We all know there are physical advantages in cheerleading, but most people do not consider all the other many advantages that exist for those male and female athletes in the world of competitive cheerleading.
First off, let’s just be honest, cheerleading often gets a bad wrap for not being a “real” sport. Even worst, cheerleaders are often portrayed as gossipy mean kids who think they are better than everyone else. Now, were not going to lie – First and foremost Cheerleading is a SPORT. We welcome anyone who believes otherwise to join our athletes during one of their training sessions. Secondly – it is VERY SAD that some cheer programs do teach their kids that the gossip, we’re better than you and won’t even acknowledge other teams attitude is the way of life. But the reality is, those type of programs and cheerleaders only make up 10% of the cheerleading world. So don’t let it get to you. 90% of the cheerleaders out there are really nice and love to celebrate each other’s achievements.
Now to the benefits, which we will break down over a series of post.
Cheerleading is a challenging sport that requires mental and physical strength, flexibility, dedication, focus and dedication (yes, we said it twice for a reason). Athletes not only train for hours in a gym, but they train even on their “off” days. For some people that may sound like a lot of work, but it is no different than any subject in school. You must attend your classes, do the work and then go home and do homework or at least study the concepts you learned that week to be prepared for the next week of classes and eventually prepared for Finals. In cheer, our version of the finals is Nationals or Worlds.
So, let’s dive into the obvious, physical strength. Cheerleading conditioning strengthens the athletes muscles in the upper body, core and lower body – it’s an all over strength training project that last for nearly 10 months and sometimes more. Some positions in cheerleading required you to hold up a person in the air with extended arms for nearly 30 seconds to a minute at a time. This is no easy feat, don’t believe us? Do this, pick up a full gallon bottle of water with both hands, position yourself in a nice squat with your legs, then push that water with extended arms right above you (not over your head because you don’t want to drop it, make sure you can make eye contact with the water). Keep arms extended and legs in squat, shrug your shoulders slightly and see how long you can keep your arms up. It’s not as easy as one would think and remember these kids are holding athletes a lot heavier than a gallon of water. Then there are the flyers who need to have the upper and lower body strength to position themselves for explosive launches into the air. Then, once they are up there, they must maintain a certain level of balance and focus while executing very difficult skills – all while being held by 1 to 3 people at a time.
So, if your not sure cheerleading will give you the physical challenge you need to exceed in sports, think again. Many cheerleaders – male and female – are successful football players, basketball players, volleyball, softball and more. They have found cheerleading to be that added extra push they needed to put them at their athletic peak.
Physical Strength is an amazing benefit to cheerleading and you should give it a try – even if its for just one season. You will never know until you try it! If you are in the Nor Cali Bay Area come check out RAW ELITE ALLSTARS, if you are not, check out a gym in your area.
See you on the mats!