“Snobs, peppy, easy, ditzy, skinny”
are words we hear all the time.
“Cheer is not a sport, boys can’t cheer, cheerleaders are not as committed as other athletes, cheerleading leads to nowhere.”
Are sayings we hear all the time.
These names and statements aren't true. Having people make fun of what we do is not funny. We risk our lives each day at practice trying to come up with routines and chants to get people excited, but no one seems to appreciate it.
Walking into school seeing other people mimicking us saying, "look at me, I can also be a cheerleader". Well, if they knew what a cheerleader does, I bet they wouldn't be saying they can be a cheerleader by doing a few jumps and motions that aren't even done correctly. Everyone just jumps into conclusions and stereotypes of what we are. We are much more than this. We are not just some snobby people and walk the halls like we run the place. We are just some normal people that are like everyone else.
Cheer is so much more than performing. We also need to have requirements in order to perform. At my high school we need at least a 3.0 GPA in order to participate. So, when it comes to grades, we need it to be passing grades meaning c’s and above. If you don't meet that requirement, you're not going to be able to participate. Secondly, showing up to school and practice is a big part if you can participate. If you are not in school for a certain amount of time you can't go to practice. If you can't go to practice you can make your team fall behind when learning routines. This also goes for practices. You should always be at practices because if we aren't, we can put the team behind, or we can get cut out of a routine. Now reputation is a big role for cheer. We are not only representing our school, but we are also representing how we will perform. When walking into a competition people look at us and try to think if we are a good team or a bad team. If we walk in looking unprepared people will think that we will do bad. Therefore, we always need to act and look good. Lastly, we need to have good time management skills. When cheer seasons comes around, we start prepping for our first competition right away. This means taking a lot of time out of our regular day. Sometimes we practice for three hours, but we always need to have some free time after set practice hours. The reason being is needing more time to prefect skills or we need more time to put our routine together.
This shows that we are in fact committed, smart, and we are making a good reputation for ourselves to gain opportunities in the future.
Furthermore, I would like to state that being snobby meaning we think we are above everyone and thinking we are above lower-class people is wrong. In fact, I know many cheerleaders that aren't rich so how can we act snobby. Cheerleaders are leaders, very positive, and keep the team up. We would never put each other down under any circumstances. I had a friend say to me "I thought cheerleaders were mean and all, but I actually started to talk to them, and they were nothing like I thought they would be like". Therefore, people shouldn't judge us for what we do or who we hang out with. They could end up being best buds with someone that they thought acted a certain way.
In cheer everyone must have a certain chemistry, and everyone must trust/rely on each other. This is usually the case when it comes to stunting. If you don’t want to be there and you really don’t want to stunt then your stunts aren’t going to go up pretty, especially if you don’t like the people in your stunt group. Even if you hate everyone at least fake it till you make it because having bad vibes all the time is not an environment anyone wants to be in. Having a good connection with others is key in every sport, but mostly in cheer.
Even though we might make a mistake like a little missed motion or a little wobble, it’s okay. Everyone was made to make mistakes, not to be this perfect figure. Don’t let those things ruin your career keep going because you can’t go back in time and change it so let it move on and keep working hard. You see cheer has taught all of us very important life lessons that we keep with us for forever. Cheer teaches us to never giving up, how to build a connection with others, and how to be confident with whatever you are doing.
We might have some bad days like any other person, and we can also feel shy. We don't always have to put on a happy face or a confident face. I know for a fact that I'm a very shy person in classrooms but in cheer I'm not a shy person. When I'm away from cheer I'm not always happy and peppy, we can have emotions that aren't positive because we are human. Don't let these stereotypes of emotions get to you.
Act like yourself, not like a stereotype.
So please, cheerleaders reading this don’t let others put you down with these comments/stereotypes. Be you and be confident about what you do… own it.