photo essay

is cheerleading a sport?

Time is important

Football players have 4 quarters. Baseball players have 9 innings. Basketball players have 4 quarters and this just to play a game. Cheerleaders don’t have an entire game. All we have is two minutes maybe three. Sport players have an entire game to prove their worth we have a few short minutes to prove that we are the best and we deserve to win. If players get hurt, they get carried off the field court diamond etc. If we get hurt, we get up and keep going because quitting or walking off isn’t an option.

The making of a cheerleader

Being a cheerleader isn’t easy you have to have strength endurance and balance. The strength is to hold someone over your head for long periods at a time. Endurance is to tumble and continue going whether your dizzy or hurt. The balance is for holding your weight when in a stunt or holding a position in the air depending the part you hold in a stunt. Holding up your part of the group is very important because if one person falls the entire team falls. Failure is not an option you either succeed or you fail.

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Physical abilities and strength

The physical ability they it takes to pull one’s self through the air and land perfectly without getting injured is extremely hard. With the doubt and fear of breaking something or falling on ones face at practice in front of your entire team. Although the pain endured to do such tumbling is rewarding in the end because once you compete and land the tumbling pass that you have been working so hard on is amazing. Even though you may fail your team mates are still there to encourage you and help you through the fear and nerves. Your team keeps you up and hold you up because it’s their job and without them where would you be.

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Practice makes perfect

Many sports team practices are just during the week but we have multiple practices in one night and all to work on one thing. The tumbling practice is two hours and then there is just the dance portion and then the tumbling passes that don’t come easy. Our practices run through the week and even on weekends like Saturday morning practices. Getting up hurts but what comes later is what drives us to go. Even though we may fail on our first try and keeping up with all of it can get tiresome but the work eventually pays off we just have to have patience. In this photo molly did fall but she got back up and continued to practice until she got it right.

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What happens at practice

The amount of time that we put in to win and get a perfect jump score is what we strive for and even though everything we do is perfect but we still continue to try because there is always room for improvement and when things seem perfect there is still room for it. At the end of the night the perfect jump the perfect pass and the perfect stunt is what we live for. Our coach may say one more time through and then you can get a drink but what she really means is until we get it perfect then we deserve water.

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Team work to make it perfect

It’s hard to remember all the chants and small cheers that go a long with the cheer itself and although the stunting comes easy and jumping is just jumping but the dance is a major factor and the part we are mainly judged on. So working together to remind each other what dance position comes next is helpful and going over it all together as one group to figure out who knows what and who doesn’t know what next really counts. But the amount of time spent on it just for the 2 and half minutes we get to spend doing it is the most important part.

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A coaches touch

When practicing a new tumbling pass having a coach’s help is very helpful because it helps you not be as nervous and just practicing it can make everything a little easier and the minute we land it without the help of a coach or teammates it makes everything better and when we practice it multiple times and we get it right every time just reassures us that we can do it very time and come competition time we can definitely nail it with no problem. Coaches are there for a reason yes they tell us how to improve but when the team wins the coach feels even more proud because it’s a reflection of what the coach has taught the team.

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Jumping for the points

Jumping may seem easy but it’s what makes up a good portion of the cheer but the amount of strength and practice when have to do and have is crazy. It takes a lot of core muscle to pull a jump that is good and actually makes us look good and to the point where we deserve the points. Many ab work outs come before the jumps can actually look good and make is look successful and help us when the judges choose the points and win. Winning is everything so practicing is what we take the most pride in and something that takes up all of our time but in the end it is always worth it.

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Practice is always good

There’s always some confusion and that’s why practice takes up so much because if one person is off then entire routine is thrown off and that is so many points. Perfection is necessary when practicing because if you treat it like the right thing then come time for competition then we won’t be as nervous and we know what we are doing and won’t look so dumb if we forget which won’t ever happen because practice makes permanent not perfect. You practice enough its edged into your brain and then everything looks good and your routine goes smoothly.

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Tumbling for fun

Tumbling is always fun at practice because throwing new tricks that you learn at tumbling practice the night before is always a great way to increase confidence. Even though you just learned it, it always makes it less nerve racking when showing team mates and the coach. Tumbling takes a tremendous amount of confidence and courage because without those two you wouldn’t want to learn new things or do them in front of anybody and the nerves would make you mess up or just freeze. Courage and confidence are a big role in being a cheerleader.

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Team Bonding

Team bonding is what makes a team stronger and better. Team mates may argue sometimes but they are the second family that you have. While working together on stunts tumbling and jumps it’s always fun to do some bonding exercises that just make the team laugh or just to have fun. Practices are always serious and some fun is always needed especially during tough times when things aren’t hitting what they need to be. It’s a great stress reliever and an even better bonding time for the whole team.

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