Cheerleaders are almost always envisioned at the sidelines during a sports game cheering the team on, stirring up the support of the crowd and looking quite spunky and energetic. Did you know that aside from that, many cheerleaders also heavily compete in cheerleading competitions that are highly competitive? Cheerleading is no longer a sport for the faint at heart; it is something for the highly energetic and athletic.
Cheerleading was began by Johnny Campbell in 1898, and since has evolved into a mostly girl sport with few males. Most teams are lucky to have one or two boys involved now, and are mostly overrun with girls. However, just because this sport is overrun with girls, does not make it a sissy sport. The girls and boys who do competition cheerleading are some of the most athletic athletes around right now.
Cheerleading provides great benefits in exercise, as well as upper and lower body strength. Stamina, balance, flexibility, agility, and coordination are also highly tuned. This is also a sport that requires teammates to learn large amounts of trust and teamwork in order to perform safely the stunts. Kids to succeed at cheerleading are typically very friendly, outgoing, and driven. Often the most successful cheerleaders come from other sports to start with, and migrate towards cheerleading, as they get older.
The beginning age for cheerleading varies greatly. Some push towards starting when a child is five, others say that a child should be much older. You should never allow your child to participate on a squad that does not have a trained coach. The coach is responsible for ensuring the team learns proper safety techniques and must never be excluded from any team your child is involved in.
If the squad is involved in any competition, or any extreme stunts, then the squad should never do any practice without a mat for safety issues. Injuries are quite common in cheerleading, however more injuries are minor and do not cause problems for long. Some serious injuries can occur; however, with proper training they are less frequent. Stretching and conditioning is essential to reduce the risk of injuries.
Costs usually cost approximately $100 up to $300 for the uniforms, with the fees for the competitions usually costing between $20 to $50 for each competition. This does not include any travel or hotel expenses that can be incurred in connection with the competition. Cheerleading squads often rely on fundraisers to help reduce the expenses for each squad member.