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Cheerleading in the US

Cheerleading is popular worldwide and its more then just standing on the sidelines cheering on your high school team. Cheerleading is a sport and it’s a very challenging one. There is two different types of cheerleading and they often get mistaken as the same thing

School cheerleading is less challenging then all-star cheer. Usually when you start doing school cheer you start in the 7th grade. You do pep rallies, fight songs, sideline cheers, crowd involvement and stuff around your community. A lot of girls do it to experience the Friday night lights. There is Junior Varsity and Varsity when you are on varsity for 1 year at the end of the year you can get a lettermen. If you are really good at what you do girls get scholarships to go cheer in college.

Its all fun and games until your peers start labeling you by saying all cheerleaders are “mean” or “sluts” or we wear our skirts to short for attention. Most people think cheerleaders are mean and snobby just because they cheer. They work just as hard as football, baseball, soccer and etc. High school cheerleaders deserve more credit for what they do.

All-Star cheerleading also known as competition cheer is more difficult then school cheer. You travel around the world performing a 2 minute and 30 second routine consisting of tumbling, jumps, stunts and dancing in front of a panel of judges. Blood sweat and tears go into practices that last 3 plus hours 3 times a week. It takes a lot of keeping you body healthy and in shape. People say that cheer is easy and its not hard, you don’t understand how much effort it takes until you try it.

In July competitive cheer became recognized as a sport by the Arkansas Activities Association. Lance Taylor the director told,”It’s a sport amongst of them if you have and watched them.” On Jan 27 the supreme court held that cheerleading is not only a sport but it is also a contact sport. The fact is that cheerleading is a highly dangerous sport involving throwing bodies in the air over hard surfaces, said by Naugler.

Its not just girls who can cheer but guys can also, people tend to think that it is just a girls sport but some guys tend to be better then girls at it. Once you become a cheerleader it starts to become a lifestyle, with all the traveling, practice and all the money that is put into it. For some its more then just a sport its what they love and live for. Despite all the hate that cheerleaders get girls and guys go to practice and do what makes them happy.

The damage cheerleading does on your body is crazy so many injuries happen all the time. The most common injurie is a sprained ankle, the reason for this is the surface. They practice on mats with wood and spring under it. Other injuries are the neck, back, wrist and knees, a lot of the injuries happen to the spots or bases. The bigger and more catastrophic injuries happen to the head, skull fractures and concussions others include spinal cord issues and the main cause for these injuries are caused by pyramids and basket tosses.

When a cheerleader gets hurt they are usually told to ice it , wrap it, put icy hot it or just suck it up and deal with it. If a girl is injured while performing they don’t stop the music or the routine. Cheerleaders are told to keep going no matter what, but if it is really serious they will stop it and get her the help she needs.

Even if it is a small injury they usually become more chronic because Bert Jacobson, professor of health and human performances at OSU stated “because cheerleading season extends 12 months, small injuries become chronic injuries. They never heal.” If it is a small injury then girls just suck it and deal with it. When it gets worse they will most likely go see a doctor or specialist.

There are different levels in competitive cheer, levels 1 to 6. level one skills start out at back walk overs front walk overs and kart wheels, and those are the more basic skills you learn when cheerleaders start cheer. Level 2 is back hand springs or also known as flip-flops, and straight ride basket tosses.Level 3 is front punches and back tucks and twisting basket tosses.

The higher more elite levels are 4-6 these levels are the harder skilled teams. Levels 5 and 6 are the worlds teams, they travel all the Florida to compete against the best of the best. Its almost like the cheerleading super bowl, besides NCA that is as big as worlds but all levels can compete at that one.

All cheerleaders dream of winning all the big competitions or at least top 3. If you win these your team and gym are considered the best of the best. All it takes is hard work and dedication and the coming together of your team to want to win and will do anything to go out on the floor and nail the perfect routine to show the crowd and judges. Some girls cheer for 13 plus years and will never know what it is like to win one of the big competitions.

When you ask football or baseball players if cheerleading is a sport they will probably say no until the cheerleader shows them their muscles. When cheerleaders workout they lift weights run and do just as much as other sports, except cheerleaders do not get enough credit for all of their hard work.

Just like other sports if the cheerleader is really good he or she could have the chance to get a scholarship to the school of your dreams. Cheerleading scholarships are not as popular as football and baseball but they can still happen. If you don’t get the scholarship the cheerleader can still apply and attend the tryouts.

Tryouts for cheer is probably one of the most stressful weeks or couple of days for a cheerleader, Learning a certain amount of material and having to do it in front of judges you don’t even know. When the cheerleader s trying out she can not let the nerves get to her because she only has one tryout, no redo’s.

In January 2017, Governor Brown signs a new bill that says cheerleading is a sport. Cheerleaders finally get the recognition they deserve, even though it wasn’t “official” that cheer was a sport every cheerleader has considered it one. They will defend their sport and have plenty of evidence to support the argument.

“We don’t have to prove it is a sport.” Said Land “O Lakes senior Hayley Jones, an All-American. “It is a sport. Work and skill are involved. It is not just a cheer team, it is performing and it includes dance and gymnastics.” When people start to agree that cheerleading is a sport it makes cheerleaders happy and lets them know that they are heard and people have the cheer worlds back.

Cheer is only going to get bigger and more difficult, as the rules get changed, coaches are going to get more creative with making routines. Cheerleading is going to be around forever because little girls have big passions for it and look up to the high level teams and the famous cheerleaders, the little ones want to be just like them.

There are famous cheerleaders, you just don’t hear about like you do famous football players because only people in the cheer world understand why they are famous and what they are famous for. They are famous for their tumbling skills and a lot of flyers are famous for bring such good flyers.

“Cheerleading is a growing sport and its different then what you would see on the sidelines at a football game.” Said by Patrick Mislan. As cheerleaders grow and the gyms grow the cheer world is going to soon be on TV as a sport to watch and will get credit for what it deserves. Mislan also says that over 100 that have cheerleading national originations with 4.5 million registered athletes, its not small.

Cheerleading is a great sport to help you with self-confidence and performing in front of huge crowds. It is really enjoyable, you make new friends and it helps get you in shape its for all ages and sizes boys and girls. Most of the gyms are friendly environments and a happy place to be.

Despite all the hate and calling it not a sport, cheerleaders are athletes. Instead of doubting them encourage them to be proud of something they do and love. You cant judge them until you are un their shoes because cheerleading is a sport.

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