It is essential to remember that males have been part of the cheerleading industry
since its beginning "“ they were the founders of cheerleading! In the early 1920s, women became more involved and eventually dominated the sport so it was no longer categorized as a male hobby. However, it is still very common to see male team members on today's teams. While cheerleading is most popular in the United States, co-ed teams
are starting to develop all over the world!
Male cheerleaders and co-ed team members and leaders have to take into consideration various social and cultural costs and benefits. Male cheerleaders are completely accepted within the world of cheerleading
, but outside of that they challenge and threaten the popluar and socially acceptable view of masculinity. It is important to keep in mind that male cheerleading requires the same amount of strength, coordination, flexibility
, and other difficult skill sets that football players and other athletes need. People outside the sport may not understand that male team members are a very important addition to any cheerleading team, and they bring a lot of advantages.
Tips for Male Cheerleaders
Tips for Coaches and Co-ed Teams
- If you want to participate in cheerleading, go for it! Be confident in your decision and go outside your comfort zone!
- Cheerleading gives males an opportunity to show off their strength and talent
- Don't put cheerleading in the feminine category; remember that it started as a male sport!
- Cheerleading may be a team effort, but often individual talent is recognized
- You may be faced with bullying from friends, peers, and family, but learn how to deal with this by showing your passion for the sport and educating your close friends and family about the misconceptions associated with the sport
- Keep in mind cheerleading is a great way to keep active and exercise to build muscle, endurance, and strength and to overall stay healthy!
- You gain the same emotional and physical aspects as any team sport
- Be open minded and have fun<
Tips for Parents of Male Cheerleaders
- Make sure you are understanding of the unique challenges that male cheerleaders on your team may face
- Don't favor the female cheerleaders over males, or vice versa
- Make sure you incorporate unisex choreography within your routine
- Utilize the strength a male brings to your team's stunting options. Be innovative and take things to a whole new level!
- Notice the level of dynamics your co-ed team can take on
- Male cheerleaders may motivate other members of the team becoming a great role model or leader
- Males tend to pick up skills, such as tumbling for cheerleading, very quickly!
- Be supportive, and attend games and competitions
- Become knowledgeable about the sport and communicate with your son about his athletic passions and goals
- Be aware that he is fighting against stereotypes and appreciate his dedication
- Offer tips on how to deal with bullying
- Watch closely and you'll see that going against harsh criticism and judgment associated with male cheerleading helps your son gain self-esteem
Breaking out of the social norm is important! When teams fall into the co-ed cheerleading team category, they gain many advantages by having the opportunity to be more dynamic and powerful, and it allows room for a higher level of skills and stunting. They also help provide a team with strength and structure. After witnessing the abilities and talents of male cheerleaders, even previously skeptical onlookers tend to change their minds.
Next time you receive or hear negative feedback from someone that doesn't understand the importance of male cheerleaders, try to take it as constructive criticism! Build off of it and let it fuel your motivation, but don't let it keep you from reaching your goals!