It’s funny, when the topic of cheerleading should randomly pop up in a conversation, how many people actually have rather strong opinions on the subject. These opinions can be in either a very positive or very negative light, and are often associated with a person’s own experiences in high school or college, but only rarely is cheerleading discussed objectively as the important resource it can be for helping kids learn some really important life skills; skills that will help them achieve success in many areas of their lives ahead. Think about the importance of life skills and learned personality traits such as:
Cheerleading forces kids to exude confidence in their talents and abilities, as they perform stunts and routines in front of sometimes very large crowds of people. The process of cheerleading tryouts demands precision and self assurance on an individual level. The confidence learned through cheerleading can serve kids very well in their future endeavors.
There are few instances in a young person’s life which require the kind of trust in a team mate which is demanded by certain aspects of cheerleading. When your team mates throw you into the air, you have to put all of your trust in their ability to catch you, and cheerleaders practice this on a regular basis.
This is one of the most important skills and attitudes which can be developed by cheerleading. Team members are required to work together at all times in order to ensure the success of the team as a whole. Building this ability to work as an integral part of a team is vital to future success in practically every area of life.
The particular type of team spirit which is demanded by cheerleading also fosters a compassionate ability to help others improve and gain confidence in their own talents.
The Captain position on a cheerleading squad obviously nurtures leadership skills, as that person is essentially responsible for encouraging the cooperation and adhesion of the team as a unit. But each member of a cheerleading squad is constantly learning leadership skills as a natural way of life, as they lead hundreds-sometimes even thousands-of fans together in a common goal.
Cheerleaders are responsible for maintaining an optimistic and supportive attitude, not only amongst themselves, but also throughout the crowd of fans, even when the team they are cheering for isn’t doing so well. This provides a base for kids to learn the importance of keeping a positive attitude and offering encouragement in all of life’s unpredictable situations.
In order to be good at anything, you must practice that skill-sometimes over and over and over again. Some of the skills learned in cheerleading-particularly the physical aspects-demand very disciplined and on-going practice to master. This teaches kids the importance of determination and provides a fulfilling sense of accomplishment when the skill is mastered.
There has been some debate as to whether cheerleading even qualifies as a sport. It most certainly does, as it can be physically demanding and requires a great deal of athletic ability. Cheerleading also teaches kids valuable skills and attitudes that can serve them well for years to come.