In competition cheerleading, making difficult stunts look easy is part of the job. Any difficult cheerleading stunt can be accomplished with practice and skill, regardless of whether you are in the base or the flyers.
Difficult Cheerleading Stunts
There are a lot of difficult cheerleading stunts that are variations of simpler stunts. The easiest stunts should always be mastered first by you and your squad. Especially if your squad is new together, it takes time for you to build the trust you need to pull off an advanced stunt.
However, after that initial period of learning to trust your squad, your team will want to practice more advanced stunts so as to become more proficient at managing the crowd.
Basket tosses are considered advanced cheerleading stunts and are often one of the first advanced cheerleading stunts mastered by a squad. Two bases create a “basket” by each grabbing their own right wrist with their left hand, and grabbing the other’s left wrist with their right hand. Additionally, two spotters are required-one in front and one behind.
When the flyer places her feet in the “basket,” the bases and flyer dip twice and toss her into the air. Flyers usually do a toe touch, a twist, or another ‘trick’ while in the air.
In essence, 2:2:1 pyramids are three-story pyramids. Over the last few years, cheerleading organizations have sought to regulate stunts by requiring groups to perform them with appropriate mats underneath. Because of the size of the mats and the difficulty of removing them in the allotted time, 2:2:1 high pyramids are rare at basketball games.
Nevertheless, you may see them in some competitions. There must be at least four bases and several spotters for a 2:2:1 pyramid. Flyers are tossed up to shoulder height by the two bases at the end.
Taking the flyer straight up, the two bases in the middle launch her to either the hitch position or full extension. Flyers in the middle are then supported by the second level and spotted by the bases that launched them.
Adding Elements to Difficult Stunts
Adding elements like flips, jumps, and various tricks to your stunt makes it look as complicated as it really is!
Tumbling transforms an ordinary load into something extraordinary. As a rule of thumb, when you tumble into a stunt, you land with your feet in your base’s hands and prepare to load, so the load only takes two to three counts. You can get really creative when you add an element like this.
When you get to the pyramid, what you do as you “show” can also be a reflection of how skilled your squad is. It is common for cheerleading squads to have their flyers pose in a liberty, arabesque, or cupie. Performing stunts or tricks in pyramid formation can also look spectacular.
- Superman: Load two flyers up and allow one to fall back into a lying position with her arms extended and her stomach up. She should rest her feet in a shoulder support of a second base while her shoulders are supported by another base. The cheerleader in the ‘superman’ position grabs the cheerleader’s ankles while loading the third flyer with a pop-up. The third flyer lands on top of the shoulders of the ‘superman’ and the extra cheerleader as the bases toss both cheerleaders up.
- There are a few names for this trick, but essentially, it’s a partner stunt brought together to form a pyramid. There will be an odd number of flyers, either three or five, and each flyer will need a full base of support. Typically, the flyers load into a show and go, then are brought to the center to join in a wolf wall or a similar type pyramid. Lastly, the middle flyer is supported on either side by her arms, and then she is ‘popped’ into a flip and lands on her base’s shoulders.
You can also try any number of advanced dismounts to make your stunt more impressive.
- A full layout twist is done by tossing the flyer while it lies parallel to the floor and twists.
- In a pop up tuck, the flyer flips after being popped up, usually catching the basket in the process.
Watching Advanced Stunts
Getting ready for more difficult stunts requires not only physical preparation, but also mental preparation. If you watch some of these videos of other squads doing advanced stunts, you’ll be flipping, tossing, and flying your way to competition greatness in no time!
- Flipping a pyramid with assistance
- Double Full Basket Toss
- Two-to-one ratio breakdown
- Here is a montage of stunts, including a basket toss and a superman stunt.