You may not know anything about cheerleading, but your child is willing to
learn! That means that you’ve signed on for good, too, which automatically makes you a pretty cool dad!
Now, cheer might seem
easy, but there are some definite obstacles involved in the sport–and even more
so for dads! Here are six obstacles in cheerleading that are especially hard for cheer dads to
overcome. The struggle is real…
cheerleading as a sport.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to you 1st
cheerleading practice! You had your parent conference with the coach(es), and have
received your packet and a practice schedule. Suddenly, you realize just how
committed you have become to cheerleading–team practices, independent classes,
training, physical therapy etc. Who knew cheerleading was so involved? You see
how hard your cheerleader has worked, and you cannot believe how someone could
say cheerleading is not a sport! How could it be otherwise? These girls and
boys work so hard, and train tirelessly for a competition to be the best at
what they do. Like a true cheer dad, you now catch yourself constantly
defending the sport.
2. One word:
GLITTER. Second word: POOF.
How does something so small get ALL OVER THE PLACE?!? You have glitter
on your skin, in your hair, and you did not even touch the stuff! Plus, you
just got out of the shower! Yes, it makes your cheerleader shine like a diamond,
but goodness–this stuff gets EVERYWHERE! You’re a dad… makeup can be tricky and this is not in your
wheelhouse. What's more, if you have a daughter in cheer, she needs help with her
hair. You remember the saying ‘the bigger the hair, the closer to God’? Well,
start praying to those cheer gods because cheer hair is big. You can do your
best, but maybe have one of the cheer moms teach you how it’s done first.
You’ll get it in time. Maybe…
3. Keeping up
with every song on the radio... and every show on CW.
You are the carpool master. You have heard every boy band and Taylor
Swift song ever recorded. Yet, all those horribly tone-deaf girls singing in the
back of your car actually make you smile as you drive them for hours to and
from competitions. You have never known so much about some guy named Harry Styles
and how cute he is, and you are aware that Ryan Reynolds’ birthday is on
October 23. You also are up-to-date on shows like Pretty Little Liars, Vampire
Diaries, and Supernatural. Ask
you anything, you got the deets.
4. Traveling with
As you unlock the door to the hotel room, you hear the magic words, “Dad
can we go to the pool?” “YES,” you say a bit too enthusiastically. As they walk
out the door, you drop your bags and jump on the bed yelling, “FREEDOM!!!” You
never once have taken anything from the mini bar, but today you may make the
exception. After all, you deserve it after four hours of carpool karaoke, cheer
team edition. Being a team chaperone is hard enough, but then add the exciting element of travel to it, and you have one hyperactive group of cheerleaders. You lay on the bed taking a moment to bask in the silence and you
are at peace… for now…
5. Memorizing the
You have been to all the practices, gone to all the games, and helped
your little cheerleader in their off time at home; naturally, you know the
entire cheer routine. You can probably do the routine in you sleep! It is
competition day, and you are not only wearing the team’s colors, but as the
music starts up, you cannot help but dance along–hitting every Lib and High V
in stride! You cheer on your cheerleader and watch as they land that stunt or
toss that they’re been working on for months. And, when they do, you smile and
tear up a little. It’s okay, all the other cheer parents are doing the same.
6. Realizing your
child is growing up.
As a dad, this can be the hardest thing in the world. Your child is
growing into a teenager and wants their independence. Through cheerleading,
your little one has learned how to be strong and confident–everything you have
ever wanted for your child! It is that time that you, as a parent, have to back
off and let them do what they want to do. Let your cheerleader be his or her
own person, and figure things out on their own. They may be growing up fast, but
they still appreciate all the father time you provide, and will never forget
you taking them to practice, and coming to every competition. They may not
always show it right now, but later, your child will really appreciate the time
you two spent together in support of their passion. See? Keep up the good work,
cheer dad! You may do things a little differently than the cheer moms out there,
but that is what makes you the best.
This article is dedicated to my own dad. My sister and I played
competitive sports throughout our entire lives, and our dad came to every game
that he could. He was our soccer dad: he cheered us on, threw water at us from
the sidelines, and you could always hear him say, “come on, ref” at every bad
call. He was tough, but was the first one to run off the sidelines to carry us
off the field when we got injured. He may have not known how to put up a ponytail,
but he was always there to cheer us on. Love you, Dad.