Cheerleading involves more than just cheering the home team to victory or performing crowd-pleasing stunts. It provides many physical, mental and emotional benefits for girls, too. The National Cheerleaders Association, or NCA, explains that cheerleading teaches important life values such as preparation, dedication and working together as a team. According to the NCA creed, cheerleading is simply a practice for the larger arena of life.
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Cheerleading might help keep girls more focused at school. According to information collected by statisticians via the National Cheerleaders Association, 82 percent of cheerleaders maintain a grade point average equivalent to a B or higher. Some might credit school requirements of maintaining a minimum grade point average in order to stay on the squad as motivation to study and get good grades, but the NCA proclaims that excellence in school ranks as its No. 1 priority. Maintaining good grades might provide cheerleaders exciting opportunities such as academic honors or scholarships. The study also notes that 82 percent of cheerleaders are accepted into college.
Many might argue that cheerleading is not a sport, but the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators argues otherwise. Cheerleaders practice and perform various stunts and gymnastic-like routines, dance, clap, stomp and cheer. Cheerleaders must expend energy to get the crowd involved in the game, to toss a fellow cheerleader into the air and catch her in their arms. Cheerleading provides a strength-training and cardiovascular workout that keeps girls healthy and fit, as well as maintaining a positive attitude.
Cheering the team to victory as well as staying healthy and physically fit are some examples of how cheerleading helps boost self-esteem. Cheerleading also promotes the importance of dedication, desire, preparation, and perseverance. All of these values play an important role in the lives of cheerleaders now and will follow them throughout adulthood and into their relationships, families and jobs. The NCA also promotes the value of working together as a team, the value of hard work, and the importance of putting in your best effort.
Cheerleading not only forms relationships among the girls on the squad, but also helps bring families of team members together. Through winning, losing, and hours of practice and hard work, cheerleading helps girls bond and form lifelong friendships. It is a sport that builds school spirit and a sense of community at school and in their lives.