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!