Did you know that when cheerleading was first invented, cheerleaders were all guys? Now, over 97% of cheerleaders are females, with the odd lucky man to join the team! Today, there are over 4 million cheerleaders practicing around the world – and it all starts on the high school cheerleading team. But what does it take to make the team? Is cheerleading dangerous? What does cheerleading mean for your grades? Do you get a letterman jacket and school letter when you cheer for the varsity basketball team? And is cheerleading even a real sport? Today we’ll answer all of these burning questions plus more. Let’s not waste another minute!
Where did Cheerleading begin?
The idea of cheerleading first came about in 1869 during a game between Princeton and Rutgers Universities, when Princeton formed an all male pep club. Later down the line in 1898, the University of Minnesota was on a losing streak, and assembled yet another team to energize the crowd and to pep up the team – and this is where cheerleading was born. The first ever cheer went, “Rah, Rah, Rah! Ski-U-Mah! Hoo-Rah! Hoo-Rah! Varsity! Varsity! Minn-e-so-tah!”
From there, cheerleading grew more and more popular, but was only for men. It was not until 1923 that the University of Minnesota allowed women to cheer for the very first time. Having said that, cheerleading teams remained male dominated until the 1920’s and 1940’s, when many men went off to fight in the war. At this time, women started taking over, and it has reminded a female dominated sport ever since.
What does it take to make the high school cheerleading team?
Cheerleaders are incredible athletes that need to be in top cardio shape to make the team. Long before tryouts, you should be working out and working on maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet.
When it comes to tryouts, each school will be slightly different in how tryouts run, but most schools will have a week of training before the actual tryouts begin. These cheerleading clinics will help you learn and perfect common moves like tumbling, jumping, and dance routines. The best advice here is to practice, practice, and practice more – even when you’re not at practice. The better you can perfect the moves, the more likelihood you will have to make the team. Having a background in areas like gymnastics or dance can also help to put you ahead of the game.
Having said that, cheerleading isn’t all about jumping, dancing, and tumbling – it’s also about spirit. People see cheerleaders in the spotlight as leaders within their school and community. In return, it’s important that they bring a positive, inclusive attitude everywhere they go. The more involved they are in school and community, the more likely they are to become noticed by the coaches – even if their moves aren’t quite perfected yet.
when will I get a School Letter & VARSITY JACKET?
If you are cheering for the Varsity basketball team, or any other varsity team in high school – congratulations, you are one of the best of the best! But Letterman Jackets and school letters are not a right, they are a privilege that take a lot of time, dedication, and hard work to earn. If you are on the Varsity basketball cheerleading squad, there’s a good chance you have already earned your jacket, or are well on your way. Work hard, keep your grades up, live to cheer, be a positive role model around school, and there’s a good chance you will earn your jacket. Patience, persistence, and and practice are the key!
If you join the cheerleading team in high school, it will take up a lot of your time. Cheer practice, games, homecoming, pep rallies – these are all things that you have to look forward to once you become a cheerleader. But while coaches do realize that cheer is very time consuming, they also expect you to keep up your grades. This just means that you will have to work extra hard in both areas to succeed. Yes, it will be difficult – but it will totally be worth it!
P.S Did you know that the average cheerleader holds an 80 percent average or more?
We’re not going to lie to you – yes, cheerleading can be dangerous, but so can football, hockey, and any other sport you play. Because cheerleaders are being thrown in the air, tumbled, and regularly performing stunts, there’s always a chance of injury. Common injuries include ankle and knee injuries, wrist injuries, and in some cases, concussion.
Having said that, you can prevent injuries in cheerleading. Most injuries occur near the end of practice when people are starting to get tired. Cheerleaders should always warm up their muscles before practice to avoid injury, and should not attempt to perform a stunt if they are tired, ill, or previously injured. Mats should always be used, and a qualified coach is essential. If you are ever asked to do anything you feel uncomfortable with, speak to your coach about it first. The more precautions you take, the less likely you are to face an injury.
In order to earn a letterman jacket or school letter, you need to be part of a team, sport, or club in school. Being a part of the varsity basketball team, the varsity football team, or the varsity hockey team all increase your likelihood of earning a jacket. But so does being on the cheerleading squad. Why? Because cheerleading is a SPORT! But the truth is, cheerleading is so much more than a sport. Cheerleaders are athletes, but in addition to practicing a sport, they also provide support to athletic teams and act as positive role models throughout school.
If you want to be a role model, earn a letterman jacket and school letter, cheer for the varsity basketball team, and support your school, cheerleading might be the right sport for you!