This I Believe

Lacey - Columbia, Illinois
Entered on April 2, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports

Twisting out of a heel stretch, throwing six backhand springs in a row on the gym floor when your ankles and wrists ache with pain, hitting the ground when you haven’t been caught are just a few things that cheerleaders go through everyday. People do not give enough credit to the sport of cheerleading.

The Columbia High School cheer team works their tails off, not to just look good and pretty for a basketball or football game. The team works for competition, which is where you throw mounts, tumbling, jumps, and motions for three minutes trying to be a virtuoso. We want to beat everyone else in our division and be the best. We practice everyday of the week for two hours or more for almost nine months. At practice we practice and perfect on a complex routine that lasts three minutes.

Most people do not think that cheerleading is a sport, but in the eyes of a cheerleader, it is a sport and much more. Ask any cheerleader and they would like to see a football or basketball player do what a cheerleader does. The cheer team conditions and practices all summer from June until March. We run, sprint, crunch, push-up, throw people, throw backhand springs, jump, lunge, run while yelling the words to the cheer, and still we are expected to perform the entire routine at the end of a practice. A routine full out is like sprinting for three minutes straight. We work hard at practice and many people do not realize how hard we work for something so short.

I believe that cheerleaders do not get enough credit. I also believe that people need to look at what it takes to be a cheerleader. Cheer teams need support to, just like an athlete for any sport, because we are a sport too!