Remember the old days of school cheerleaders as they flared their pom poms?? They stood on the sidelines of the football and basketball games and cheered on the team and supported the fans as they enjoyed the game. Today, the world of cheer leading has changed. It is a more competitive and demanding sport that requires as much and sometimes more athletic ability and intricate skills as any other high school or college sport.
Cheer leading is a sport just like any other. It is a great way to stay fit but it has its own risks as well. Injuries from falls, twisting and turning can occur and the pressure that cheer leaders face to stay thin can lead to body image problems that affect gymnastics and dancers. Cheer leading has been called "the world's most dangerous sport" Perhaps that is a bit over board but cheer leading can cause sports injuries to feet, ankles, arms and legs. These injuries are not normally serious.
The risk of cheerleaders hurting this backs is very popular. The number of injuries has increased as population of cheer leading has increased. Until recently cheer leading was not looked at as a sport but thank goodness that has changed. Before your daughter joins the cheerleading group ensure that they have a safe place to practice and an educated coach.
Ensure that the girls follow all rules and here some more to think about as well:
Follow all of the rules on posted signage, membership agreement forms, or given verbally by a trainer or staff member.
Return equipment to its designated storage space after use. If you see equipment that was not put back where it belongs, take a moment to return it yourself to help keep the facility safe for everyone.
If you use exercise equipment, use the facility-provided sanitation formula to wipe down seats, handle bars and other places that come in contact with your skin.
Use a spotter if you are lifting or doing tumbling or stunts.
Do not eat or chew gum during training, or bring snacks or open drink containers (like a pop can) to the gym. Instead, use a water bottle that can be capped and sealed. This will prevent water from spilling on electric equipment or creating puddles that others could slip on.
Wear appropriate cheerleading practice wear and indoor shoes. Your shirts and shorts or pants should not be baggy. Baggy clothing could result in the fabric getting caught on a spotter or on equipment. You should also remove all jewelry.
Bring a lock to secure your belongings in the locker room. If there are no locker rooms available, try to wear your training apparel to the gym, and leave your other clothing, personal property and valuables in your car or at home.
Do not goof off in the locker room or around training equipment. Goofing off includes horseplay and also the use of cell phones, computers or other distracting electronics. You need to stay focused on training and aware of your surroundings.
Report all injuries, your own and also your teammate's, to your coach, trainer or spotter immediately.