Cheerleading: It’s more than just cheers

Whoever decided that cheerleading was not a sport needs a reality check.  Cheerleading doesn’t just involve standing on the sidelines yelling for the players on the field or pumping up the crowd. It’s tough work to get everything on time and together. Not to mention working on the stunts they do. I mean, if you have not been through the practices or the competitions then, honestly, you have no need for an opinion.

Cheerleaders can practice for hours daily, throwing 100 plus pound girls into the air and either holding them there or catching them in a cradle. Let’s see some of the basketball or football players doing that for hours. Probably wouldn’t work out well. People are usually heavier than footballs or basketballs. Also, doing intense pyramids or just two people builds really uses a lot of strength, endurance and patience –key things to any athletic sport.  And those things only apply to the stunting aspect of cheerleading. Tumbling is a whole other story. Have you seen some one gnarly flips and twists cheerleaders can do? Pretty dangerous looking, if you ask me. The tumbling skills are intense, especially if something goes wrong while you’re upside down and 4 feet in the air. You can slam down on your neck or back and you’re done for.

Cheerleading is not only physically challenging, but also emotionally. I mean, you try dealing with preppy girls for hours. Not really my cup of tea. But when game time or competition time comes along, those snotty girls come together and sacrifice their pride and put on an amazing performance. Not only are the girls a problem, but the pressure of hitting the stunts. Trying to think of a safer and cooler way to do them can really be frustrating on the person creating the stunts.

That’s another thing: sacrifice. Do you think cheerleaders would love not having to throw themselves under people to save some girl from slamming onto the ground when a stunt falls? Probably not, I mean that’s just asking for pain. Football players and other people in sports make sacrifices as well. So they are very similar in those ways.

So, next time you decide to diss the cheerleaders who are working their butts off, think about this: the practices they go through are just as long as the football or basketball players’ practices. And they can be just as tough. Although they do different things, they are still working hard. Cheerleaders are athletes. Cheerleading is a sport.

By:  Samantha Spaulding, Staff Writer

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