Essay, Pages 4 (882 words)
By definition, a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment (Roenigk, 38).” Although cheerleading fits the criteria of being a sport, there had been a large debate over deciding if cheerleading is a sport or not. The topic has been a controversial one for decades, however, cheerleading has proved to be not only a sport but one the most dangerous sport known to man. Cheerleading should be considered a sport because it has more reported injuries than any other sport, requires more skills & training techniques to perform more than any other sport, and is deserving of the respect that other sports are given.
When most people think of cheerleading, they think of the pom shaking, spirit-filled squads that attempt are on the sidelines trying to get the crowd going at the Friday night basketball and football games, but competitive cheerleading is much more. Cheerleading should not only be considered a sport, but it is one of the most dangerous sports to play.
The narrative review of cheerleading injuries informs readers, “the most commonly injured area is the ankle, with a prevalence of 44.9%, and the most common type of injury being a sprain (Bagnulo, 293).” The narrative also goes further to explain the more popular cheerleading has become the more injuries that have occurred in the process. Bagnulo says the reported injury rates are approximately “1-2.8 per 1000 athletic exposures.” (Bagnulo, 293). Due to the high risk of severe injuries including spans, concussions, broken bones, permanent disabilities, and becoming paralyzed, and injuries causing a shorter lifespan, cheerleading is one of the leading causes of traumatic injuries for students.
No one wants to injure themselves on purpose, so if cheerleading wasn’t considered to be a real sport why would people even participate. Cheer athletes get injured just as much, sometimes even more than athletes in other sports.
Cheerleading should be a sport because it requires more skill and technique than any other sport. Because cheerleading is immensely competitive, teams compete in state, national, and world competitions and compete for slots within the team as well. In order to reach and maintain certain qualities, a cheerleader must train as hard as any other athlete (Brady, 21). Cheerleaders normally, must endure endless hours at summer cheer camps, cheer practice after school at least 2 and a half hours-five days a week, not to mention weekly tumbling practice to stay in full shape for games and competition. Cheerleaders must spend as much time practicing as other sports. Most teams practice two to four hours at least five days a week Monday through Friday, then perform at games and/or competitions on weekends. The training is only half the skills required. Stunt such as back handsprings, double nines, and whip-backs make take years before a person can perform with no issues whatsoever. Constant tumbling is a necessity when it comes to cheering. Although no cheer team is the same, they all go through the countless hours of extraneous workouts and effort that goes into creating the perfecting routines.
In today’s society, cheerleading is not given enough respect it deserves. Despite some considering cheerleading as one of the hardest sports in the U.S., cheerleaders still have to deal with the stereotypes and social standards that society placed in the minds of those around us on a day to day basis. Cheerleading often puts a lot of stress on those who are still trying to figure out their true identity. Society sees NFL cheerleaders and the cheerleaders you see in movies as this “self-image” why cheerleading is not a real sport, but that’s because those are not REAL cheerleaders (Brady, 21). They are sexualized beings that give society a false image of what a real cheerleader is (Brady, 21). Cheerleaders must go head-to-head both on the mat and in reality. Trying to competing against the standardized set of rules society has bound them to. Cheerleading should be given just as much dignity as any other sports.
Cheerleading should be considered a sport because not only does it meet the definition of a sport, but it achieves the definition as no other sport can. The fact that cheerleading requires a significant amount of athleticism, skill, and technique is just one of the many reasons why it should be considered a sport. Not to mention the fact that cheerleading comes with an endless of injuries like no other. Cheerleading deserves gratitude and positive judgment as to all other sports. Cheerleading has taken the back-seat role in the athletic world instead of being front and center getting the appropriate attention it deserves, not the negative connotations and stereotypes that come with it. That is why cheerleading is should be considered a sport, because cheering is more than just pom poms and bows; cheerleading is a sport, unlike any sport that has come before.
- Roenigk, Alyssa. “The Space Between.” American Cheerleader, vol. 12, no. 1, Feb. 2006, pp. 38–41. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=fth&AN=19287097&site=eds-live&scope=site.
- Bagnulo, Angela. “Cheerleading Injuries: A Narrative Review of the Literature.” Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, vol. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2012, pp. 292–298. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=awh&AN=88939600&site=eds-live&scope=site.
- Brady, Kate. “Why Cheerleading Is a Sport.” Teen Ink, vol. 28, no. 9, May 2017, p. 21. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ulh&AN=122938461&site=eds-live&scope=site.