Becoming a cheerleader is a full time responsibility with diet, exercise and weight training. Gone are the days of waiving the pom poms for two hours. The cheerleader will need to excel in balance, agility, strength, and above all, attitude. Here are some handy tips on how to be a successful cheerleader.
No matter what position you take on the cheerleading team, you will need to work out with weights on a regular basis. If you take a base position, you will be responsible to throw and catch your teammates, and must keep your arms, back and core very strong.
Flexibility plays a key role in the range of choreography possible for your cheer team. All members must be fit and flexible to adapt to a competitive routine and execute it with brilliance. Stretching at a ballet barre will give you full range in your back, legs and shoulder muscles and keep you supple and free and clear of injury. When practicing stretching, always be sure to go slowly and never bounce your spine. Hold your stretch for three to five counts and release. In addition, your splits and leg extensions will look nicer if you train with an over-split, but be sure you learn it with proper alignment.
Diet is extremely important for energy and longevity in this sport. When you're performing, it's best not to eat sugar the day before, as it can cause an insulin crash, leaving you weakened and tired for the big game. Cheerleader is a team effort, so if one member is dragging, the whole squad may be at risk for injury. By eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you will have increased energy and vitality every day. You may wish to juice your daily intake of produce, and you'll get the same nutrients and vitamins as from eating the bulk food.
Gymnastic training is better than a dance class due to the tumbling skills required in advanced cheer routines. But, as with any form of body discipline, be sure you are consistent with your classes to build stamina and avoid injury. A light dance class may be helpful on the side to learn to work with music, but cheerleaders need acrobatic skills to rise to the top of their trade.
Attitude is altitude on the game field, so your personality should radiate confidence and charisma all the time. Professional cheerleaders must leave their world behind them and act the part they are so highly paid for. You never know when the eyes of the crowd are upon you, so be ready with a smile no matter what.