The flyer in a stunt is the person that gets lifted or thrown in the air.
It is probably the most sought-after position in Cheerleading in that it offers the thrill and exhilaration of gracefully flying through the air and becoming the center of attention.
But being a good flyer is not just about being light and flexible. There are several crucial requirements that are needed to fill this job.
The first is CONFIDENCE. Teach your flyers that attitude is everything, and they will need a confident attitude to believe in themselves and fully commit to the stunt.
The second is NO FEAR OF HEIGHTS. Flyers should respect heights, and understand the safety implications but if she passes out at the thought of being at the top of a pyramid, she's probably not right for the job.
The third element is TRUST. A flyer must trust her teammates and her teammates must trust her. Flyers can only fully commit when they are 100% confident that someone will be there to catch them every time.
Fourth, flyers must have GREAT BALANCE. It's much harder to hold someone up when they are wiggling around. Teach your flyers to stay as stiff as possible and let your bases help balance you.
Flyers must have excellent TIMING. Everyone in a stunt should know what to do and when to do it. The flyer should know when the proper level has been reached to stick, hit, or pull the stunt.
A good flyer will also STAY TIGHT. Coach her to keep her hips and thighs tight during the stunt.
Lastly, and most importantly, HAVE FUN! The best competition flyers keep eye contact with the crowd, smile.
The bases lift or throw the flyer and as the name implies, they are the base or foundation of a Cheerleading stunt or mount.
Bases will usually be taller and stronger, but it's important that all the cheerleaders on your squad develop the skills for this position.
Many of the skills required for Flying are similar for Basing as well as Spotting (ie. Trust, Confidence, Timing, Having Fun)
... but there are a few unique areas that the best Bases are really good at.
For example, a good Base must know how to USE HER ARMS *AND* LEGS.
Lift with your legs, that is where the majority of your strength should come from. It should progress from your legs to your shoulders and then your arms.
To prevent injury, a Base must also KEEP HER BACK STRAIGHT. Leaning forward or backward will put undue stress on an athlete's spine and supporting muscles, and will cause injury in the long term.
Bases must learn proper PLACEMENT as well.
Teach them to stand no further than the flyer's shoulder width apart from each other.
It's also very important that Bases practice good Cheer Safety. They should be prepared and alert at all times, and know how to catch the flyer.
Spotters help steady or balance the stunt, but their most important job is to help to catch the flyer, if she falls, so as to prevent injury.
The key skill to look for in a spotter is being ATTENTIVE. They should not be easily distracted or lose their concentration.
A spotter's eyes should be on the flyer at all times.
The spotter must be FAST THINKING and FEARLESS.
The person in this position must be able to react quickly and save the stunt if necessary (even if they risk putting their bodies in harm's way by doing it)