Cheerleading has been around for years and the popularity of the American sport is spreading fast across Europe and the rest of the world. But the question is, what are the benefits of Cheerleading? In this blog Dancemania has put together the Top Ten benefits of Cheerleading, so if you are looking to get into an activity where you can be part of a team and can build on your level of fitness…..Cheerleading is for you!!
1. Maintain a healthy level of fitness
Cheering the team to victory as well as staying healthy and physically fit are some examples of how cheerleading helps boost self-esteem and gives you a healthy life style. Doing a physical activity is the best way of keeping fit, healthy and inspired. Cheerleading also gives you the opportunity to meet people and build relationships with your team mates.
2. Strength Training
In Cheerleading there are a range of roles that different members of the squad carry out but whether you are a base, a backspot or a flyer, physical strength is probably the most important element of cheerleading. Bases and backspots lift and support the bottom of a stunt or pyramid sequence, which involves strength, focus and balance. Flyers must work with the bases to get into the air and they also require balance and control of their bodies during any move. Many cheer teams carry out strength training and conditioning exercises regularly to build the muscles needed to perform stunt sequences, tumbling passes and jumps. Over a period of time these moves will build powerful muscles in the lower body, shoulders and core.
Like dancing, cheerleading teaches coordination through cheers, dancing and stunt sequences. Most cheers and dances follow emphasised rhythms or counts, which help cheerleaders learn to perform the actual steps and more importantly they learn how to keep in time with each other! Coordination is also a key factor when performing the stunt sequences, as the flyers need to be thrown on certain counts otherwise the stunt will fail.
Cheerleaders are well-known for their flexibility, which is seen when performing high kicks, jumps, splits and stunt sequences. Stretching and body conditioning are two elements of cheerleading practice that build flexibility in the limbs. Also for safety reasons having flexible ligaments and muscles, help prevent muscle strains and other injuries involved with tumbling, jumping and dancing. To avoid injury, every cheerleader must always stretch before and after practice, games and performances, this will also improve and maintain flexibility.
5. Improves Posture
Having good posture is important in every day life not just for sport and dancing. Most cheerleading workouts require lots of mobility and flexibility that exercise all areas of the back, especially the lower back. These moves strengthen the spine and improve the way individuals stand and walk.
6. Team Building
Cheerleading is a fantastic way of connecting a group of people together and it also promotes team building in a positive way. Every member is important and there should never be any favouritism, because at the end of the day the flyers cannot fly without their bases and visa versa. Being part of a cheerleading squad will give you brilliant team building skills and you will be able to carry these skills with you throughout your working life. Being a good member of a team is a very valuable trait to have as a person and cheerleading is one of the best ways to practise these skills.
7. Improves Confidence
Having confidence will make you feel good and it is part of having belief in yourself. Confidence comes from within and will give you that extra boost when dealing with every day things. If you play a sport or do an activity such as dancing or cheerleading, these activities can automatically give you confidence and will keep you fit and healthy. Having supportive team mates will give you the confidence and drive to reach your personal goals. When you are feeling happy and confident, it will rub off on the people around you. With those positive vibes you will know that you can do and achieve anything.
8. Learn to take Direction
Listening to your instructor is extremely important within Cheerleading, as it teaches you to pay attention and for safety reasons also. Throughout your cheer training you will learn to do a range of different jumps and lifts, which when done without the correct supervision can be very dangerous. Your instructor has got the experience and knowledge to safely coach you on these moves, so listening to them and giving them your full attention at all times is a must! Listening and concentrating is also a great skill to have throughout your life and you will be noticed for having a good work attitude.
9. Set yourself goals
Anything is possible in life and by setting goals for yourself, you will be able to keep track on the progress of your achievements. The feeling when you have achieved a goal is truly amazing and you will be so proud of yourself! Cheerleading is the perfect way of giving yourself a challenge and will physically and mentally benefit you in your future.
10. Build relationships with fellow team members
Cheerleading not only forms relationships among the members of the team, but it also helps bring the families of team members together. Through the ups and downs of winning and losing, practice time and travelling to and from competitions; cheerleading helps team members bond and form friendships as well as building a school spirit and a sense of community in their lives.
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