The experience training for any competition is one that will have its fair share of ups and downs, the fluctuations and everything that you did not expect or expected but underestimated. In cheerleading, injuries, frustrations from inability to hit a stunt, low team morale, are all issues that we deal with from season to season. It can happen to any team, whether it be a top team trying to maintain its position or another team trying to make its name.
Each of us have our own reasons as to why we do what we do but primarily, it is for the love of the sport that we’re in this. You can’t be a cheerleader if you don’t have passion, you’d just quit. There’s too much at risk. A cut on the lips is almost negligible to bases nowadays, let alone the temporary, yet common pain from absorbing the impact when cradling the flyers who land awkwardly. Any cut, scratch or injury is only an issue if there is prolonged bleeding or dizziness that requires medical attention, otherwise we’re still on the mats. Flyers are often accused of being just “pretty faces” in short skirts and midriff baring tops but somehow not many people are aware as to how these girls deal with the pressure and work through the risk that something could happen to them. It would not take very much for their “pretty faces” to be blemished in case of any unfortunate stunt failure. To know that and yet still be eager for that basket toss, that’s courage and passion for cheerleading. So when people ask me innocently if guys would join this sport just so they can be physically close to girls, I just laugh and say that while they may join with that intention, they would give up soon enough because unless you have the passion for cheerleading, the possibility of serious physical injury and exhaustion from training is more likely to deter. Try and scare someone who loves what he does and he or she would just smile and head back onto the mats to carry on with the next more-advanced and often more dangerous stunt. Cheerleading becomes sort of self-actualization, where the base or the flyer is constantly setting new goals for themselves to reach their full potential. As a base move towards his goals, achieving that Tick Tock means a lot to him and he becomes a happier individual, where he can then inspire others to pursue their dreams. Cheerleaders inspire each other and we often look at videos of the routines of the great cheerleading teams of our time and say ” Hey, I want to learn how to do that.”
Another major stimulant in cheerleading is the people in the team. We train through good and bad times, we push ourselves to the limits together, cheering ourselves on. There is a naturally-occuring bond there that is created, stronger than any covalent bond or any other of its kind that exists. One Nationals later, a team feels like family, your second home and you look forward to seeing them again even if you’ve been seeing those faces almost every other day. In times when you are physically and mentally exhausted, when you feel you just want to give up, it is the thought of letting these people down that makes you get back up on your feet and carry on. It is a powerful motivation which will remind you that we’re all in this together. To some people, letting themselves down is something they can deal with but when you throw in the fact that other people are also dependant on their actions, it makes them want to give everything to ensure the success of the team. If on competition day your stunt fails mainly because of you, that guilt will haunt you for at least a year until you have a chance at redemption the following year.
So in summary, why we do what we do? It’s because we love being a cheerleader; it makes us happy. What we fight for? To reach our full potential as a cheerleader and do our best for this team, for our flyers, bases and coaches that means so much to all of us.
There’s only 6 weeks left to the competition and I want to tell every member of Denvers to be strong and give the good fight till the end. We may or may not win but when we run out onto the mats, I want everyone to hold your heads up high because despite everything, we made it. Take care of yourselves, rest well during the breaks and non-training times and prepare well for the battle ahead. In stereotypical cheerleader terminology, Bring It On.
PS : For those of you who feel that perhaps this is the team for you, you can feel free to start contacting us through our feedback form by clicking on the “Join Us” page. While our recruitment drive will likely take place only after our competition (usually like the very next day), its less than 2 months away so now’s a good time to express your interest and give us some information about you so we can plan accordingly. For people who are new to cheerleading, we know you want a chance; we’re ready to give you one. Don’t pressure yourself, you’ll have sufficient time to learn before we do any assessment of any sort. To everyone out there, we invite you to join us in leaving behind a legacy as the ones who started the winning tradition here.