A lot of kids have the vision of being a flyer.  What most don’t realize is what it truly takes to be a flyer at MGA.  Whether your child has dreams of being a flyer or they are trying out as a flyer for our 2019-2020 season, here are the 5 key areas to focus on.

Body Control

The most important part of flying is being able to maintain proper lines.  This means the flyer must have a strong core, squeeze her hips, pull up through her belly button, and lift through her shoulders.  So when watching for body control, the staff at MGA Cheer Extreme will make sure that the flyers hips and shoulders stay tight and in line. Please note that in the picture the flyer on the right has space between her feet and that is INCORRECT. Feet should always be together. The line is correct, but feet are not!

Flexibility

The flyers job to help defy gravity!  When a flyer has poor flexibility, instead of the stunt feeling lighter because everything is lifting up, the stunt feels heavier because the muscles are pulling everything down. The more flexible a flyer is, the easier it is to maintain the ideal line.  What the staff at MGA Cheer Extreme looks for when it comes to body positions, is can the flyer pull each body position and hold them in the correct position for 2 to 3 eight counts. This will show that the flyer has the flexibility required to become a flyer, along with the strength required to hold the body positions.

Confidence

From how they attack a stunt to the life they bring to a stunt, flyers have to be confident!  Every time a flyer leaves the ground they are taking a risk. It is important that flyers have the ability to think under high pressure situations.  There are 4 key elements that the staff at MGA Cheer Extreme uses to tell if a flyer has confidence or not.

  1. Do they have an outgoing personality.  We have found that the more outgoing an athlete is, the more confidence they have in everything that they do.  
  2. How fast do they lock their leg out.  The faster a flyer locks her leg out, the more aggressive she will be when it comes to stunting.  
  3. How they respond when the stunt moves.  It is NOT the flyers job to balance in a stunt.  If the stunt starts to move, a confident flyer will focus on her line and get her body back in line.  On the other hand a flyer that lacks confidence will break her line as a stunt starts to move.
  4. Ability to make adjustments when coached.  A flyer must go up thinking and feeling what and how her body is moving in the air.   A confident flyer will be able to listen to a coach’s verbal cues and make the adjustments needed to stabilize a stunt.  A flyer that lacks confidence will start to panic and can not make the adjustments in the air that the coach gives to them.

Performance

There is no doubt that when it comes to stunts everyone is watching the flyer!  It is the flyer that is responsible for about 90% of the stunt scores. It is the flyer’s job to learn the words or voice over in the stunt sequence, and make that stunt come to life.  The MGA staff looks for the energy the flyer gives off when they stunt. Do they tell the story of the voice over? Are they able to move their body and still maintain their lines? Do they make you stand up and cheer for them? Because this is such an important part of the routine, flyer must have outgoing personalities and be able to interpret and express different emotions while flying.

Obvious Mistake

While it takes 2 to 4 people to pick up a flyer, there are obvious mistakes that a flyer makes that will cause stunts to fall.  The MGA staff looks for 3 obvious mistakes when a flyer goes up.

  1. Does the flyer bend her knee? When a flyer bends her knee, the bases lose control of the stunt making it a lot harder to hit the stunt.
  2. Does the flyer reach down for her leg when pulling her body position?  When a flyer reaches down for the body position, this causes the shoulders to break the line that is required for the stunt to hit.  Flexible and strong flyers can bring the leg to the hand without breaking their line or reaching down for the leg.
  3. Does the flyer keep her hips locked out?  A flyer whose hips move left to right or front to back is not squeezing her core.  As a flyer’s hips move, it causes their weight to shift resulting in the bases having to make adjustments underneath the flyer.

While there’s not a perfect flyer in the world, flyers who focus on and can perform these 5 basic things listed at a 90% accuracy rate, will be the athletes that the MGA staff has the confidence in becoming flyers for our elite level teams.   

Below is a sample video of what the level 1-2 flyer’s stunt should look like, as well as the level 3-5.  Please have your child make up their own facials to tell their own story during the voice over section.

Level 1 and 2 Stunt routine

Level 3-5 Stunt Sequence