It’s typical for people outside of the cheer world to
associate cheerleading with a feminine denomination. Even though women weren’t
allowed to cheer for decades after cheerleading was founded, the sport
continues to be considered a woman’s occupation–even after large numbers of men
are reported every year as participants! And, since this stereotypical view
dominates modern society, it’s only natural to assume that cheer moms get all
the credit for the transportation, support, and care of their little
cheerleaders. Well, that’s just plain inaccurate. It’s dire time that we give
cheer dads of the world the credit they’re due! Cheer dads do exist, and there
are more of them than you think.
What people don’t realize is that cheer dads are highly outnumbered. Whether
they are single dads tailoring their lives around cheer responsibilities or
they would rather help their spouse by showing up for cheer events and
practices, cheer dads are few and far between compared to the number of team
moms on the roster. Luckily, cheer dads can help to diffuse team issues when
they arise with a different demeanor than that of cheer moms–which could work
to a team coach’s advantage! They also bring a masculine presence to practices
that can benefit male cheerleaders, who are already burdened with that same
social stigma mentioned above. This is especially helpful if the cheer coach is
a woman: male cheerleaders may feel more comfortable talking through issues
with a team dad more than approaching their female coach (who may not
understand) or even their own parents (who may chastise them for participating
in the first place). You never know when you’re making an impact on kids who
need it! Team dads are invaluable for many reasons, but being a stolid team
supporter is a big one!
Team dads have it hard, though, considering that
cheerleading is predominately female.
Cheer dads weren’t born gifted at applying make-up, scrubbing off glitter, or
creating the perfect giant hair poof for the mat, but most take pride once they
learn! After a while, it becomes second nature to get their little cheerleaders
competition-ready without help. Plus, without the handy use of a purse that
cheer moms tote around, it’s difficult for a cheer dad to have all the items
his cheerleader needs on-hand. Try explaining the bobby pins, hair products,
and assortment of glitter dust to your colleagues if you accidentally take the
wrong bag to your office or gym! Cheer dads definitely have obstacles to
overcome, and being prepared with cheer products at all times is one of them.
There are some cheer bags that are more masculine-oriented, and a backpack with
a cheer logo on it won’t be easily confused with others.
Bottom line: cheer dads exist, and they deserve
appreciation! It doesn’t have to be Father’s Day to let your cheer dad know how
grateful you are for them to be involved in the sport you love. Now, get
creative, and show your cheer dad some love!
Do you have a
dedicated cheer dad? What other obstacles do cheer dads face by becoming
involved in the sport? Let us know your story in the comments!