When you picture someone cheerleading, you likely picture the pom-poms, the cheers, the jumps, and the moves. There is this thing called the “cheerleading spirit” and the most successful cheerleaders will have it naturally. It’s something you can learn but it will also depend on your personality trait.
Do you have the spirit to become a cheerleader? Just what is this “spirit” and what does it mean for you? Here’s a quick look into it.
Cheerleaders Need to Be Positive
There’s a lot of talk about bullying and mean girls when it comes to cheerleading squads, but cheerleaders have a positive attitude to life. They need it to remain upbeat and be the best cheerleaders they can possibly be. Without the positive attitude, they will need to fake it and that does become extremely tiring and draining.
Cheerleaders support a high school and college teams. These teams aren’t going to win every game, but it’s up to the cheerleaders to keep the morale going while everyone else is struggling. The positive attitude helps, especially if the team is being eaten alive by their opponents.
The same applies in competition. Cheerleaders won’t always win events. There will be other teams better than them, and they need the positive attitude to pick themselves up and try again the next year.
Squads Need to Remain Upbeat
The idea of “cheerleading spirit” comes from the National Cheerleaders Association’s Spirit Stick Award. The first year it was given, it was created because a team was poorly skilled but tried their hardest. The team would constantly practice hours before and after everyone else, but would continue to cheer the others on.
There was this element of being upbeat and excited for the challenges. The team focused on improving and true grit, and they deserved to be rewarded for that. If you constantly underperformed or struggled to beat the competition, could you keep going? Could you keep pushing through?
Joy and Eye Contact Throughout Performances
When there isn’t a team to cheer for, it can be difficult to force the spirit through. During the national competitions, judges will make squads on their ability to produce spirit naturally and convincingly.
This will involve some eye contact with the judges and constant joy on the faces. Smiles and enthusiasm is needed at all times.
And this isn’t just applied during the performances. While waiting to perform, the judges will assess teams. During cheerleading camps the instructors will advise the teams while they’re watching others’ performances.
There’s a Different ‘Spirit’ for Men
Male cheerleaders do view spirit slightly differently. While the females will bounce around, clapping and cheering, the males will use their body language to show off their spirit.
In many cases, male cheerleaders will opt for arrogance or cockiness to show how “spirited” they are. There will be some smiles, but there isn’t an overly feminine style to the performance.
This is difficult, though. Cheerleaders are still stereotypically views as the All-American girl, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Males are viewed as odd when it comes to cheerleading squads, which has lead to the variation on the term “spirit.”
Natural spirit comes with the supporting of teams, whether your own or someone else’s. It involves keeping the moral up and looking joyful and excited during performances. Do you have the “cheerleading spirit?” Is it something that you could fake effectively for the sake of the job?