Published on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 by Marisa Lindeman
Countless hours of training, a competitive edge, and athletic endurance are the elements that make up a sport, right? Competitive cheerleading involves all of these components, yet many still don’t consider it a “sport”.
I don’t understand how people think competitive cheerleading isn’t a sport, considering how hard cheerleaders work to compose a perfect routine. Plus, people consider gymnastics and dance as sports, yet cheerleading is basically a combination of both of these.
Besides the gymnastics and dance components, cheerleading also has something extra: stunting. I love when people who play other sports complain about lifting weights. Instead of lifting weights, we lift people and throw them 15 feet in the air.
Though competitive cheerleading routines are only 2 minutes and 30 seconds, it takes months of preparation. Every week, cheerleaders spend about 5 hours working on the components of the routine to seek perfection and win against the competition.
Cheerleading is also probably one of the most dangerous sports out there! It isn’t unusual for a girl or guy to walk out of practice with a black eye, multiple bruises, or even a bloody nose. Yet, we still push through our injuries.
The popular perception of cheerleading is based mostly on what is seen on the sidelines during a high school football game. Competitive cheerleading is very different than school cheerleading.
School cheerleading is about spirit and helping the crowd get wild and crazy for a typical Friday night football game, but in competitive cheerleading, we don’t even say cheers.
Competitive cheerleading tends to require more endurance and a lot more strength to do harder and more difficult tricks than school cheerleading, because the focus of competitive cheer is to perform a routine, but school cheer is centered around pumping up fans.
Many people only base their perceptions of cheerleading from what they see at a football game, without understanding that many of these cheerleaders are also involved with choreographing and performing physically-intensive routines at competition.
So, to all of you people who still continue to think cheerleading isn’t a sport, how about you try it? Then tell me how sore you are after your first practice on a competitive cheer team.