Cheerleading varies in many different ways. It could mean yelling, to intense physical activity for sports, audience entertainment, or just for competition. Although it doesn’t seem like it, cheerleading started as an all-male sport. Whereas now, most males think that it is a girls sport. In 1877, Princeton University had a “Princeton Cheer”. It was yelled by the students from the stands. It was also yelled by the baseball and football athletes themselves. Thomas Peebles, Princeton graduate, moved to Minnesota with the idea of organized crowds cheering at football games to the University of Minnesota.
In 1898, Johnny Campbell directed a crowd cheering, making him the very first cheerleader. November 2, 1898 was named the official birth date of organized cheerleading. Campbell’s original cheer is still used today at the University of Minnesota. A couple of years later, women began to join organized cheer groups.
In 1907, women began to dominate the cheer world. It was during World War II, when few men were able to be involved in organized sports. It was determined that 97% of all modern cheerleading participants were overall females. At the collegiate level, cheerleading is coed with about 50% being male. Megaphones, gymnastics, and tumbling began to emerge in different cheers that are still being used today.
In 1948, Lawrence Herkimer, formed the National cheerleaders Association (NCA). NCA was formed to hold clinics for cheerleading. The first clinic was held in 1949 in
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Cheerleading started as a male endeavor in 1898, when a University of Minnesota football fan led the crowd in verse in support of their team. It was not until World War II, when men shipped out to war, that women took over. Then cheerleaders came to represent the American ideal of femininity: wholesome apple pie with washboard stomachs, perfect teeth, and flawless complexions. Stereotypes cast them as blond, petite, and impossibly perky. “From its humble beginning cheerleading has blossomed into a competitive athletic activity with a serious image problem” (Forman 52). But today’s post-feminist youth have put a new, diverse face on cheerleading. Cheerleading in America is no longer a matter of waving pom-poms, a cute smile and being overly
Just like anything else, cheerleading has quite a history behind it. From the first chants at Princeton University to one of today’s most popular National pastimes, cheerleading has come a long way the past ten decades. In ancient times spectators cheered for runners in races held during the first ever Olympic Games in ancient Greece. In the 1860's students in Great Britain began cheering at competitive sporting events and soon the idea spread to the United States.
Cheerleading is a sport that many people don’t support in a way that they support the popular sports in most schools, like football and basketball. Cheering can open many doors and create an ample amount of job opportunities. By cheering you can also receive full ride athletic scholarships from many schools. A cute skirt and pompoms is not the only thing you have to work for when it comes to cheering. Just as any other sport you have to have a certain grade point average to try out for your cheerleading team and also you are held accountable for maintaining your grade point average with also being held accountable for remembering cheers, games day dates and events that you will have to attend with your team. Cheer teaches you many things other than being able to tumble and shout! As a cheerleader, you learn to encourage anyone that needs that boost of encouragement, we learn how to work together with other people. Your cheer team members will become your family!
When most people think of cheerleading, they think of the spirit squads that attempt to pump up the local crowd at high school basketball and football games. People are not aware of what these athletes are doing when they are not in front of these crowds. Strangers to cheerleaders who do not follow the sport extensively do not know the exact involvement of the athletes in this sport, at all ages. Cheerleading requires athleticism like all other sports as you must be in shape and at a great fitness level to be involved in most circumstances. Cheerleaders have to know what they’re doing at all times; while knowing what everyone else on the team is doing as well, which involves a high level of mental preparation. Cheerleading, high school or
Cheerleading is simply entertainment for viewers and is a social club for its participants. “Sports Beat - The Sport of Cheerleading: It’s a lot More than Just Pompoms and Smiles,” points out that a main benefit of cheerleading is the ability to “easily transition into the entertainment industry” (Hatton C-04). This statement supports our belief that cheerleading should not be considered a sport. Cheer-leading, the leading of cheers at sporting events is not a sport. Entertainment, versus athleticism, is more of what cheerleading is. Team supporters are present at games/events to raise school spirit and encourage cheering. Cheerleading generally requires a competition to be in progress, so the cheerleading itself can occur. This is not an activity which can take place alone.
The sport of cheerleading has been around for a long time; since 1884 in fact! In the beginning, cheer was a sport dominated by college men. Since, women have taken over, and in 1967 the first ranked college cheer competition was held. Both school and competitive cheerleading offer many rewarding opportunities. Though they are a part of the same sport, the two types of squads are actually quite diverse. School cheer is undeniably a worthwhile and respectable sport, but competitive teams often provide a more challenging approach, and are more suited to experienced cheerleaders.
The competitive sport of cheerleading is not all about jumping up and down and yelling “Go team, go!”. It’s about using your strength to perform a variety of skills that form together to make a routine. These routines are performed by many teams to be judged during competitions. Practice is required to do well at competitions. In order to become a cheerleader, you need to have tumbling skills, endurance, and flexibility.
One component cheerleaders also must have is flexibility. “Flexibility is the range of motion in a joint or group of joints or the ability to move joints effectively through a complete range of motion. Flexibility training includes stretching exercises to lengthen the muscles” (VeryWell). Flexibility must be present in order for flyers (the girls that are lifted into the air) to pull positions in midair, for the whole team to perform various jumps, and also helps in tumbling, which is a very important skill to have when participating in competitive cheerleading. “Tumbling is a form of gymnastics that requires athletes to use their bodies to flip, twist, roll and jump” (OmniCheer). Tumbling can take years to develop and isn’t an easy skill at all. Some girls work their whole life to just master simpler areas of tumbling and only the best of the best can do some of the hardest tumbling, which incorporates twists while flipping in midair. The last skill that cheerleaders must have is coordination. There is a lot of dancing whenever it comes to cheerleading. Dancing can be considered easy but not when it must be sharp and synchronized with all of the other teammates, along with adding in facial expressions, which appeal to the judges. These aspects take loads of time to perfect and some of these skills take years to even begin learning how to do.
“Modern cheerleading has evolved into a sport that is more akin to mixed martial arts, where legs and arms are constantly flailing and at any moment a participant is risking a violent shot to the head” (Cheerleading- the Forgotten Sport).
First of all let’s take a look at cheerleading as a whole and the basics of it. Well to start off there are two types of cheerleaders, competitive and noncompetitive.
From an outsiders perspective one may see brainless and beautiful robots, which scream and perform neat tricks. This is not the case from the inside; cheerleading is so much more than that. Many people are under the impression that cheerleading is not a sport. I am the voice of reasoning that will let you in, and I will show you that cheerleading, in fact, is a sport. Cheerleading requires much physical demand from the body just as any other sport would. Cheerleading, in general, is a team effort. There are many sides to cheerleading, which make it a versatile sport. When it comes to cheerleading there’s more to it than what meets the eye.
The first intercollegiate American Football game was played between Princeton university and Rutgers University in 1869, and cheerleading began in the 1880s with Princeton's all-male pep club. In 1923, women were allowed to become cheerleaders at the University of Minnesota, and during the 1920s, cheerleaders added acrobatics to the cheers (Being a Cheerleader). The first Cheerleading National Championship was held in 1982, hosted by the Universal Cheerleaders Association, and since then there have been many cheerleading competitions and events worldwide (History of Cheerleading). Cheerleading takes physical strength, coordination, and teamwork, and in 2009, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that it is legally classified as a contact sport (ESPN). Yet, despite these things, many people do not consider it to be a sport. They give many reasons it is not a sport, but despite these claims, cheerleading takes a lot of hard work, and should be considered a sport.
Adams, Natalie G., and Pamela J. Bettis. Cheerleader an American Icon. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. 2 April 2014
He held the first summer cheerleader training camps which grew into the National Cheerleading Association ("Cheerleading" 2). From there, Herkimer oversaw the growth of cheerleading into high schools and the National Football League, and pioneered the use of spirit sticks, dance routines, and his signature jump, the "herkie" ("Being" 1). College cheerleading championships were first broadcast nationally in 1978 which greatly aided the cheerleader's ascent into icon status. From there, competitive cheerleading took off leading to the establishment of all-star gyms, independent of any school or team affiliation. As for the cheerleading industry, Varsity Spirit Corporation now monopolizes the market on all things cheerleading: camps, competitions, uniforms, and more. Although the purposes of cheerleading squads now vary, the essential qualities of a cheerleader rarely do.
Ever since I can remember cheerleading has been a part of my life. I started cheering when I was around six years old in a cheer summer camp called Tamiami. I was part of the group called shorty’s; we were the youngest. To me cheerleading is extremely important because as a result it taught me discipline, created memories and formed me to who I am today. For these reasons if I didn’t have cheer in my life, I probably would have turned out completely differently.