Plastic megaphones

We all struggle with being stereotyped, especially in high school. Jocks and cheerleaders are just as misunderstood as anyone else. Everyone assumes they’ve got it together and are just flaunting their looks and talent but there is a lot more to it than it might initially seem. Take cheerleaders for instance: you might just see a pretty girl shaking cheer poms on game night, only concerned with partying and boys let’s look past the cheer poms and take a look at what it really takes to be a cheerleader.

Physical Shape
Of course, as you know from the toned athletic bodies of cheerleaders, one has to be in pretty good shape in order to cheer. A background in ballet and gymnastics is look favorably upon and flexibility is a plus. There is a certain amount of attractiveness or sex appeal the professional cheerleaders have to upkeep but the main reason that they must stay in shape is because of the type of stunts and routines that they do. A cheerleader also has to be very strong in order to lift their teammate or themselves in acrobatic positions. Custom pom poms are only part of the cheer leading experience.

Good Grades
You might think it is silly that one asked to keep up with the grades in order to shake to customized pom poms but something that people don’t generally realize, is that cheerleading is a sport. There are competitions and championships just like any other high school sport. Because of that, the cheerleaders have to maintain a satisfactory grade average just like a football or basketball player does because there’s so much more involved than just shaking cheer poms and yelling encouragement.

In order to be a cheerleader, especially a captain, you have to have a lot of creative and unique ideas in order to stand apart from the crowd. You may not notice how intense the routines can be at a ballgame but if you’ve ever gone to a cheer competition, you’ll see that the dance routines are very complex, coordinated and complicated. They can be very difficult to follow and not just anyone can do it, cheerleader pom poms and all.

You have to be able to dance. If you have no rhythm, chances are you have no coordination and not only will you look ridiculous, you will end up bringing the rest of the team down figuratively and possibly literally. Not having rhythm can actually be dangerous for the other teammates. Stunts like flipping into the air and being caught requires perfect timing and movement. If someone is just a fraction of a second too late or too early, somebody else could be severely hurt. On a less extreme scale, not having an rhythm will not win your team any trophies, that’s for sure.

Last but not least, a good cheerleader must have plenty of confidence in her body and her ability as well as in her teammates. There are two types of confidence that are necessary. The first is confidence in herself. Smiles must be over exaggerated and movements broad and wide. If you’re a shy person that likes to keep to yourself, being a cheerleader is probably not for you. Cheerleaders typically are outgoing and extroverts. The other type of confidence is also called trust. You need to be able to trust the people around you that you were working with. Cheerleaders need to have confidence that their teammates are following the routine in sync and in time.

So you can see being a cheerleader requires a lot more than a hot body and a fresh blow dry. Brains, self assurance and extreme talent have to be added to the pom poms in order to make it work. Cheerleaders still do custom order pom poms and use metallic pom poms or other materials to give their routine versatility but that’s not all there is to it. Cheer poms are used in conjunction with a lot of different types of very talented routines that the girls usually come up with on their own. So, before you chalk up the next cheerleader as a blonde bimbo, think about what they had to do and who they have to be in order to make it to where they are.