Cheerleading is physically strenuous

I am a high school cheerleading coach for both football and basketball seasons.

  • Between the two seasons and practices, it’s just about a year round job.

I coach JV and varsity levels, with girls age 14 up to 18. We cheer at the games, run pep rallies and travel to competitions throughout the area. When I was in school, cheerleading was far less strenuous. We basically stood in place, clapped and shouted. Today’s cheerleading involves complex stunts, advanced level gymnastics and demanding dance sequences. The girls need to be strong, flexible, coordinated and in peak physical condition. We need to build the right muscles to assist in these skills. Although the routines last only two minutes, they are tiring. Throughout the routine, the girls need the stamina to lift flyers into mounts, perform jumps and still smile for the judges. Our practices incorporate instruction, stretching, strength training, drills and aerobic exercise. I make sure that the team is prepared for competition. I strive to avoid injury along with winning championships. At key times throughout the season, I bring in a personal trainer to consult with the cheerleaders and guide them through a workout. They educate the girls on proper techniques and the importance of eating, sleeping and hydrating properly. My goal is to develop healthy lifestyle habits. I hope that long after they are no longer involved in cheerleading, these girls are still taking good care of their bodies. I have had former cheerleaders come back and tell me how much our practices taught them and helped them follow healthy habits.

Health center