When it comes to stunting, it’s not enough to just keep your flyer in the air. You want them to feel strong, confident, and absolutely sure that they won’t fall! In order to keep your flyers up there and looking their best, make sure that you are considering your basing technique. After all, it’s the proper stunt technique that will separate the good teams from the incredible ones. Here are some of our top basing and gripping techniques to keep the whole team up and rocking on the mat!
No matter what, hands need to be under the foot!
While this sounds obvious, it isn’t as common as you would think it is. Many bases believe that it’s best to cling to the foot, even if that means only holding the toe and part of the heel. However, just like standing on the ground, it’s not about how much is over your foot—-it’s about how much is under it. For the best grip possible, bases should focus on getting as much of their hands underneath the flyer’s foot as they can. Have them focus on making their wrists touch, as this can really help their hands cover more surface area.
Wrists should be relaxed.
We know how weird this tip sounds, but hear us out. It’s usually the bases with the tight wrists who have a hard time getting their hands fully underneath the foot. On the flip side, a more relaxed wrist will create a flatter surface for the flyer to stand on, as well as allow the base to pull their wrists closer together. Keep in mind that this basing position requires both wrist flexibility and strength. Even though this is an unnatural position, consistent wrist training should help. Make sure that your athletes are stretching their wrists during practice, as well as doing the necessary exercises in their free time.
Heel over toe for support.
For most flyers, it’s easier to stay balanced when the toe is lower than the heel. Obviously, the best position is a flat foot, but in all star cheerleading, we know this isn’t always possible. If you have ever seen a flyer with locked legs, booty out, and bent at the hips, it’s because her toes are higher than her heels and her weight is shifting backwards. This is extremely common in one legged stunts. The solution? Allow your flyer to toe, if only just a little bit. If the toe can rest a little lower than the heel, then you might find that your flyer feels more confident and free to move around up there.
Pinch like a crab.
Pretend you have a crab’s hand. The trick to stunting is to get part of your hand on both sides of the foot. For example, focus on getting your thumb and your pinky finger to land on opposite sides of the flyer’s foot. Your grip will be enhances, and you’ll be able to stabilize your flyer’s ankle by preventing it from turning in or out.
Keep the ankle secure.
Back spots also play an important role in basing grips. The best way to keep a flyer feeling confident is to brace the ankle. What most flyers have in flexibility they lack in ankle stability, which is where a quality back spot plays a role. Try to wrap your pinky and thumb around the base of the ankle, close to the foot. Angle your index finger up the flyer’s leg and grip as tightly as you can. This works as a great ankle brace and can prevent your flyer from rolling their foot every which way.
Best of luck out on the mat; we look forward to seeing your killer stunting technique!