Cheerleading has a bit of a weird reputation. A lot of folks see those high school comedies (and dramas), something like ‘Mean Girls’, and decide that cheer is exactly what they see on TV.
It’s a sport, like any other sport, that requires training. It teaches you balance, responsibility, and how to work as a team. It’s relatively affordable: you don’t need to buy much cheer equipment up front, since your school will supply pretty much everything. You might just need to pay for your uniform, and the training facility is already available to you.
Cheerleaders are important to their schools because they help pump up their teams and the audience during sporting events. They are the heart of the entire school’s spirit. It’s the cheerleading team that accompanies their sporting teams all over the place to cheer them on and encourage them to do their best – and it’s the cheerleading team that often represents the school on their own to show off what they’re capable of. Some schools even pair their cheerleaders with members of various teams to provide support and encouragement. This is great because those players sometimes develop strong friendships with their cheerleaders, and having somebody that you can count on to support you is always helpful – and can make all the difference in how a game goes.
Cheer isn’t just a high school thing. There are professional cheerleading teams for professional sport teams, colleges have them, and cheer can be its own stand-alone competitive sport.
Cheer is, more or less, team gymnastics. It takes a hell of a lot of training, hard work, and patience to be able to complete the maneuvers that cheerleaders include as part of their regular routines, let alone to do them from memory and on a regular basis. Cheerleaders spend as much time in the weight room as the football team, and they’re practicing with their cheer equipment even moreoften. The amount of training that cheerleaders do is pretty ridiculous.
Unfortunately, cheer has the highest number of injuries for female athletes of any high school or college sport, and that includes everything from sprains to concussions. Cheerleaders don’t have protective equipment like other sports, and they have to throw each other in the air! Even so, some get really lucky and never deal with an injury during their entire cheer career.
In the end
So, not only is cheer an intense sport – despite what the NCAA will tell you – that can hurt like hell despite your best intentions, it’s an incredible team-building exercise that manages to bring a lot of positivity wherever its cheerleaders go and it’s more intense than football. It’s the best sport to pick if you’ve ever dreamed of growing up to be Xena or Wonder Woman.