Beginning Cheerleading
July 01, 2004 11:07AM
Looking for resources for beginning cheerleading with young children.. any recommendations?
Beginning Cheerleading
July 02, 2004 10:30AM
Tara: Mark Bagon has produced Foundations for Successful Cheerleading, Volumes 1 & 2, for beginning cheerleaders. These videos provide great information for amateur cheerleaders. Volume 1 provides clear demonstrations that focus on the fundamental skills needed to be an effective cheerleader, while volume 2 provides instruction and demonstrations for the more advanced cheerleader. Preview these videos and let me know if this is what you're looking for.
Re: Beginning Cheerleading
November 30, 2012 09:17PM
I'm 14 I need help with cherrleading I dont no how to but I need tips I can do a back been I've been trying to do the splits I need help with if you can help me that would mean The world to me thankyou.
Dana Logan
Re: Beginning Cheerleading
December 04, 2012 09:52AM

Thank you for your question, and how exciting that you're just beginning cheerleading! While splits and back bends (which lead to tumbling) are important aspects of cheerleading, there are a few simple things that you can work on that will make you stand out as an excellent cheerleader right away:

1. Practice your motions in front of a mirror! Make every arm movement SHARP and TIGHT (no bent elbows). Make sure your wrists are not flexed back or curved down, your wrists should make a straight line with your arm. Fists should be tight (with your thumb wrapped around the outside). Make sure to keep right and left punches right next to your ear, don't let them stray sideways or forwards.

2. Smile at all times (even if you make a mistake) and use a loud audible voice. Smiling and volume exude confidence, which is a necessary trait for any cheerleader.

Now for the splits and back-bends, these skills take a lot of patience, flexibility, and practice.

To work on your front (left or right splits), the best thing you can do is get into the split position and hold it for a minute at a time, then take a break for 30 seconds, and try again. It is crucial that you do push yourself in this stretch position, and eventually you will get there. You will feel pulls in your hamstring muscle (back of your leg) as it stretches, but if you feel sharp pains, ease up a bit until you've increased flexibility. This is something you will want to do every day of the week; try to do this while listening to music or watching TV, a distraction can do wonders! Mastering the front splits will help you with kicks and if you're a flyer, this will make tricks (such as heel stretches) easier to perform.

For the straddle (side splits), sit in the straddle position with your feet touching a wall. Scoot yourself towards the wall as far as you can go, without causing sharp pains, but just enough to feel the insides of your legs stretching. It's sometimes helpful to have a partner sitting back-to-back behind you to help push you towards the wall. Be sure to point your toes during this stretch and keep your needs pointing up towards the ceiling or pointing back behind you (knees should never be rolled forward/pointing toward the wall). Mastering the straddle will increase your flexibility for jumps such as toe touches and side hurdlers.

Back bends are best practiced with a partner, coach, or instructor who is experienced in spotting tumbling drills. Make sure you're always doing back bend stretches or drills on a mat. If you can already get into the back bend position, work on holding it for 30 seconds or more, and arch your back more each time. Eventually try to hold your back bend using only 1 arm, then switch to the other arm. Also practice picking up one foot, then switch to the other foot. This will strengthen your arms and legs for the eventual back handspring. When attempting to perform a back walk-over find an experienced partner to assist you in kicking your legs up and over you while your hands remain on the ground in the back bend position (until you've kicked all the way over and may stand up). Do not attempt to move past this point on to a back-handspring without an experienced coach or instructor present. You may talk to your school's cheer coach or find a tumbling/gymnastics gym in your area that offers tumbling lessons or “open gym” times where they have trained staff available to assist athletes with the tumbling level they are at.

I hope these ideas have been helpful to you, and good luck with your future in cheer!

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