Physical, Social, and Mental Benefits of Cheerleading

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Cheerleading is for sure one of the most dangerous sports around. When stunting, if a girl isn’t caught she can get seriously injured, or if he/she is jumping or tumbling and gets hurt when landing, cheer is definitely dangerous. 66.7% of injuries for all female sport catastrophic injuries were cheerleading related injuries.

Social Benefits include encouraging fair competition, developing strong morals, protecting from negative outside influences, and decreasing the likelihood of developing depression or anxiety. Cheering is a team sport that requires trust in one another especially when doing difficult stunts. Having a team to fall back on can help make people feel more connected to the school and forms relationships among the squad and can also bring the families of the team members together. It can be beneficial to build self-esteem, encourages health social development between the squad to form lifelong friendships. The teamwork and commitment to the sport teaches skills in leadership, communication, and helps develop self-confidence among other things.

Of course grades are a number one priority, especially in schools where student athletes are required to maintain a certain GPA or grade to continue their activity. While some may believe participating on more activities during the school year removes the focal point of of school and onto sports, science shows that participating in an out-of-office activity keeps people more focused at school. According to NCA statistics, 82% of cheerleaders maintain a grade point average of that equivalent to a B or higher. Maintaining good grades in school while participating in multiple things can help student athletes receive exciting opportunities such as, academic honors, scholarships, or even trips to different places to compete against other teams, NCA statistics show that 82% of cheerleaders are accepted into college. Sports promotes the importance of dedication, desire, preparation, and perseverance, important qualities to have in the future. Plus, all the yelling cheerleaders do has a positive effect. The yelling may help them handle the transitions and demands of college more easily, due to the conditioning they endure during the season from their coaches.

The physical portion of cheering is highly strenuous and unforgiving, but the after results are worth the pain and waking up early every morning. Muscle flexibility promotes healthy muscle development, which decreases aches and pains and the more flexible a person is, the more the risk of injury is decreased for that individual. All the jumping, dance routines, and movement increases heart rate, which over time can improve cardiovascular health and decrease the risk of strokes and heart attacks while the lower blood pressure improves stamina. More intense routines require stronger cardiovascular health. Lifting your own weight while jumping and lifting other girls (lifting your own weight if flying) while stunting equals larger and healthier muscle which supports bones and reduces the likelihood of bone breakage and reduces muscle pain. Football games last around 48 minutes to an hour and a half with timeouts and halftime, and that entire time cheerleaders are active. It’s been proven that cheerleaders are one of, if not, the strongest athletes around, and an average practice burns about 600 calories. The deep breathing that supports all the yelling is good for you. Diaphragmatic breathing reduces the negative effects of stress. All-in-all, cheerleading is one of the most physically challenging sports with all the requirements of athleticism, strength, flexibility, coordination, and dedication.

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Morgan Schlindwein

Morgan is currently a sophomore in high school and has been cheerleading since she was five. Her experience in cheerleading consists of four years of youth cheer, two years of middle school cheer, and two years and counting of high school cheer. Morgan knew that she wanted to be a cheerleader when she saw her cousin show her family her cheerleading skills at a family picnic, and now cheer is what her life revolves around.

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