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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

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A cheerleader’s perspective on cheering

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Photo Credit: photo by Olivia Bryant used with permission
The sunny weather down in Ocean City Maryland boosted spirits before competing.

When someone says the word “cheerleader,” different thoughts go through people’s heads. Some stereotypes start to arise and certain words get associated with the word. From a cheerleader’s perspective, here is a breakdown of what we really do versus what people think. 

The big bows

When people think of high school cheerleaders, people may think rude, pretty, or popular. But I can assure you that that’s not true. People assume so much about people in general and in sports, not just cheerleading. Most people may get this idea from movies or tv shows. In lots of movies, the cheerleaders are famous, there is usually a leader and a couple of other friends. They are popular and rude to people that aren’t part of their friend circle. But in real life, we aren’t really like that. Most are nice and not really popular. Also, keep in mind that being popular and having a lot of friends is completely different. People may also think that we love getting boy’s attention or being the center of attention. Which again really isn’t true, people judge us without really even knowing us. In general, the things you like or the sport you play doesn’t and shouldn’t define who you are as a person. 

The injuries

Another popular opinion is that cheer is not a sport. People will say if it’s not on TV it isn’t a sport, or it’s not dangerous. When people say things like this, they probably don’t really know much about the sport. There is a program where you can watch cheer teams compete live for one of the biggest competitions called, “Worlds.” You do have to pay for it but if you are into cheer it is completely worth it. When people say that this sport is not dangerous, I don’t think they have ever seen a team perform or practice before. Cheerleading is one of the most dangerous sports out there. We have to throw people in the air and catch them. People that are in the air also have to flip other people in the air. Throwing our bodies upside down while twisting and flipping. Choosing to keep going even if we know that our back or wrist will never be the same again. Our schedules can get really tough too, practices could be three hours or more and three times a week. Competitions are also almost every weekend which takes away a lot of our lives, just like most other sports.

Maintaining it all

There are two different types of cheer, game, and competition. In game cheer, you are cheering for football or basketball games. But, in competition cheer you travel to perform and compete against other teams. You can do this for your school or for another gym which would be all-stars or rec. When people do all-stars cheer it can get very hectic and is very serious. I used to cheer at World Cup All-Stars which was around 45 minutes away. I would leave after school and wouldn’t get home till around eight at night. Maintaining school and having cheer could get very difficult. They take school seriously and if you are failing you wouldn’t be able to cheer. Some teams even travel to different states for competitions like Pennsylvania or even Massachusetts. Just like every other sport, some are gyms that are more popular than others. World Cup is one and when you have such a big program, you travel more because you have big rivals to go against. Traveling to all these states such as Texas, Tennessee, Florida and a lot more could also be hard with school because it caused us to miss a lot of days.

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Practice makes perfect

Having practice all the time definitely makes doing a routine a lot easier, more consistent, and more perfect. Every sport needs practice to make the routine perfect, but you also need team bonding. When cheering, working together is the most important thing. Especially when you are throwing girls in the air, the person that is being thrown needs to trust that the others will catch them. The people throwing need to work together as well,  for this to happen you need a connection. This is why we have team bonding to get along with each other and learn to love one another. Because once it’s competition time there is no feeling like the one before you get on the mat. You pray with your team in a circle and you have chants or handshakes with other teammates. Your coaches give you a pep talk, you get all your nerves out, and then it’s time to go on the mat. All of the blood, sweat, and tears that occurred during practice all lead up to the 2 minutes and 30 seconds you have on the mat. When you nail your routine and win, it’s the best feeling in the world.

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The student news site of Colonia High School
A cheerleader’s perspective on cheering