Recently, we had a great question from Crystal, who is a coach for 3rd and 4th grade cheerleaders, and we just had to share it as it is one of the MOST COMMON ISSUES for all coaches; here is her question:
Q: “… My girls need help with stunting. My flyers don’t trust their bases to hold them and my bases are afraid of their flyers falling on them.”
A. First of all Crystal, please know that you are not alone as this issue happens to all coaches at some time in their career. To solve this problem, it comes down to 2 simple solutions:
1. Build Personal Trust: Your girls need to build trust with their teammates and it is a easy as playing a team building game at the beginning of EVERY practice and try to put your stunt groups together while you play the game. As your girls get to know each other, their trust will build with each other and that will roll over into your stunting. Here are some games to get you started:
Make a New Friend Game
Have 2 cheerleaders sit together that do not normally talk and have them find out 3 things that they have in common. Once you give the team 5 minutes for this activity, have the 2 cheerleaders stand up and introduce each other to the team and reveal what they have in common.
Have your team sit in a circle. Each athlete stands up and gives a compliment to the person next to them. This is a great way to build trust and confidence!
Get to Know You Game
Have 2 athletes stand next to each other. Give them 1 minute to notice EVERYTHING about each other. Then, have them stand back to back and then ask them some questions about their teammate like: What is their eye color, hair color, shoe lace color, what are they wearing, are they wearing jewelry, etc.
For TONS of team building games and ideas, CLICK HERE
2. Build Stunting Trust and Confidence by starting with smaller stunts: One way to build trust with stunting, is to start stunting with beginner stunts that your girls can do easily and do well. When they get comfortable and confident in their skills and teammates with the smaller stunts, then you can progress to larger stunts and they will carry that confidence and trust with them.
For example, for this age group, I would start with pony mounts and double thigh stands as they are perfect for this age group. When they MASTER these skills, your girls will be confident in themselves and their teammates to continue with larger stunts.
When stunting, it is so common to just jump right into preps or even fulls with beginner cheerleaders. This will absolutely scare your girls if they do not know what they are doing. By starting at the beginning, even with experienced girls that do not know each other, you will help build a solid foundation of trust and confidence in your girls that will help them in all of their cheer skills.
Thanks Crystal for your question and let us know how it goes!