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Cheerleading: A Sport for Sure

Let’s get one thing straight, cheerleading is sport. The definition of the word sport is- “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often a competitive nature.” It’s amazing how perfectly cheerleading fits that definition! Cheerleading has four main parts- jumps, stunts, tumbling, and dance-and each of them require a lot of physical activity and skill, and as for being competitive cheerleaders are. Some cheerleaders even go to competitions every weekend! If that’s not considered competitive, I don’t know what is. So just to prove cheerleading is a sport I’m going to take you through each of the four parts of it so that you see how athletic it really is.

To kick it off, I’ll start with jumps. Sounds easy, but it takes a lot of technique and flexibility. During the jumps section, you have to swing your arms in a certain way, jump as high as you can, points your toes, and get your legs in the exact position required. For example, in a jump called the toe touch, you start with you arms in a V shape above your head, hands in fists, and then you swing across your body, and jump with your feet in a straddle positions with your toes pointed. Judges are very tough on jumps. Every little move you make counts. Skill and physical activity are required in this section, so does this part qualify as a sport? I think so.

Next up is stunts. Well this is one of the most difficult parts of cheerleading, because it takes so much trust and skill from the four people that are in each stunt group. There is one “back,” two “bases,” and one “flier.” Stunts require balance and flexibility from the “flier,” that is, the person who is on top of the stunt. It requires strength and perseverance of the “bases,” who lift the flier in the air. And it requires hard work and fearlessness of the “back,” who stands behind the stunt and catches the “flier.” To hold someone above your head, to throw somebody super high knowing you have to catch them if it means getting hurt doing it, to know you are holding the life of your flier in your own hands, and to get hit and keep on going for your team is what the bases do each and every practice. To have trust in your stunt group, to sour above people’s heads, to have the bravery to get up there and do your best so you don’t let your team down, is what the fliers to in every stunt they take on. To get in there and catch the flier when they fall, to hold the flier up with all of their strength, to lead the stunts by counting and calling each stunt they do is what the backs do each time a stunt goes up or comes down. So is that part of cheerleading a sport? Unquestionably YES.

Tumbling is the part that I come to next. Personally, this is my favorite part! It’s the section in which each cheerleader gets to run through the floor showing off their best gymnastics move. Trust me, it isn’t easy getting out there in front of all those people, and do back handsprings, back tucks, back layouts with a full twists and much more, yet cheerleaders have the guts and the skill to get out there and do it anyway. Tumbling takes a LOT of practice and perseverance. Cheerleaders don’t land things every time, in fact during training, they fall more than they land, but still don’t give up. Sport? Definitely.

Last but not least is the dance. Dancing is very fun, but at times can feel very discouraging when the dance is very fast. This section of cheerleading takes a lot of memorization, speed, and maybe even some attitude. Basically, you learn and dance to music and practice it over and over and over. Yes, this section is definitely sporty.

All in all cheerleading is a SPORT that requires a lot of skill and physical activity. It’s a sport that is a mix of a lot of the most difficult sports out there like gymnastics, dance, and even strength training. Cheerleading is a difficult sport, and it’s not about glitz and glamour like most people think. I hope that you can see this topic from my point of view and realize that cheerleading isn’t just a hobby or activity, it really is a sport.

Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

ladygrammar said...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 9:26 am
No question, cheerleading has all the characteristics of a sport. The article and the sport have what it takes.
bonanny said...
Jul. 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm
Great article!   A good definition of cheerleading as a sport.   My vote is for ABBY!!
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