The first image in one's mind is a female who walks around in a short skirt, with her pony tail bobbing from side to side, and a grin that is as phony as her attitude. An airhead whose only response is "Ready?", "Okay!"; whose only physical coordination involves clapping her hands and stomping her feet. Obviously, not considered the brightest crayon in the box, right? She is just a pretty decoration standing on the sidelines, more worried about breaking a sweat, than about her team winning the game. Yet, some cannot imagine her breaking a sweat because to them, cheerleading is not a sport. However, contrary to what many perceive it to be, cheerleading aids in leadership skills, in following through commitments, and in character building.
So exactly what does the word cheerleader mean? It can be defined as one who urges on or encourages especially by shouts. Well anyone can be outspoken, smile real pretty, and have a lot of spirit.
However, a true cheer"leader" respects others, has and makes good judgment, is faithful to the squad, and has a strong, uplifting confidence. She has to be willing to let go of personal inhibitions, such as pride and shyness, and open up to show the crowd how excited and enthusiastic a cheerleader is.
Additionally, a cheerleader has to be committed and liable at all times. Accountability is just not only to games, but her squad as well. Each member of the squad assists in leading the crowd, building a stunt, or making signs. A squad has to quickly learn that there is no "I" in team, and that the word "can't" does not exist in a cheerleader's vocabulary. At practices there is consistent encouragement to each other to "try the stunt again," "make one's jumps higher," or "tighten...