Cheer Was More Than A Sport, It Taught Me Who I Am
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Cheer Was More Than A Sport, It Taught Me Who I Am

Sports are always said to have an impact on how a child develops, and this is how the competitive cheer world did that.

2041
Cheer Was More Than A Sport, It Taught Me Who I Am

What made you the person you are today? A question you probably don't get asked much, but when you do, what do you answer? I love to answer with cheer.

I do get looks, like the look, " Cheer made you the hard worker you are" look. Trust me, that look is real. When I started in the world of competitive cheerleading, it didn't have its reputation. It wasn't as known. We, athletes, (yes, I said ATHLETES), worked just as hard as the football player, soccer player, etc. I spent hours in the cheer gym. I had practice three times a week, plus a tumbling class, the occasional open gym, and competitions on the weekend. So if we add up just the practices, that's 10-plus hours a week, and then if it were a competition week, it would be more like 26 hours, two eight-plus hour days at the competition, and that's just for the athletes, not the coaches. The world of competitive cheerleading has such a reputation that people don't think twice to wrestle at the thought of being a cheerleader. They now understand what it takes to be a competitive cheerleader and how hard it is. And for that, I am thankful. To know that all of our hard work now doesn't go unnoticed is a massive win for the cheer world. These are just some things I have learned from being a cheerleader.

Teamwork

To be on a competitive cheer team, you have to learn teamwork. It is such a skill to learn. As a team, you will have good days and bad days, but you learn to accomplish so much together. You learn everyone's niche and always allow those teammates to shine in their way. You realize that working together is better than working apart. Teamwork will enable you to learn that everyone has a different standard for what they want to achieve, but together those standards can be achieved almost immediately.


To be fearless

You don't know what fearless is until you rely on someone to make sure they hit their tumbling pass. To hit the pyramid. To perform the dance flawlessly. You don't know fearless until you throw your body backward, forwards, twists in the middle of the air but still manage to land on your feet. Being brave in the cheer world also means to go out and perform even though you know your team has all odds stacked against them. Being fearless in the cheer world taught me not to accept anything but my personal best.


Time management

Cheerleading taught me how to manage my time wisely. Even though I have been sucking at this lately, I did learn how. I would practice as stated for hours every week. I learned to do my homework in the car, in between practices, at competitions. I learned how to do something in two minutes and thirty seconds. Time management is essential to employers, and most of the time, our very own wellbeing and cheer has taught me that managing time is a useful life hack.


Being able to take criticism

If cheer truly taught me anything, it is most definitely how to handle criticism. You learn that your best is not your best at first. You understand you always have to work harder. You realize that even the little things matter. I learned there was still something I could be fixing and making better. When someone points out something I did wrong, it wasn't to tear me down or make me feel like less of a person but to educate me that I can improve and do better. Criticism does not always need to be negative; criticism is to help people grow as humans.


Commitment

When you become a competitive cheerleader and or any cheerleader or athlete, you learn commitment. This is not a one and done sport. You pour about eight months of your life into one season for a measly two minutes and thirty seconds. You learn that you give up some fun plans to be at practice instead. You understand that missing school dances or hanging with your friends is not as important as you think. Being committed to cheer for 14 years of my life taught me how to navigate what's important to miss and what's not. Cheer is something you have to put time and effort into, and you can't leave when you want because others depend on you.


Dealing with high-pressure situations

In the competitive cheer world, you have two minutes and thirty seconds to hit a routine flawlessly. All those hours at practice count for your performance for two minutes and thirty seconds. So I mean, do I need to explain much more about dealing with hitting a flawless routine with tumbling, jumps, a stunt sequence, pyramids, and a dance. I will, though, because my cheer career taught me how not to buckle, how to be confident in yourself, how to, no matter what, put a smile on your face and perform what you know best. Cheer taught me to tough and not take the easy way out, always work hard, and still know how to have fun.


Maintaining goals

One goal that I would have to say many cheerleaders have in the competitive cheer world is to go to Worlds and The Summit. The same goes for school cheerleaders who look forward to going down to Florida every year for nationals. Other cheerleaders' goals can be to get a new tumbling skill, a new stunt to put in, a new section of the pyramid. The list can go on and on. Having goals when I cheered allowed me to work hard and keep going until I accomplished them. I hit almost all my dreams, but unfortunately, I went to college and left the cheer world. Allowing myself to have goals when I cheered shaped me into who I am because I know I can achieve something, and I can become the person I want to be.


How to get back up after falling

This can be difficult for anybody. Getting back up after you fall is not easy. The word fall can be interchangeable. To me and the cheer world, fall can quite literally mean fall. The word can also mean not winning as a team. It can indicate when a stunt falls, and the group blames themselves. Learning how to fix those problems is important. Learning how to take a loss as a team, go to that next practice and push themselves ten times harder is what getting back up means. Fixing your stunt, so it hits at all times is what getting back up means. Throwing tumbling pass after tumbling pass to show yourself that fall was just a mistake is what getting back up is. Cheer has taught me that no matter how hard or how far I fall, I will always be able to get back up, and it all starts with believing in yourself.


Standing your ground

Cheer taught me how to stand my ground by being able to, for one, state my case for why cheerleading is a sport. Cheer also taught me how to stand my ground by; when a coach asks if you can do something, you don't back down because who wouldn't want to prove your coach wrong. It taught me to stand my ground by never giving up on myself and always work hard.

Cheer taught me a lot, and I will forever be grateful for the countless hours my parents put into driving me to and from practice, to all the money they spent on my gym fees, comp fees, practice wear, uniforms, etc. Cheer is full of life lessons, and I will forever be grateful for the coaches, teammates, and memories I made.

Report this Content
Swoon

8 Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Your Long-Distance Partner

Looking for a gift idea for your long-distance Valentine's date this year? Here are some creative, thoughtful gifts for you!

8336
Photo by Ben Collins on Unsplash

As Valentine's Day approaches, I realized that it's the first Valentine's Day I have had with my boyfriend that we're more than 6,000 miles apart. Despite the distance though, my mind has been reeling over what to get him, as one of my main love languages is gift-giving. So here are some ideas that I've seen that I think would be perfect for any relationship, whether you're together or apart.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure how to write this article.

In the past, I've written about the lies we tell ourselves. I've written about how thoughts can be destructive, how they can have power over who we are.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Put Down Your Phone And Read These 8 Statistics About Texting And Driving You Wish Didn't Exist

We text all the time, so it's no surprise you may find yourself wanting to pick up your phone even when you're driving.

3017

You're driving to the grocery store when your phone buzzes in your pocket. You instinctively reach to check it, but it can wait until you park. These are eight statistics to read before you text and drive because they'll change how you view your time on the road.

Everyone's made the mistake of looking at their phone while in the driver's seat, but not everyone gets home safely afterward. Learn why it's better to avoid distracted driving so you don't become one of these statistics this year:

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Have An Eating Disorder And I Refuse To Let It Kill Me

Even at my lowest, the number on the scale never seemed low enough... but was it ever worth the risk of losing my life?

2031
Trigger warning: This article discusses topics that may be triggering for some readers.

I looked down at my thumb today. I know haven't been eating enough. I told everyone I would get all my vitamins and calories in. I totally wanted to eat more of the guacamole I bought the other day, but I counted what I had eaten and those numbers seemed a little too high. I decided I didn't need the extra helping, so I went to bed and the guacamole went bad.

Keep Reading... Show less

When pursuing a degree that most deem 'useless' or a 'waste of time' there happens to be a lot of self-doubt and fear, especially with the pending doom of graduation around the corner. I remember when I was about to graduate from college with a Bachelor's in Acting, I was absolutely terrified.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

TikTok Made Me Buy It: Flawless's Skincare Fridge

I bought and tested one of TikTok's popular products so you don't have to.

101433

I spend a lot of time on TikTok and I never know whether the products I see are worth it or not, especially when I'm looking at the price. For Christmas, my aunt got me a gift card to Ulta. I didn't know what to buy. I have way too many palettes and lipsticks. I have my essentials. What else could I need? Then it hit me that I saw a lot of people these past few months showing off their skincare fridges. So, the second I thought of it I went on the Ulta app and bought it. So, here are my thoughts.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

37 Cute And Unique Pinterest Board Titles

Let's be real, the hardest part about Pinterest is thinking of a cute title for your board.

53685

I don't know about anyone else but I have recently become re-obsessed with Pinterest. Like, I am spending a stupid amount of time on Pinterest daily now. While I have been binging Pinterest I have found that I love making cute and aesthetic boards but it is SO hard to come up with a name to match it. So, I scoured the internet and my brain for you. Happy pinning!

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

This Is What Type Of Person You Are Based On Your Favorite Cereal

Your cereal preference reveals more than you think.

33819
Photo by Nyana Stoica on Unsplash

Whether you eat cereal for breakfast or a late-night snack, you probably have a favorite. Little did you know that what you prefer says a lot about your personality.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments