While doing any cheerleading routine that involves tumbling, spotting is a necessary requirement. It’s not just needed to keep the routine moving but also to prevent injury for the cheerleader doing all the tricks and flips. Spotting isn’t just about watching as the cheerleader hits the ground. There’s an art to it to make it fit within the routine and help with the development of routines in the gym.
A Spotter Needs to Be Fully Trained
It’s not just a case that anyone can be a spotter. A member of the team has to be trained to watch for any possible mistakes or hazards during the tumbling and stunts. It’s important for the spotter to know all the possible hazards in the area, and know what to do should something go wrong. If the spotter can’t stop the tumbler hitting the ground, the spotter needs to be trained in how to minimize the impact to lessen the possible injury.
Some spotters are just for training events. They may be for those who are learning how to do the newest tumbles and when initially integrating tumbles and stunts into a routine. However, there are others who are needed for the actual events. Each stunt group will have at least one spotter.
Front vs. Back Spotters
Front spotters are most common for training. They help cheerleaders learn the newest tricks and gain balance before doing any type of stunt. Most of the time they won’t be included in the routine once the cheerleaders have the tricks perfected.
Back spotters are there for the competitions and events. They are there for loading stunts and getting cheerleaders ready for stands, dismounts, and tricks. Back spotters are a requirement, and each competition will have various rules for the number of back spotters required. There may also be a requirement for male/female spotters.
It’s More Than Just Watching
The art of spotting is more than just watching the tumbler. The spotter needs to be able to watch out for any type of hazard, while keeping their eyes locked on the person in the air. If anything goes wrong, the spotter needs to remain focused on his/her flyer to be there to prevent injury.
This job requires quick thinking and reaction times. Just a slight delay in reactions could lead to the flyer hitting the ground hard.
While reacting quickly, the spotter needs to be trained in the proper method of catching the flyer. Catching the cheerleader in the wrong way could make an injury worse! Proper hand placement won’t just ensure the tumbler’s safety but also the spotters when the tumbler drops.
At the same time, the spotter needs to know all the routines and be advanced in skills to understand what is going on and when. This is usually a job given to a highly talented cheerleader, who has been with the team for some time. It’s also given to a member who can be highly trusted by the rest of the team.
Are you good enough to be a spotter? The art of spotting does require a lot of responsibility and skill. You don’t just need to be good at cheerleading, but also at reacting and planning ahead. Anything could go wrong in a routine, and you need to be ready for every little element. The tumbler is putting faith in you catching them should the flip or stunt go wrong.