Cheerleading is not a solo sport. In order to perform and perform well, every person on a cheer team has to hit their marks and help each other. How can you pull off a stunt without everyone being on point? That could be downright dangerous! Thankfully, your teammates always have your back for the betterment of the squad. But, there are more things that your teammates do off the mat or the sidelines that you’re just as grateful. You might not even realize it, but you rely on your teammates more than you think. They are your second family, after all! So, whether you’re reflecting on the cheer supporters in your life, or gathering around a dining room table for a holiday feast, here are four things that you’re so thankful that your teammates do for you.

1. They keep your hair on point.

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As you’re tumbling, tucking, stunting, and nailing that dance routine, your hair usually has other plans. Cue, your teammates. The minute the music ends, you smile, you wave, you hug each other, and then do the hair check. And, there’s never going to be a day when ALL OF YOU are out of hair spray at the same time. That day would be a bad day. Let’s not think about that day…

2. They motivate you to do more.

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Ever hear about leaning on others to hold you accountable for things? Well, as a cheerleader, you have a whole team of people that will keep on track with your goals! They celebrate your progress, like if your form gets better on a jump or if you finally nail that tumble combination. Plus, if one teammate gets excited about a fundraising campaign or community event, it’s only a matter of time before everybody on the team hops on board with the cause.

3. They make you laugh when you need it most.

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Cheerleading has its moments when it’s not so fun. You just messed up in the middle of the big routine, or you touched down on the mat, or you didn’t even place at a competition. Sometimes, you just want to throw your poms away, quit cheer, and slide down this slippery slope of despair. But, then, your teammates do the one thing that makes you laugh your head off. Even though you’re now stuck seat-belted in an emotional rollercoaster, you remember why you joined cheer in the first place–even the bad times can be good.

4. You are never left hanging.

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It sounds scary to be surrounded by 20+ siblings, but really, your cheer team provides the same kind of care, empathy, and unconditional support of your own family. Families go through rough times, so when your home life is in disarray, you find balance with your harmonious cheer family–and vice versa! No matter what life throws your way, at least one of your two families will always be able to get you through it.

What else do your teammates do that make you so thankful? Tell us in the comments!