Cheerleading goes beyond girls screaming and jumping at the sideline of a football match. It is an athletic sport that brings lots of fitness and health benefits to its practitioners.
Most often when people think of cheerleading, they think of sideline cheerleading, which is where you have the cheerleaders on the side of any sporting activity, cheering on the players and helping motivate the crowd.
However, the concept of cheerleading goes way beyond hair bows, pom-poms and routines. Over the years, cheerleading has gained recognition as a sport in its own right; it has changed dramatically and transformed into a display of athleticism that impresses top-level athletes from all sports.
In fact, cheerleading is a fantastic way of exercising that involves a complete muscular and cardiovascular workout. According to Mileydis Concepcion, a cheerleading instructor at AJC Family Centers here in Homestead, “Cheerleading is a perfect sport for young girls to practice from an early age as it involves athleticism, teamwork and dedication. At AJC, we train girls from 6 to 14 years old with excellent results.”
The sport teaches and promotes fitness and good health choices. “Cheerleading through choreographed routines, tumbling, stunts and jumps, helps improve muscular strength, stamina, flexibility and coordination,” added Amanda Rufin, also a cheerleading instructor at AJC, when referring to the major fitness benefits of the sport. Most high school or competitive squads practice for several hours a week, while many collegiate squads have strength training requirements in addition to practice. “Proper conditioning, training and safety requirements help prevent injuries when practicing stunts, tumbling passes and jumps,” said Mrs. Concepcion.
Likewise, cheerleaders quickly learn the concept of “teamwork” and what it means to be an important team player. Cheerleading is based on the squad members’ relationships with one another to achieve the best outcome, either while performing a choreography or doing stunts.
Not to mention the leadership skills that the participants usually develop, they often discover how being a cheerleader can make them representatives of the school, other sports teams, and their surrounding community of students and parents.
Parents also agree on the benefits of cheerleading for their kids. “My girl trains with AJC Family Centers, and the experience has been fantastic. She has learned teamwork, personal responsibility, strength, confidence and has built deep friendships. Her coach is a wonderful woman who doesn’t coddle, but teaches the girls (and boys—there have been a few) to depend on themselves and build trust among their teammates,” mentioned Raquel Lopez proudly.
For more information about the classes offerings at AJC Family Centers call 305-246-2121
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