The role of the spotter in cheerleading is the most necessary and the least celebrated. Spotters are the unsung heroes that can make or break an entire routine or sideline performance. Think about it. To be a truly talented stunter, you must have good technique. In order to have good technique, you must be able to practice a multitude of times. Practicing that much requires safety training that keeps every member of the stunt group healthy. It takes good training and a dedicated backspot to make this possible.
The backspot is in charge of keeping the head, neck and spine, also known as the “catastrophic injury area” protected. This is the most crucial responsibility. Any veteran coach knows that a competent backspot has to be quick on their feet, understand the importance of safety, and have the courage and conviction to keep every member of their stunt group safe. The back spot is the glue of the stunt.
Top girls and bases ask, “Can I get a spot for this?” Every cheer coach, cheerleader, parent, cheer instructor and judge have said, “That was a great save!”. Many have said, “Good job sticking the stunt after a bobble / fall”. The bases, spotter, and flyer are fundamental in the skill. Back spots fight to make stunts and pyramids hit under any circumstance when most of the time, flyers and bases get all the glory and the spotter was the person responsible for making it happen safely!
I think it is time to put a spotlight on the on the unsung hero! The QB of any football team will always tell you his linemen should get the credit for a win. I think the spotter on a cheer squad can relate to the lineman. They are both down in the trenches fighting tooth and nail. They fight to make the QB, (flyer) receiver, (base), or running back, (secondary base), look good. QB is a tough position, but if you put everything on his shoulders the QB falls like a house of cards. If Tom Brady or any of the top pro QB’s could go an entire game without pressure from the defense, he will win every time.
I have made a living in the cheerleading industry as a spotter, coach, instructor and judge. I can tell when a top person feels safe. You can see it too. Flyers feel safe because they know that if they fall, or more likely, when they fall, there is somebody there who has accepted the sole responsibility to keep them safe. Once trust is built among the stunt group, success is just a matter of time. In the flyer’s eyes, that kind of confidence only comes from the experience that comes from having a great spotter. Hats off to all spotters out there who are keeping that blue carpet out of their top girl’s teeth!
Welcome new CheerNN Reporter Kevin Andrews! Kevin is a former high school and college cheerleader and cheer camp instructor. Kevin currently owns Spirit Event Coordinators, a spirit tryout and competition judging company, with his beautiful wife Tricia Andrews. Kevin and Tricia and their 2 beautiful children, Paxton and Presley, currently live in Knoxville, TN. YOU can Become A CheerNN Reporter too! Tell us your story and you could be published on Cheer News Network!