Have you or your child ever been watching a football game or attending a pep rally, when you realized how inspirational cheerleading is? The sport of cheerleading is not only over 100 years old, but also formerly all male. While today 97% of all cheerleaders are female, you may be shocked to find that almost 50% of collegiate cheerleaders are men. With the right cheerleading coach and squad, cheerleading could even get your son into college!
If you are intrigued by the benefits that come with the crowd-pleasing stunts, the first thing you need to decide is what level you want to be on:
There are three different types of squads. Start by searching for your local squad and seeing what types of squads are available to you. Check your middle or high school athletics office and make sure there is a squad. Otherwise, call a local gym and ask about their cheerleading opportunities.
- Recreational: Cheer at town basketball and football games
- School: Cheer for school events, football games, and be a part of the squad
- All-Star: Competing against other squads, traveling throughout the country
National Cheerleaders Association (NCA):
According to the NCA creed, “cheerleading is simply a practice for the larger arena of life”. The association feels strongly that being on a cheerleading team teaches a young adult important life values of preparation, teamwork, and dedication to achieving your dreams.
When attending a sports event or game for a local high school or professional league, many people are misled as to how hard cheerleading truly is. Cheerleading holds a vast amount of responsibility and commitment in addition to the intense physical training needed to participate in the sport.
- Time: Cheerleaders spend hours on hours practicing and finalizing moves for their upcoming performances. In addition to this, attending pep rallies, fundraisers, performances, and competitions is a very time consuming activity.
- Mental: Cheerleading does not only improve your physical condition significantly, but it will also change your way of thinking. Being a part of a cheerleading team is equivalent to having a family, and you will learn to respect each other and act as one.
- Dedication and putting in your best effort.
- Education: Learning to manage yourself by being on a sports team and staying focused in school.
- Physical: Practicing and performing routines, dances, claps, stomps, and cheers is exhausting for a cheerleader. Cheerleading is an unbelievable cardiovascular workout that keeps an individual healthy and fit.
- Attitude: The attitude of a cheerleader is one that lightens the mood and maintains a positive outlook. Cheerleading boosts self-esteem and promotes perseverance.
- Sense of Community: By bonding and helping each other perform new moves, cheerleaders can create friendships and boost school spirit significantly.
What to Wear: :
When you are ready to head off to cheerleading tryouts or meet with your professional cheerleading coach for the first time, make sure you are wearing the appropriate attire. When you are up in front of thousands of people, you want to look as great as you feel!
- Hair in a ponytail, use bobby pins to secure your hair
- Socks and white cheer sneakers or cheer shoes
- Comfortable shorts
- A tight fitting tee shirt or tank top (make sure it will not get caught on anything)
Now that you are ready to go, get excited to learn the basics of cheerleading, tumbling, jumps, and gymnastics!
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