Competitive Cheerleading Essay Example

  • Category: Sports,
  • Words: 974 Pages: 4
  • Published: 06 May 2021
  • Copied: 149

2 Minutes and 30 seconds is what cheerleaders train for. When people think of sports most of the time they will think of football, hockey and baseball, not many people have the first thought of competitive cheerleading. People do not realise how dangerous competitive cheerleading actually is. This sport causes so many long term and short term health issues to young male and female athletes. No one knows how many things can go wrong and all for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Competitive cheerleading is very dangerous among men and women in sports because it causes physical issues to their bodies as well as mental issues.

“Cheerleading is a sport that combines high levels of athleticism with significant risks, especially in the area of competitive cheerleading where the stunts are growing increasingly more creative and challenging” Hennessy said (Bologna). In cheerleading many athletes will have a block, meaning that they are scared to do something because it is most likely their first time doing it on their own. When the athletes have these blocks they will have a hesitation and things will end up going wrong. Hesitations and fear could result in a cheerleader not doing a skill the way they were trained and could increase the potential for injury (Bologna). Hesitations can cause a lot of problems for your body. They can cause arm, leg, knee, hand, head, etc injuries because that moment of hesitation will cause you to not perform it the way you were taught. When an athlete encounters an injury like an ankle, shoulder or wrist they will just tape up the injury and continue to practice instead of going to a doctor to get it checked out. More than 300,000 cheerleaders go to the hospital for competitive cheerleading related injuries every year (“Jump”). That number is a lot higher than it should be because of all the advancements made in the past century. Over time cheerleading can cause a lot of damage on your body. Like your back, if an athlete has been a main base for thirteen plus years, and you were not taught how to properly base a flyer, that athlete can develop severe back problems often because of all the pressure from the flyer. Flyers run into the thought of head injuries. Flyers are thrown twenty plus feet into the air, if one thing goes wrong they will be laying on the floor with the possibility of a severe head injury. But cheerleading does not just cause physical problems, it also causes mental problems.

“When coaches and or parents and peers focus on the physical image of a cheerleader, or the inability to hit a skill for example it is devastating to an athletes self-esteem” Pierotti said “ As a coach, everything you say becomes their inner voice. So if a cheerleader consistently hears that she does not look right to fit the part of a competitive cheerleader, or that he is not strong enough, that will be the messages they start saying to themselves” (Bologna). Hearing negative comments like that all through your childhood can really do some damage on how you see yourself. “The body image issue is a major one, especially with the outfits cheerleaders wear and so forth” Czech said “The psychology behind that can be very detrimental and cause eating disorders, exercise addiction and other negative things'' (Bologna). When people think of cheerleaders they think of 120 pound females, so when cheerleaders are not super skinny they start eating disorders so they can lose the weight so they look just perfect in their uniforms. Chelsea Pierotti, a mental performance coach for dance and an instructor in the department of psychology and neuroscience says “the brains neuroplasticity is its ability to change and adapt to our environment anytime we train in an elite sport, of which cheerleading certainly qualifies, we will see changes in the brain at a neurological level which will impact the mental toughness of these athletes” (Bologna). When someone makes a comment about an athletes body, some athletes will start to develop things like bad eating disorders such as anorexia. That can cause issues to your body. When you hear a coach talk in a bad way about you, you can start to have degrading thoughts or lack of motivation, it can cause an athlete to stop trying to develop new skills, the athlete could develop depression and/or anxiety which can just snowball from there. Cheerleading does not just cause mental and physical problems with your body. Or when an athlete starts to hear these negative comments it can make them want to stop trying, which in the long run could really hurt their teammates. 

On April 21, 2008 a family of a Massechuettes cheerleader died accidently after she was kicked in the chest during a competition (News). Competitive cheerleading can cause death;

Competitive cheerleading also causes many catastrophic injuries. Over the last decade there were 25 catastrophic cheerleading including 2 deaths (Neale). Since the advance in all of the cheerleading skills in the tumbling, jumps and stunts emergency room visits have gone up a significant about. In 2007 the number of hospital emergency visits had gone up by 4,957 just caused by competitive cheerleading (Muller). A catastrophic injury is an injury that is caused to the brain or the spine/spinal cord. When an athlete has a catastrophic injury most of the time no one will be told about it because they do not want to let down their teammate, which will end up causing a lot more damage to the brain. 

Competitive cheerleading  is very dangerous among men and women in sports because it causes physical issues to their bodies as well as mental issues. As stated in the previous statements competitive cheerleading can cause a lot of damage to an athletes body. The more people know about the way competitive cheerleading works the better everyone can work together to figure out ways that we as a whole can make competitive cheerleading a much safer environment. These athletes work to their full potential almost every day and all they get in return is injuries caused to them both mentally and physically. The months of sitting out all the nights that an athlete can spend in pain from one sport, they only get two minutes and thirty seconds to shine in their own spotlight.

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