4 Things Cheerleading Taught Me

Today I am making signs for an upcoming flag football game my University is playing in against a rival Catholic University in April.  It’s making me all nostalgic and whatnot for my days as a cheerleader in high school…

Say what you will about cheerleaders, but I learned a lot from my days on the Pep Squad.  I think the lessons I took away from cheer are applicable to all sorts of different situations in life, especially what it means to be a real friend.

1.)  Everybody needs a cheerleader

It’s tough to be the one cheering for a losing team, but this is the job of a cheerleader.  Whether you are cheering for the champion team or the team embarking on game nine of a losing streak, you don’t have the option of despairing.  A cheerleader needs to be there for the team even when it seems like all hope is lost.

2.)  Learn the Rules of the Game

There is nothing more embarrassing than starting an offense cheer when your team is on defense.  You can’t cheer someone on in a game that you don’t understand, just like you can’t be there for someone if you don’t take the time to understand his or her situation.

3.)  Respect the Players

I’ll be honest.  When you are a cheerleader, a lot of the people you have to cheer for may not be the greatest or nicest people in the world.  But this doesn’t mean you have the right to stop cheering them on, or worse, to hope they lose the game.  Even if you don’t like the people you are stuck cheering for, it is your responsibility to do your utmost to help them achieve their best.

4.)  “Just Have Fun!”

My mom used to say this to my sister and me every year in high school during the stressful week that is cheerleading tryouts.  She said it so we wouldn’t stress out too much and so we would remember it was just one week in the grand scheme of a lifetime, but I think it got to the heart of what cheerleading is supposed to be.  It’s about having fun and keeping a positive attitude that is contagious.

Even if you’ve never held a pair of pom-poms, I think we are all supposed to be cheerleaders in one way or another.