7 Common Misconceptions About Competitive Cheerleaders

1. Cheerleading is an excuse to stand around and look pretty 

Cheerleading has come so far from the days of standing on the sideline in short skirts and cheering on the boys. If you have ever been to a competitive cheerleading practice, you would know that there’s more to them than looking pretty and pulling off the uniform look, especially if you’ve seen them after a long, hard practice. It takes a lot of effort and mistakes to reach the polished routines that you see at competition. 

2. All cheerleaders are ditzy and stupid 

In almost every Hollywood representation of cheerleaders, they are portrayed as ditzy and incapable girls who use their looks to advance their social standing. In reality, cheerleading enforces an important balance between physical activity and education. Time-management is vital for cheerleaders, who spend countless hours at practice and team workouts while still having to maintain their grades as well as other responsibilities.

                                                                                                                                           

3. Cheerleaders are inherently peppy

In the modern-day cheerleading world, being peppy is not a must. Competitive cheerleading rather requires intense discipline and dedication. Now-a-days, you can find cheerleaders of all different personality types who enjoy keeping fit and challenging themselves with this sport.

4. Male cheerleaders are obviously gay 

This stereotype is very real for men who choose to partake in cheerleading, one that still goes on today. Some of the most talented athletes in cheerleading are male powerhouses who push the sport to different levels. Being a talented athlete has nothing to do with sexuality. Without gender diversity, a very special aspect of cheerleading would be missing.

5. Cheerleaders are mean and arrogant

Cheerleading, in reality, fosters a very loving and supportive team atmosphere. In a sport where teammates literally trust each other with their lives, deep bonds and relationships form within the teams. They become each other’s friends and family who support each other.

6. Cheerleaders only cheer to impress guys 

Cheerleading, like other sports and extracurricular activities, can become a safe haven from the outside pressures of the world, relationships included. Many athletes uncover their value and sense of self-worth by succeeding at a sport. With the massive time, monetary investments, and emotional commitments, competitive cheerleading is often seen as a relationship within itself.

7. Cheerleading isn’t a sport 

This misconception is by far the most annoying and blood-boiling statement for any competitive cheerleader to hear. These athletes spend years perfecting their craft, training, risking injury, and facing serious competition. To be told what they do isn’t a sport is the verbal equivalent to a slap in the face. To end this ongoing and unnecessary debate, competitive cheerleading is, and always will be, a sport.