About Competition Cheerleading
Competition cheerleading is a very dangerous sport which requires lots of hard work and dedication. It's growing more and more popular every year. There are almost 3 million competition cheerleaders in the U.S. alone. Competition cheerleading was started in the early 1980's. The first world competition was help in 2004 in Orlando Florida at the Wide World of Sports Complex. Some of the top gyms are Cheer Extreme, Top Gun All Stars, Stingrays All Stars, California All Stars (Cali), Spirit of Texas (SOT), Cheer Athletics (CA), and Cheer Eclipse.
Although competition cheer looks like a lot of fun there are many rules and guidelines that govern each competition. Here are some of the rules that apply; no jewelry, coaches must bring 2 copies of your music, your routine has to be 2 minutes and 30 seconds long if longer/ shorter points are deducted. Judging differs from competition to competition. Some judges are very harsh while some are more considerate. Some things a team can be judged on are how well the team performs the required skills, spirit (how the team presents themselves), choreography, and how certain skills are incorporated.
Positions Within the Team
Bases: Bases are the people on the bottom of a stunt. Bases have very strong arms, shoulders, and legs. Bases hold stunts together and make sure nothing falls over. They have to be very balanced and have a high pain tolerance.
Backspot: Backspots are usually the strongest and tallest people on the team. They direct and lead the stunt. Captains tend to make great backspots because both positions require a strong leader. The backspot is usually at the ankles and saves most falls
Flyers: Flyers are the smallest people on the team. They should have very strong legs and abs. Flyers must have very sharp and precise motions. They are the center of attention. While flyers are small and light they have to be very strong.
Tumblers: Tumblers have years of gymnastics practice. They are very strong especially in the legs and shoulders. All of their movements are very tight and bold. Tumblers are always aware of their surroundings so that they don't run into anyone or anything.
To be a competition cheerleader you have to be very mentally strong. You have to be able to handle getting yelled at and criticized. You have to be able to handle loosing. Being a happy person is also very important. Being aware of your surroundings and being ready for anything are two things that will help you a lot in competition cheer. You must know what to do in an emergency because competition cheer is so dangerous. But most of all you have to be friendly and you have to be a leader.
Competitions are very fun and very stressful at the same time. Everyone is there for the same reason, to win. There is so much anticipation that builds while you await your turn and watch other teams perform. Before your scheduled competition time you are usually given 15 minutes to warm up and practice, it's in that time that you try to focus and drown out any negativity. During competitions you can be harshly judged. During your routine one of the best things you can do is make eye contact with the judges, it makes you look more confident. You will be nervous at first, but once you start to perform all of the nervousness will disappear and you will do what you did for months at practice. If it's your first competition talk to an experienced cheerleader for advice.