What Does it Take to Be a Cheerleader?

Cheerleaders often wear big bows, glitter and rhinestones. They lead crowds during sporting events, and they also set a good example of sportsmanship.

A cheerleader must be physically fit to perform stunts and jumps. She needs flexibility for gymnastic stunts, strength to lift and hold flyers, and endurance to complete a long routine.
Character Development

In addition to being physically fit, cheerleading teaches children the importance of working as a team. Athletes are required to memorize a routine, attend practice multiple times a week and perform at sporting events or cheer competitions. They are taught how to set short and long-term goals and build strategies to accomplish those goals. This is a valuable skill that will serve them throughout their life.

Cheerleaders are also required to keep a 70 or higher average in school to be on the squad. If they do not meet that requirement they will be benched until they are able to bring their grades up. This teaches students the importance of maintaining high academic standards and not being distracted by outside activities.

Most cheerleaders understand the importance of good sportsmanship. They are often the crowd leaders at sporting events and set a visible example to fans, students and athletes. They may encourage others to keep their chins up when a teammate falls or help squash inappropriate fan behavior.
Social Skills

Cheerleading requires a lot of interaction with others. Whether you’re working with sports fans or members of your own pro cheer team, people skills are essential for success. These skills include listening, communicating and resolving conflicts.

Kids learn to work as a focused group and are taught the importance of being well-groomed and presentable. This is a skill that will help them in future job interviews and everyday situations.

In addition to this, cheerleading helps children and teens build lifelong friendships. This is mainly because they spend so much time together between practices, fundraisers, competitions and display performances.

The sense of mateship and trust that is required to execute a routine means that cheerleaders become extremely close friends. For example, a flyer relies on her bases to keep her in the air during a stunt and only through effective communication can they ensure that their stunt works. Similarly, when a stunt does not work, cheerleaders know to take responsibility and not blame others.
Sports-Specific Skills

A cheerleader’s ability to create and execute routines that complement the energy of a sporting event is a critical skill. This question evaluates the candidate’s understanding of how to strategically cheer for sports and their ability to tailor their performance based on venue and crowd expectations.

Advancing to higher levels of competition requires specialized skills. Candidates can demonstrate their mastery of these techniques by describing how they introduce new stunts to their squads step-by-step, ensuring safety and building confidence. They should also outline their methods for training and spotting advanced stunts, including the use of a metronome to enhance synchronization and spatial awareness.

Loaded training helps boost the strength of cheerleaders and improve their tumbling passes, jumps and body control. Candidates can provide examples of loaded exercises, such as planks and headstands, that they have used to help their team members achieve a greater range of motion and increased confidence in their stunts. They should also discuss how they incorporate core strength and shoulder stability exercises into their regular routines.

Cheerleaders are a critical part of an athletic department’s mission. They are crowd leaders, spirit raisers and entertainers, and they are often the connection between fans and the sports team. They create pep rally, pregame, time-out and halftime performances to revivify stadium energy and fan enthusiasm.

Good cheerleaders have a solid understanding of their teams’ strengths, vulnerabilities and triggers. They listen well and use a bespoke combination of praise and critique to make their team members better teachers.

They are always looking for opportunities to praise, and they know that sometimes the quiet work and invisible success of their peers deserves a whoop. They don’t play favorites, and they treat all of their athletes the same.

Great leaders understand that they can’t lead people effectively if they don’t have a clear vision. Leadership expert John Kotter suggests that 70% of change efforts fail, and one reason is that leaders don’t clearly and enthusiastically state their vision.

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