Being a spotter (sometimes called third base or scoop) in Cheerleading is no easy task. The responsibility of preventing injury to the flyer rests on the spotter's shoulders or rather in their arms. A spotter should always be in contact with the performing surface and should be an alert, fast thinking, aggressive, and preferably taller person. They are also usually the person that calls everything in a stunt.
A spotter assists the flyer into the stunt but is not the primary support. They help steady or balance the stunt and most importantly, help to catch the flyer, if she falls, so as to prevent injury. Their role in stunting is huge and should never be taken lightly.
Skills, Abilities and Tips on Spotting
Attentive - A spotter has to pay attention to what is going on. They should not be easily distracted or lose their concentration.
Fast Thinking - A spotter must be able to react quickly to any situation.
Teaching - A spotter can help in teaching the flyer by building up their confidence and trust. If the flyer knows she will be caught, she can focus more on her flying technique.
Timing - As with all positions in stunting, the timing of the spotter has to be perfect.
Saving - Spotters have to know how to save a stunt and not be afraid to do so.
Fearless - A spotter can not have any fear of catching the flyer or of being hurt by doing so. If anyone is to hit the ground, it should be the spotter.
Keep Your Eyes on the Flyer - Unless a spotter has to check a grip, their eyes should be on the flyer at all times.
Maintain Contact with Flyer - Whenever possible the spotter should keep in contact with the flyer. This not only helps balance the stunt, but it will make the flyer feel more confident and secure.
Know How to Catch - If the flyer should happen to fall, the spotter should know how to catch her head and neck first. By catching the head and neck, the spotter can prevent the most serious of injuries. The spotter (and bases) should also catch the flyer at the highest point possible. This helps slow her descent.
As you can see, it takes a very special person to fill the position of spotter and the importance of this position should never be underestimated.