes to cheerleading, "Wait for your flyer!"

Wait for her to begin to stand up out of the basket, wait for her to jump off of the ground for stunting, wait for her to push off of for the walk in, wait for her to flick for the toss in a co-ed stunt, and wait for her to get over her bases in an all-girl ground up stunt.

If you do not wait for the flyer, then either your stunt/basket will not be as strong OR the flyer just will not get up. Remember this next time you have problems.

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