What Makes a Great Cheerleader?

All stereotypes aside, these are a few of the "real life" observations I have made about what makes a great cheerleader.

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Sure, they sometimes have reputations for being cruel, catty and sometimes a bit pretentious, but nonetheless, everyone loves a cheerleader.  What makes the difference between the average and the great?  These are a few things that I have observed over the past couple of years.

Great cheerleaders not only have “pep” and “spirit,” on the sidelines, but they are also encouragers of one another.   Bases who consistently catch their flyers should be told how appreciated they are.  Flyers who are considerate and kind to their bases are only helping themselves.  Cheerleaders who try to function on their own, without fully committing to the other members of their squad are only hurting themselves.  On the other hand, an encouraging word to a struggling squad member may mean the difference between failure and success.

Great cheerleaders keep smiling, no matter what!  One thing that sets apart the mediocre from the exceptional is the ability to remain positive, even when stunts go wrong, errors occur and tempers flare.  There is nothing more distracting on the sidelines than to see the icy glares passing between cheerleaders after something goes wrong.  The professional thing to do is to get up, smile and continue on.  This ability transfers well into many other arenas of life, too.

Great cheerleaders practice!  The old saying “practice makes perfect” definitely applies to the sport of cheerleading. Anytime a large number of participants is required to perform as one unit, each participant must know his or her part, and do it to the very best of his or her ability.  Cheerleaders who are unprepared cannot possibly expect to be a part of a squad that will compete well, or look polished and uniform on the field.  Practice, practice, practice!

I am sure that there are many other traits that make a great cheerleader, but those are three that immediately came to my mind.  Encouraging words, positive attitudes and preparedness can make a tremendous difference in any cheer squad!

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