Becoming a cheerleader can be challenging, but it is also a form of fast-paced entertainment for many children, tweens and teens. Cheerleading can provide many lifelong health and social benefits to participants if they approach this type of recreation with a positive mindset. Becoming a cheerleader can be a stimulating and satisfying outlet for outgoing and high-energy kids with fuel to burn.
Cheerleading requires high levels of physical activity and therefore is a source of exercise for all who undertake this sport. It requires a mixture of physical and mental activities including dance, gymnastics and acting. The strenuous routines and workouts beforehand and the cheer routines themselves require heavy lifting, bending, running and stretching -- all of which can help your youngster build muscle, strength and stamina to help her stay in top physical form. According to the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators, "cheerleading involves skills which require the strength of football, the grace of dance and the agility of gymnastics."
Cheerleading also helps with coordination. The moves and steps have to be precise and match or complement those of teammates. A cheerleader also has to be constantly in tune with team members to keep timing on track and prevent injury to others. The mind also must keep working in full gear to learn new steps, adjust when mistakes are made, come up with new routines and revise older ones.
Cheerleading is not an individual sport. It requires all members to work together and promote a unified front. This is important for the more self-centered child to learn. It also teaches sportsmanship and the importance of working together to pull off a complicated routine or victory dance. One of the most important concepts an individual can learn while engaging in cheerleading is that of trust. Team members depend on each other to be in position to catch them after they are vaulted in the air during a complicated routine or competition. Without this trust, there would be many falls and other extensive injuries as well as poor relations among team members.
Confidence and Self-Esteem
Engaging in cheerleading activities can be uplifting and very motivating. Just the act of trying to excite others about a particular sports team or highly competitive game can instill a spirit of optimism and confidence in the cheerleaders themselves. The constant repetition of the lively lyrics used are also energizing and invigorating. The opportunities to wear attractive uniforms and a little more makeup than usual can also go a long way in making your child feel like she is in the limelight. Family attendance of competitions and games will provide an activity that the entire family can attend and enjoy.
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