Cheerleader Oops! Types & Tumbling Mishaps

One thing is certain: You’ll have an oops moment eventually if you cheer long enough. Sometimes stunts go wrong, wardrobes malfunction, or you forget your routine. 

As cheerleaders perform in front of an audience, learning how to handle mistakes and avoiding them in the future is crucial to becoming the best cheerleader you can be.

Types of Cheerleader Oops

In cheerleading, there are dozens of things that can go wrong in any routine or stunt. There are some cheerleading oops moments that are more common than others.

Wardrobe Malfunctions
This video shows a cheerleader practicing tumbling when her pants fall down. It’s a good thing she’s wearing shorts underneath. It is common for cheerleaders to experience wardrobe malfunctions. Make sure you don’t lose your skirt or other clothing item by:

  • Having a uniform that fits properly. Find out if you can have your uniform altered or if you need a new one if you have lost weight.
  • Under your skirt or pants, wear spankies or short leggings.
  • During warm-ups, pay attention to how your clothing fits. You can be sure that if your skirt falls off during practice, it will also happen during a game.

Losing a Shoe

In addition to wardrobe malfunctions, losing a shoe can spell disaster for a flyer. A cheerleader loses both of her shoes at the end of a stunt in this video. When performing, follow these steps to avoid this problem:

  • It is important to wear shoes that fit properly. You should be fitted for the shoes your team orders by your uniform sales representative.
  • Tighten the laces all the way up the mouth of the shoe.
  • During a game, if you notice your shoes are loosening, slip away from the squad during downtime or a simple sideline cheer. Retie your laces as quickly as possible by kneeling down.

Falling During a Stunt

Every flyer and her base would love to perform a perfect stunt every time, but the truth is that flyers fall a lot. The girl in this video falls and does a couple of things that could have caused serious injury. As a result, she was launched to the side because she did not cradle or trust her base to catch her. 

It is also possible that a fractured bone might have resulted from her putting down her arm as if to catch herself. The flyer and the base can also take the following steps to avoid falling during a stunt:


  • Avoid popping one hip out at a time. Keep your hips aligned straight.
  • It is important to keep your legs straight and tight. Attempt extensions on a balance board before attempting them in the air.
  • Don’t worry about your base catching you. Falling is scary, but if you can cradle backwards during a fall, your back and side spots will have an easier time and you won’t injure them.
  • You can help them lift you into the air by pushing off your side spots.


  • Make sure not to “toe” the flyer by pushing the front of her foot upward. A flyer can become unbalanced as a result.
  • In order for the flyer’s legs to be at an even height, both side spots should be the same height, or the taller one must bend her knees to accommodate the flyer.
  • Your flyer will help her learn to trust you and to cradle.

Tumbling Mishaps

Your body sometimes does not respond to what your brain is telling it, no matter how prepared you are. The girl in this video clearly knows how to do a back handspring, but she fails to focus on technique, resulting in an embarrassing moment. 

Remember these tips to avoid landing on your back instead of doing a handspring:

  • Almost as if you were sitting in a chair, bend your knees and sit back.
  • Before tumbling, do not double jump or step back.
  • Before attempting such a stunt in a game or performance, practice it repeatedly in a gym with a certified coach.

The best thing you can do if you land on your back instead of your feet is exactly what the girl in this video did – smile, laugh, and keep on cheering.

Other Oops Moments

Oops moments can be small and not easily captured on camera, but they can be just as embarrassing. A few more mistakes and how to avoid them are listed below:

  • Test your shoes on the surface you’ll be performing on to ensure they aren’t too slippery. If you need extra traction at the last minute, scratch up the bottoms outside.
  • Watching the other cheerleaders out of the corner of your eye can help you catch up if you’re a beat ahead or behind the rest of the squad during a routine or dance.
  • Throwing up – Nerves can cause stomach problems, especially before big competitions. Eat light foods at least an hour before the event and avoid heavy or greasy foods.
  • Routine mistakes – It’s human nature to make mistakes. Assert that it is part of your routine and keep going. It is unlikely that most people will notice the error.

Keep Smiling

Remember that you are not the first cheerleader to be embarrassed over something that went wrong in a routine. At some point, nearly every cheerleader has an oops moment. People will quickly forget any mistakes if you smile and stay upbeat.

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