Why cheerleading is a sport


Jordan West

The Chapman competition cheerleading team competes in a competition at Travelers Rest High School last fall.

The dictionary definition of a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” 

Though many people would disagree, this is cheerleading. 

It is understandable why some people would believe cheer isn’t a sport, but they only think that because they don’t see what they do when they aren’t on the sidelines at football games. Cheerleaders do a lot more than wave pom-poms on Friday nights; most people don’t even realize that they wake up at five in the morning the following Saturday for our own competitions. Even the ones who come to watch them compete don’t understand the amount of work that goes into those competitions. 

Cheerleaders are learning the routines and practicing for hours every day for months before the first competition. They condition and work out the same as any other sport while also throwing girls in the air and throwing themselves over into tumbling passes over and over again until it’s perfect.

Some cheerleaders didn’t even realize how hard and physically demanding it is of a sport until they were a part of the team. I had never gotten a bloody nose or a black eye until I became a cheerleader and then I was getting a black eye every week. I even know a girl who broke her hand at practice yet continued to base a stunt and tumble through the pain. 

When you are sitting in the bleachers at a competition, all you see is the easy side of cheer where everyone’s having fun, but what you don’t see is a team sitting in the hallway before going onto the mats, crying or having a panic attack because they didn’t hit their stunt in practice and they are terrified of dropping in front of everyone. 

Cheerleaders not only have to have the strength, but they also need the flexibility to be a part of this sport. Cheerleading is a huge time commitment. It’s also a commitment for the parents and everyone involved because of the uniforms, tumbling classes and early morning competitions. 

Cheerleading is a sport with a bigger commitment and season than any other sport because not only do they have to compete in their own competition but they also have to be there for the other sports to cheer them on. So the next time you hear someone say cheerleading isn’t a sport maybe you will remember all the reasons why it is.