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Cheerleading IS A Sport!

Group of Cheerleader on Green Field

This is a question that many folks ask, and if they ask this question the most common answer is no. I 100% disagree with that. Cheerleading is one of the toughest, most time consuming, and dangerous sports that you can participate in.

In competitive cheerleading there are many components. Stunting, Tosses, Tumbling, Jumps, and Dance sections are a few of the most crucial parts that make up a routine. All these sections are scored by technique, quantity, difficulty, and creativity. Most folks will ask, “How do we maximize our score in a routine?” Simply enough, there are usually charts on the internet that tell you how many people you need to participate in each section to max out your teams score.

Stunting is when one person (usually known as a flier or upper woman) gets held in the air by typically 3 or less other individuals (referred to as foundations), when stunting the bases must find a creative way to get the girl into the atmosphere and then only catch their feet. Normally this means that the flier is going to need to spin or flip in the floor to get to the top of the stunt with the help of her foundations tossing her up. This may be the most dangerous part of cheerleading in the event the bases and flier are not trained correctly. The flier has to know how to control her body and the bases need to be able to capture the flier as she flips and spins on the way down or up from a stunt.

As we get to the tumbling section a lot of individuals will need to comprehend the mental and physical strength which has to do with this particular part of cheerleading. Tumbling is exactly what you see on the Olympics when the gymnasts are flipping all over the place in their floor routines. While the cheerleaders and gymnasts make this look easy, it requires a whole lot of time to get all of these critical skills for the team you are on. A good example of a team that maximizes their higher-level tumbling abilities is Top Gun: TGLC.

Tosses are almost like stunting except the objective of a throw is to throw the flier as high in the air as your can then catcher her on down the road. The bases must focus on the girl that’s in the air the whole time as she does her spins, kicks, and flips while you will find bright lights which are shining on the stage beaming in their eyes. All of them must make certain that they do their jobs because when the flier messes up then she kicks a base and doesn’t get caught, if the foundations look away or get diverted then the flier strikes the floor and can become seriously injured.

For the 2017-2018 cheerleading season at least 75% of the athletes on the team must perform 2 connected jumps with one extra jump or 3 connected jumps to maximize their score. Jumps need the cheerleader to jump of the floor and reach a position with their legs. Jumps are my biggest struggle because they take a whole lot of time and hip flexor strength for them to an appropriate height. Depending on what degree the team is some of these athletes even have to bring a tumbling pass attached to a jump.

This is normally at the end of a routine and just lasts about 15 seconds. Trainers will go incremental and section-by-section to be certain that each and every motion and every movement is created at the exact time it is supposed to. Most teams will incorporate hip-hop or other styles of dance to give the end of the regular a flair and sass.

Most people don’t realize how much work is put to a cheerleading routine. For the whole 2 minutes and 30 seconds these athletes are focused and committed to this routine. Just like soccer or baseball they spend hours and hours in the gym working to perfect those skills to succeed. Cheerleading is a sport and the kids are most defiantly athletes.

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