With a new season underway, cheerleaders everywhere have goals on the brain: a higher basket toss, a more complex tumbling pass. These goals don’t just last a season, though! Cheer experience lives on and off the mat, and the skills you develop on your squad can help you achieve goals for years to come, from getting a job to living your best life. Here are just a few ways your cheer resume helps you check boxes off your to-do list.
You Understand Healthy Competition
Cheerleading competitions are different from any other sport in that sportsmanship always comes first. Cheer culture is congratulating other squads on their impressive basket tosses and then going back to practice to figure out how your stunt group can get that kind of height. Yes, victory is exciting, but constantly being challenged to improve and develop your skills is the core of the sport, and a positive attitude is what makes athletes cheerleaders.
Healthy competition is a way of life, and one that many folks struggle with. All too often, competition gets out of hand and turns into aggression, jealousy, or spite. This is not the cheer way. Cheerleaders learn on and off the mat how to respect competing squads, to learn from the competition experience, and to perform under pressure with positivity. Yes, you want your squad to be the best, but you want to bring home a trophy because you did the best work you could, not because another squad’s stunt group fell or another cheerleader sustained a tumbling injury. Good sportsmanship and a desire to continue improving will make you a healthy competitor throughout your life, and with that attitude, no goal will be out of your reach.
You Can Get Up Earlier
If Competition Day has taught you anything, it’s how to get up, get ready, and get out the door early in the morning. Put your cheer experience to work to get your everyday schedule working for you. Rolling out of bed even twenty minutes earlier than usual can help you to wake up and get your ducks in a row with time to spare before the bus arrives.
Making time for a healthy breakfast is scientifically smart if you want alertness and energy all day (spoiler: you do), and starting your morning with a glass of water kick-starts healthy hydration. Sleeping in is awesome, but getting up early and getting work done paves the way for success and achieving your goals. Also, extra time to you get your ponytail just-so and your winged eyeliner razor-sharp? Yes, please.
You Can Communicate—and Lead
Cheer is all about communication, a back-and-forth between squad and crowd. Take your I-got-this communication skills to the classroom, the office, and anywhere and everywhere in between. Ask questions and jump in to answer questions. Don’t be afraid to volunteer. Raise your voice, and people will respond positively and be in your corner.
It’s not just the sidelines or the mat where cheerleaders are in charge. You can find opportunities everywhere to become a leader in your school, workplace, and community. Organize a clothing drive, write for the school paper, tutor a classmate, run for student council, run for president...at least throw your hand in the air when you know the answer! A lot of people want to get involved and make a difference but don’t quite know how to start. As is cheer nature, you lead by example. When you go first and strike out with confidence, others can’t help but follow. Leaders make things happen. Cheerleaders make things happen, but with spirit. Your goals will practically achieve themselves when you step up and take charge.