Never under-estimate a cheerleader. While cheerleading may look like it’s all fun and games as they throw each other through the air in an acrobatic display that boggles the mind, it really is a demanding sport that requires a lot of physical and mental dedication and commitment.
Cheerleading isn’t just for football games, it’s a sport within a sport that is taken seriously by thousands of competitive athletes all across the country. Cheerleading involves hours of repetitive practice in the arts of tumbling, rolling and teamwork. In short, it’s not a sport for sissies and if you think that all cheerleaders are good at is dancing around then you have another thing coming.
Cheers are amongst the fittest athletes in sports. Cheers need to be fit, strong and light. This means that they need strength and conditioning training just like any other athlete and they also compete in their sport, just like any other athlete. Every year, cheers from all around the country compete to see who the best squad is and the preparation for this event is gruelling.
If you are looking to get fit, then consider joining a cheer squad. Cheers can be found in any high-school, any college and most private sports teams will also have a cheer squad that you can sign up with. When we look at how cheerleading can keep you fit, it’s important to note the tasks that you need to train for. Practices, while focused on cardiovascular fitness, will also include strength training such as calisthenics. Tumbling and rolling are also a huge part of cheerleading training, cheers are always performing acrobatics and jumping around, so learning the skill of tumbling is vital and practiced by every cheer squad, no matter what sport they are cheering for.
When it comes to learning how to tumble and roll, safe cheerleading mats are a critical part of the safety equipment needed to keep the cheers safe. Learning how to break a fall on the solid ground is not such a great idea and can lead to injury. Crash mats, fall mats and floor mats are all necessary when it comes time to practice tumbling.
A good cheer squad should have a great coach. The coach and his assistants have the task of compiling the fitness routine and keeping the athletes in form and ready to perform. The coach is the hub of the team and the best coaches in the country all run fantastic fitness programs for their cheer squads. Have you ever seen a cheerleader that was serious about their sport and that was out of shape? Neither have we, that’s because cheers not only work on their fitness, but on their nutrition as well.
Eating the right foods give you more energy and more energy means you can train harder, for longer, without getting as tired. Nutrition is so crucial to athletes that many high-school and college level cheer squads now have as stringent a diet program as their training schedule. Getting the right nutrients into your bloodstream at the right times will keep you performing at your peak with every practise, so make sure your diet is nutritious and take your training to the next level.
Cheers are often seen as just a dance-squad to keep the crowd happy during period breaks in the game. However, many don’t realise that these athletes are top level sportspeople as well. Not only will cheerleading keep you fit but it will also develop your life skills of team work, confidence and the importance of having a great attitude. So next time you are at a game and the cheer squad gets up to get you motivated, show them some respect for the athletes they are and cheer along!