Is Cheerleading Really a Sport?

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Webster’s dictionary defines a sport as “an activity involving physical action and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment”. Cheerleading does in fact consist of qualities a regular sport has so it is indeed a sport. As cheerleaders they need to be physically fit, have a certain amount of skill, and dedication.

All cheerleaders need strength, endurance and flexibility. Like all sports, cheer requires all these qualities to stunt tumble and dance/cheer. These athletes need to be strong enough to lift and throw people their own weight or even more. An average flyer weighs about 95-120 lbs and their bases could weigh less or more. As flyers and tumblers they need to be flexible and have a strong core so they can do different types of moves and or a variety of flips. As Senior Kaylie Gutierrez would say “in tumbling you need core muscle and arm muscle to be able to hold your weight and flexibility to spin and flip in the air”.  Endurance is a big part of cheer as well in order to perform a series of cheers and dances. During a 3 minute performance, though this might not seem like a long time, cheerleaders need to have enough energy to keep going for the whole routine. Not only that, all must have smiles to show their team spirit!

Skill plays a big role in sports. As athletes they need to be able to perform the correct techniques required for their sport. The skills needed for cheer is dancing, stunting, projecting of voice, and not always but most of the time tumbling. These cheerleaders need to be very coordinated. Not only for safety reasons but also so they can look good. Senior Estefani Martinez says “cheer requires a certain degree of coordination because we all need to be in sync with each other and the music and we need concentrate when performing dangerous stunts so no one will get hurt”. Cheer is a dangerous sport all around because one bad thing happens in a pyramid then it could potentially be a life threatening consequence. In cheer, if a flyer and her bases are performing a stunt everyone needs to know the proper technique on how to hold and control the foot of the flayer and how to catch the flyer so no one will get hurt. It is best to think safety first and practice every skill and motion like a professional sports team would.

Dedication is the number one key thing for anything. In order to be perfect at something you have to practice and work hard for it. It does not matter what sport you play, everyone needs to have dedication. The difficult part about cheer is that if one person does not show up then you have nothing. One person makes a complete difference because you cannot easily replace someone like you would a defender on a soccer team. You cannot replace a base because then the whole stunt group may not work well together and will not trust each other enough to perform. Trust is very important; a Quarterback needs to trust his line men not to let anyone tackle him. Same goes for a flyer and their bases. A flyer needs to trust that their bases will catch them. This is one of the most important things for a sports team. It is incredibly important for every one of those cheerleaders to be at practice. And like any other sports teams there is consequences for those who do not go.

Can you say now that cheerleading is a sport? Does it not consist of all the qualities of a sport?  Cheer needs not only bubbly personalities and smiles, it needs dedication and hard working athletes both physically and mentally so they can stick their scorpion in the air, land their back handspring layout, and hit all their sharp motions in a dance. You need all of these traits which is why it makes it a sport. It requires so much time and should be given a lot more credit than it gets now.

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