Pom Poms for People: Why Cheerleading Is Good for Humanity

Author: Eleanor Kent
May 15, 2018

Eleanor Kent

Eleanor Kent

Team Support Representative at The Side-Out Foundation
Eleanor is a recent graduate of James Madison University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Sport and Recreation Management with minors in General Business and Coaching. She enjoys cooking and traveling, and is a Green Bay Packer fan and owner.
Eleanor Kent

Cheerleaders at Klein Forest
I was headed to the bathroom after a long meeting at work today when the thought behind this blog post struck me. I find it comical when these random thoughts cross my mind. Anyways back to my point. We need more cheerleaders!

Cheerleaders. Yes, the people you find on the sidelines at athletic events cheering for the athletes on the field or the court and helping to rally the support of others.

When was the last time you thought about the activity of cheerleading/cheerleaders? High school? In a college critical thinking class? The last time I really thought about cheerleading was in the middle of a debate my freshman year of college. The premise of the debate was whether or not cheerleading should be considered a sport. You may have even had to debate your thoughts on this at some point too. Whether you fall on one side of the argument or the other, whether you debated about sideline cheer or competitive cheer, I think we all probably missed a vital component of the argument.

What I remember debating was whether or not cheering was physically demanding, whether it had game strategy, whether it had fundamental rules and guidelines for performance. Intriguingly enough, my trip to the bathroom enlightened me to a new point of view I had not come across before. Honestly, it flipped my view of cheerleading on its head completely. Instead of being concerned with whether cheerleading is a sport or not, maybe we should pay attention to the most basic concept of cheerleading (one I’m not even sure is communicated since I was never a cheerleader).

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the act of cheering, and in a sense cheerleading, sounds a lot like this to me:

A group of people or one person committed to supporting someone and/or a group of people facing an opponent and/or going through a challenging time.

That seems like a pretty good idea for humanity if you ask me!

Our world is filled with so much negativity these days whether it be politics, hate, or stress that we often forget about the little things that make being human great.

Human beings are innately wired to connect. It is one of our fundamental needs just like the need for food and water. Humans thrive when they feel this sense of connectedness in their lives and I think cheerleading is the perfect way to feel and accomplish some of that connectedness.

Just think for a second about the people in your life who cheer you on and support you, I bet they’re your family, some of your closest friends, people you admire. These are people you probably can’t imagine your life without and who have been there for you through some pretty tough stuff. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more people like that? Wouldn’t it be nice to be that for someone else?

Texas A&M Cheering Section

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that the lens in which you look at things determines how you think about them or much more eloquently said by a philosopher Dr. Wayne Dyer, “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Until today, I only saw cheerleading through one lens. A lens that said competitive cheerleading is a sport tumble and a sideline cheer (usually involving much less stunting and tumbling) is a hobby. A lens that said cheerleading makes you “cool” in high school, but doesn’t have much application in the real world. Today I realized I was wrong about cheerleading.

Cheerleading and cheering at their most basic forms are extremely applicable to the real world. In fact, I think if more people chose to partake in these activities (no, not the tumbling or the skirts), they’d make the real world a much happier place. On and off the court, we all need cheerleaders. We need people who support us, those who are rooting for us in everything that we do.

That being said, who do you cheer for? Who are you committed to support through challenging times?

Volleyball Players Cheering

Who Side-Out cheers for

Through education and empowerment, The Side-Out Foundation is unifying youth within the volleyball community to drive change in the way that breast cancer is treated. Through programs such as Dig Pink® and the Side-Out Ambassador Program, athletes work to support the stage IV breast cancer community through some of their most challenging times. Whether fighting for match point, sharing their Dig Pink story, or fundraising in their community, athletes are learning the importance and impact of philanthropy. Nationwide the sport of volleyball through Dig Pink® is cheering on and supporting the stage IV breast cancer community, a community that is too often overlooked.

Click here to learn how you too can become a cheerleader for the stage IV breast cancer community by getting involved in one of Side-Out’s programs today!

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