Planning on hanging up your cheer shoes at the end of this season because you’re going to be a senior? A junior? Going to college?
More and more we’re seeing kids pull back from sports, especially teenage girls. Girls drop out of sports at 1.5x the rate of boys, and by the time they’re 17, less than 50% of girls are participating in sport.
Why? Most give up sports for their education, realizing that a college scholarship or a professional career aren’t going to be in the cards for them. It’s something that happens a lot, especially in such a demanding sport like cheerleading. For all-star athletes, there’s the travel and the last-minute practices before bid comps. For high school cheerleaders, there’s the early morning practices, games, and school spirit activities.
But what if we were to tell you that sports are known to help improve the dedication, multitasking, and perseverance skills necessary to succeed academically? That 96% of C-level female executives participated in sports in high school and college?
Everyone knows that participating in sport has great health benefits. It lowers blood pressure, it prevents soooo many diseases, and the endorphins are pretty great stress relief. But what about the mental and emotional benefits? The confidence gained from stepping onto the mat with 15 other girls and performing a flawless routine. The mental tenacity it takes to recover from a bobble, slay the pyramid and finish strong. The teamwork skills you gain from trusting others to do their job and mat-talking your way through 2:30. The ability to turn up and turn it on because you know there’s a whole team relying on you; you are not replaceable.
Confidence levels, communication skills, self-image, and teamwork all improve the longer girls and women stay active. Continuing to participate in cheerleading through high school creates teenagers and young women with exceptional time management and organizational skills. Leaders who know how to get things done NOW, and not wait for later when inspiration strikes. Women who are confident in their self-worth and can bring others up in a team.
So next time you think it’s too hard to keep studying and cheering, look at all you have to gain from sticking with it!