by Sammi Wendling

Photo Courtesy USASF Cheer Worlds

1. It takes hard work to get to what you see on the floor. We are dedicated, strong and committed to our team and our routine, and we practice for hours to perfect those skills. For as many times as you see those stunts hit, there have been double the times that it has fallen. We have to exhibit precision and strength to hit our routine! And while muscle memory plays a huge part in hitting, know that even if it looks easy doesn’t mean that it is!

2. We all secretly feel like we are going to die during full outs. The words “full out” send us into a frenzied mess of exhilaration and dread. Going full out is exhausting; no matter how much we train and prepare for it. Even those on the best, most trained teams get wiped from drilling full outs at practice! But even though it feels like our bodies are going to give up, we keep pushing on.

3. We can be pretty superstitious about competitions. Oh, the hotel is serving red jello today? That must be a good sign! We admit, sometimes we get pretty superstitious about our traditions. There are teams that need to huddle out before every competition, or cheerleaders who need to give their mirror a goofy face before the music starts. Whatever our traditions are, we feel connected to them. And that only makes the team stronger!

4. We will stunt and tumble anywhere, anytime. If you hang out with your cheer friends, you can bet that at some point you will put up a stunt or throw a quick back handspring! It can be at a social gathering, a dance, at home or even at the movies! Wherever there is an opportunity, we will be cheering.

5. We can truly let go at practice. Being around our team is where we feel the most comfortable. Ever wonder why you sometimes act a bit more goofy around your cheer friends? Most cheerleaders have a strong bond with one another, which can be naturally exaggerated because we have quite a bit in common. Cheerleaders generally have larger-than-life personalities, and we like to be funny and fierce. When you get a group of us together, craziness ensues!

6. We can never truly stop being cheerleaders. Even when our days on the mat are done, cheerleading is something that we can’t just forget about. Our sport has taught us so much more than just how to stunt and tumble. We have learned how to work hard, accept defeat, and push through the difficult times. No matter where you go, cheerleading will always be a part of you; and your personality will forever shine because of this sport.

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