Whether you are looking to start a co-ed cheerleading teams at your school or you are joining a co-ed team, here is a review of some of the pros and cons that cheerleaders, coaches and parents might face:
#1 Stunting Options
PROS: Having a co-ed cheerleading squad means your cheerleading squad will have more stunting options ““ and will be able to push high stunts and throw higher baskets. Males can also help take your team’s tumbling level from impressive, to extreme.
CONS: The coach will need to have advanced co-ed stunting training. Co-ed stunting is very different from all-female stunting and should never be treated the same. Also, males and females will have different physical training and conditioning needs, which may result in the team having to be separated for some practices and missing out on team bonding time.
#2 Social Interaction
PROS: Co-ed teams are more representative of the real world and today’s society, since they require that teammates constantly interact with, and compete with, members of the opposite sex. This helps better prepare the team members for life after graduation.
CONS: Co-ed teams might find more barriers when building a bond of trust, since interaction between adolescent males and females might be awkward. There might also be some dating drama, flirting and jealously that can distract team members from the bigger picture of the squad’s goals for the season.
#3 Performance and Perception
PROS: Co-ed teams can help bring out the best side of everyone. While cheerleading is competitive, it is based on individual team performances instead of head-on games, so there are less instances of trash talking and fighting vs. an all-male field sport team like hockey or football.
CONS: A male that chooses to go into cheerleading may face negative backlash or bullying from his friends, peers and family. It may also be harder to recruit male cheerleaders because they may feel like cheerleading is not a sport or that it is just a woman’s activity.
#4 The Numbers
PROS: If you have to pull your team together from a small population, having a co-ed team can help you meet requirements for athletic departments or cheer competitions.
CONS: If you do decide to have a co-ed team, you might have difficulty recruiting the required number of boys and girls to requirements for athletic departments or cheer competitions. Having a co-ed team may also limit your options when it comes to summer cheer camp and competitions. Do your research and make sure that your area provides these opportunities for co-ed teams, or plan to do extra fundraising activities to cover the extra cost of travel for these events.
PROS: Having male and female cheerleaders gives you an opportunity to make the look of your team more dynamic. Of course you want to use the same colors and overall designs, but pairing the tradition skirt and shell top that a female wears with the standard pant and V-neck jersey shirt that a male wears can add a a new layer of spirit to your team’s appearance.
CONS: Generally, there are more female cheerleaders than male cheerleaders, and some companies don’t sell enough male clothing to keep it in stock. This might mean that you won’t get a low price guarantee that your preferred vendor could offer since you’ll have to shop somewhere else.
With a little planning, insight and some hard work, most of these cons can be easily addressed and avoided. Good luck with your coed team!