The Life of a College Cheerleader (Hint: It’s A Lot of Work!)

by omni

Image Credit: Ryan Revock/The Daily Wildcat At the of Arizona, in Tucson, male cheerleaders are working harder than people give them credit for. While most college guys are asleep at 6am, the male cheerleaders are at practice, tossing and catching female teammates. The Arizona male cheerleaders want to prove that cheerleading is a sport and requires hard work. Male cheerleaders need strength just like any other athlete, including football and basketball players. James Hosobe, a junior cheerleader, used to be a football player. When he realized he wasn’t large enough for football, he found a place in cheerleading. If there’s anyone who can compare football to cheerleading, it’s James. As a member of Arizona’s team, male cheerleaders go through rigorous weight training and exercises for their core and legs. James explains to The Daily Wildcat, -Football is about getting big, big, big. Cheer is about abs, abs, abs.” Another big difference between football and cheerleading is, according to James, the emphasis on technique. With cheerleading, you can’t just be strong. You have to have good technique, especially as a male cheerleader who is responsible for tossing and catching female teammates. “You can weight lift a million pounds, but if you don’t have the technique to follow the jump, it’s impossible,” James said. Senior female cheerleader, Lexi Tatem says that the male teammates are the “workhorses” of the team and that, because of their training and dedication, the female teammates all have great faith and trust in their male teammates who are responsible for lifting them high off the ground, oftentimes just with one hand. On top of training, the team has practice three days a week and performances at games and events, which can be several times a week, depending on the season. James and his teammates dedicate around 20 hours a week for cheerleading. On top of that, there are classes, work, and homework. Besides cheer, James has 17 units of classes and an internship. James says a lot of coffee and a schedule book are what help him survive each semester. One of James’ teammates, Courtney Broome, not only has cheer practice and class, but she also has two jobs! Courtney insists that if you have good time management skills, you can get through the day. Although so many of Arizona’s cheerleaders have intensive schedules, they keep going because of all the perks that come with being a cheerleader. Not only do they get to do what they love, but they also get to travel and participate in events and games. For many of the cheerleaders, however, the best part is cheering at football games. What happens when a game isn’t going so well? The cheerleaders rely on one another to stay spirited. Cheerleader T.J. Mitchell shared with The Daily Wildcat, “We kind of have to encourage each other to stay positive. That sounds silly, “cause we’re cheerleaders and whatnot, but by joking with each other and encouraging each other when we hit stunts, that gets us up a bit.” Win or lose, the team comes together as a family. Lexi explained, “All the guys are like my brothers,” Tatem said. “I’m way closer to any of them than any guy in my life. I mean, they see me when it’s 6 a.m. and I just rolled out of bed. We’re like a big family.” Is your team like a family? What is your favorite aspect of cheerleading and your team? News Source: The Daily Wildcat

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