Cheerleaders are a beloved part of American sports, from high school to the pros. Whether they’re cheering for the team or performing an acrobatic routine, they get the crowd pumped up for the sport. Cheerleading is a sport of its own as well as a tremendous support for other teams. While cheerleaders make it look easy, few people consider the dangers that are hidden beneath those pompoms. Cheerleading involves jumping, dancing and sometimes flying! As such, each cheerleader must be especially careful. Safety should always be a top priority for both coaches and individual athletes.
Wear Proper Gear
As any athlete knows, wearing the proper gear is an incredibly important aspect of sports. Cheerleading is no exception! For starters, cheerleaders should always wear a quality pair of rubber-soled shoes. What you’re looking for are shoes that offer both cushioning and good ankle support. Additionally, for those cheer folks that fly in the air, it is recommended to wear a cheer vest to prevent potential injuries. Injuries are prevalent in sports. 2.6 million kids are treated in emergency rooms for sports injuries each year. It is all too easy to have an ankle or leg injury in sports where adolescents are constantly moving. However, ensuring the necessary gear is provided, injury risk can be greatly reduced.
Warm-Up Before Practice
To further protect oneself from harm during cheerleading, it’s always important to warm-up before practice. Some suggested warm-up moves can include lunges, jogging, and skipping. Of course, you don’t want your heart rate to jump up too quickly, but a warm-up helps to get the body ready for vigorous activity, and that’s exactly what cheerleading is. Additionally, stretching is always recommended. Muscles are complex groups, and causing strain is easy when they’re not properly stretched out. However, by warming up the muscles and stretching them out, you can help to prevent potential injuries. Always fit in time for a warm-up and know how important safety really is!
Practice on Soft Surfaces
Cheerleaders are accustomed to performing on hard surfaces for football games, but that doesn’t mean they can’t practice on soft surfaces. If possible, locations that include spring floors and landing mats are ideal for cheerleading practice. Foam floors in gyms are also a suggested place to practice. It’s always possible for cheerleaders to fall when practicing routines, but those soft surfaces greatly help to lessen the impact in case of a fall.
Safety is of the utmost importance for any athletic activity, including cheerleading. If you haven’t seen them, cheerleaders typically have elaborate routines to entertain the crowds. As such, there is a significant potential for injury. By using some suggested techniques, cheerleaders can reduce their risk. Athletes should always wear the proper gear with good support. Warming up and stretching before practice and performances are critical to preventing injuries. Lastly, practicing on soft surfaces also helps cheerleaders to have a safe and fun time as happy, healthy athletes on the field.