Cheerleaders put in the same amount of effort every other sport does. We still run, condition, and work out as everyone else does. The only difference between our sport and yours is that we wear makeup during it all. Yeah, that's right, we wear makeup and hairspray when we throw each other in the air. Yet, you still don't consider us a sport.
I hope you realize we weren't just born with the muscle to throw the jumps, tumbling skills, and people in the air. That strength was built by 6 AM, 11 PM, and everything in-between practices. Typically after you see us run off the field when the game is over, we are back in the gym working our butts off. It takes time to perfect the routines that we perform and usually, our coach won't let us until it's perfect. If we don't get everything done that we needed to at practice, we don't leave until it's done.
You'd think the sports you cheer for would do the same for you, but that's not the case. In most cases, they find you annoying, "too loud", or just obnoxious in general. First of all, thanks! It's actually a compliment when you say we're loud.
So what our sport doesn't require knee pads or pads to protect our bodies? That just means when we are kicked in the shin or slapped in the face we won't be protected like everyone else. We are expected to keep performing when this happens, too. In cheerleading, you can't sub a player in when you're out one. You need every person that is on the squad in order for everything to hit.
To be seen as girls in just short skirts just offend everyone in the community. We put in so much work to help every sport out, ones that typically don't have a cheerleading team supporting them. What do we get in response? Nothing. Most of the time all we get is glares and blank faces, very rarely anything else.
Calling us just girls in short skirts is like when you call a volleyball player just a girl in booty shorts, or a football player just a boy who wears big shoulder pads. We all put in the same amount of work so stop comparing us.
The reason we aren't seen as a sport is that some teams don't compete. Is competing what makes a sport a sport? No, it's not. It's the blood, sweat, and tears we put into the stuff we do that makes it a sport. Just because a team isn't an all-star team, doesn't mean you can't consider it a sport.
So if you're reading this and you're one of those people, help a cheerleader out. Stand up and say the cheers with them. How would you feel if you were supposed to promote school spirit to a school who didn't even want them out there? It's a bit hard, don't you think?