Cheerleading: Not Just for Women Anymore
Believe it or not, males are becoming an integral part of many youth cheerleading squads. Many young boys and men are attracted to the sport because of the powerful athletics involved. Some stunts, especially tricky overhead tosses, are nearly impossible without the strong physical presence that a male brings to the squad. Plus, there’s always the opportunity to meet many girls when cheerleading!
Recruiting Males for the Squad
When looking for males to join your youth cheerleading squad, always emphasize the athletics involved as opposed to the cheering part. Most men won’t want to pick up pom poms and shout out silly cheers, clapping along with the beat. However, they will be more attracted to the tumbling and stunting involved in the sport.
When recruiting for your co-ed youth cheerleading squad, shoulder tap any naturally athletic guys with the upper body strength required for performing dazzling stunts, lifts and tumbles. Look for the fans who attend all the games in silly costumes with their faces painted. They are the natural cheerleaders who just need to learn the basic stunting and spotting skills.
One way of pitching the idea of youth cheerleading to young males is to emphasize cheerleading as fitness training. Make sure to develop a well-rounded practice regimen that involves weight lifting and fitness training for agility and stamina. Talk to males in the community that are already involved in cheerleading, gymnastics and dance for advice and to see if they will give guest clinics for your squad. The more guys see and hear from members of the sporting community involved in cheerleading, the more they will respect their position in the sport and hopefully their interest will pique.
Also, never ask guys if they want to try out for the cheerleading squad. This direct approach will almost always result in a resounding “no way!” However, if you give it a different spin, some may be less reluctant to give it a try. Try saying something like this: “I think you’d make a great addition to our team. Please come check us out. We practice on (this day at this time), and I’d love to see you there. If you like what you see, I can help you learn more about what we do. If you hate it, I’ll never ask you again.”
Gimmie a C, Gimmie an O, Gimmie an E and a D
Keep in mind that a co-ed youth cheerleading squad is quite different from an all-girl squad, and members should act accordingly. Look for a stunt coach with experience in co-ed stunting.
Another way to boost enthusiasm for a co-ed youth cheerleading squad is by attending competitions. While co-ed competitions do tent to be less competitive than the all-girl variety, they are still an excellent opportunity to display your team spirit and athletic prowess. When your team does well at an event, make sure to capitalize on your achievements through self-promotion, since more people will want to be involved in a successful organization.
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