Cheerleaders are more than just pretty faces standing on the sidelines of a football game or competing at a national competition. These young athletes put in a huge amount of work and effort to learn their routines. They are also pressured by their coaches, peers and parents to perform well. They have to train for hours on end to keep up with their team’s standards and hone their skills. They are also at risk for serious injuries including concussions.
Despite the risks, cheerleaders continue to do what they love: perform and compete. They are part of an international sport that has seen immense growth in recent years. It is estimated that there are over 3 million youth rec, all star and school cheerleaders in the United States. Many of these girls are now entering collegiate cheerleading and STUNT competitions and have the potential to become professional cheerleaders.
Although cheerleading is associated with American sports such as association football (soccer), baseball and ice hockey, teams from other sports are increasingly adding cheerleaders to their rosters. For example, the Florida Marlins were the first Major League Baseball team to have a cheerleader.
The future of cheer is looking bright, with growing momentum to push the sport towards Olympic competition. Khristopher Franklin, one of the head coaches featured in Netflix’s docu-series Cheer, hopes that Olympic eligibility will allow colleges to treat cheer more like a traditional sport and provide additional resources for their athletes. cheerleaders