While it's definitely hard work to get into, and stay into physical shape to perform the difficult and complex
stunts and motions required for most cheerleaders, besides concentrating on your exercise routine you also need to
be making sure you understand how to exhibit proper cheerleading etiquette. What's that, you may be asking
yourself. Basically, good cheerleading etiquette is simply practicing good manners. It's being a good squad member,
showing good sportsmanship and beyond.
We'll start off with some of the most basic cheerleading etiquette. As most people know, it's common practice for
each cheerleading squad to visit the other side' during the game and be introduced by that team's squad. However;
do you know who has the responsibility of going over first? Good cheerleading etiquette dictates that it is the home
team's cheerleaders that should go over to the other side to welcome the opposite team's cheering squad.
Do you know how to handle it when a player is down from the other team? Far too frequently, many cheerleading
squads simply ignore the injury and keep right on going with their routine as if nothing has happened. This is in very
bad taste. You must stop and ask yourself how you would feel if it were a member of your team and the other side
was acting the same way. The correct behavior is to stop your routine and be silently respectful until the injured
player either gets up on his own or is removed from the field.
At least once during your time as a cheerleader, you're going to run across a cheerleader, or perhaps an entire
squad from another team that does not have the benefit of experience and talent as you and your squad. When
this happens it's important to remember that you should never make fun of them. This shows very poor sportsmanship.
Invariably there are always some games in which a member or two of the crowd becomes a little too boisterous and
perhaps even rude. In this situation, you must remember that it's your responsibility to direct them toward more
In addition, good cheerleading etiquette calls for you to be a role model for others. Excessive amounts of anything,
including makeup and jewelry are in bad taste; especially at a game or pep rally. You should also remember that a
lot of little girls look up to you. Set the right impression by displaying a good attitude and nix the temptation to whine,
argue, complain and boast. The best accessories for a cheerleader are a winning smile and an agreeable personality.
Finally, always keep in mind that no matter what's happening on the field and whether your team is winning or losing;
you should always remain upbeat, positive and supportive. This means that regardless of your team's record, you
must support them at all times.
Cheerleading Etiquette c2005 Conrad Askland
Preventing Injuries - What Cheerleaders and Coaches Should Know and Do
As with any sport, safety should be of the utmost concern for all involved in cheerleading. Whether you're a cheerleader,
coach or parent, your main objective should be to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
There are many references to safety studies that lead to insinuations that cheerleading is not a safe sport, but regardless
of the statistics, one injury is too many. No one wants a broken bone, a day in the hospital, a visit to the ER or a
catastrophic injury. Especially when a small amount of common sense can prevent any one of these outcomes.
Simply by knowing why the majority of injuries occur will help you better understand how to prevent them. Armed with
these fact you can make certain your squad has an injury free season.
Why Cheerleading Injuries Occur
Lack of conditioning and not being physically prepared
Untrained coaches, instructors or advisors
Poor decision making by instructors or participants
Risk taking attitudes
Inadequate equipment (example: improper shoes)
Attempting difficult stunts before being ready
What You Can do to Prevent Injuries
Adhere to all rules and regulations
Practice on mats or pads
Wear well fitting shoes with proper cushion and support
Have an emergency plan in place and practice it
Require proper spotting
Gradually progress to difficult stunts and skills
Become educated and certified in safety, first aid and CPR
Require and use the proper techniques
Learn how to identify eating disorders
Treat all injuries as soon as they happen
Strengthen lower back, abdoman and shoulders
Gradually increase intensity of practice
Know that cheerleading carries some unavoidable risks and no amount of prevention can stop every injury, but with the
proper information and knowledge the severity and frequency of injuries can be greatly reduced. Be safe, stay safe.