24 Mar 5 Safety Tips for Cheerleaders
Cheerleading requires precision, teamwork, intricate skill and balance, making it a very popular competitive sport. It’s a great group sport and a great way to stay fit, but it’s also risky, which is why it’s important to know the proper cheerleading safety guidelines. While common injuries to the feet, ankles, and legs usually aren’t terribly serious, flyers (the people that are thrown in the air) are at a high risk of head, neck, and back injuries which can lead to permanent disabilities.
Cheerleading is just like any other athletic activity and ignoring safety can lead to dangerous outcomes. By following these sports safety tips, listening to their coaches, and staying within their ability level, cheerleaders can help reduce the risk of injuries to themselves and their teammates.
Tip #1. Be sure your cheer program follows recognized progression and safety rules. Be sure your coach is certified by the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) or a similar organization. A qualified coach will be up to date with the latest safety guidelines and regulations.
Tip #2. Practice safely. Most cheerleading injuries happen during practice when athletes are trying to learn or perfect a new skill. Make sure you are practicing on a smooth, level surface that is dry and clear of obstacles. Also, never practice on a hard surface. Instead, make sure your facility has a floor that absorbs impact like spring floors or foam floors covered in landing mats.
Tip #3. Take your time when learning a new skill. Perfect the low level less complicated skills before moving on the more advanced stunts. Never attempt a stunt that is beyond your ability.
Tip #4. Be a diligent spotter. Spotters are responsible for assisting or catching a top person like a flyer in a stunt. Protecting the head, neck, and shoulders of the person coming down from the stunt should be top priority. If you’re a spotter never let your eyes leave the person you’re assigned to spot.
Tip #5. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns. If you have a concern about safety or about a stunt you are performing, discuss the situation with your coach. If your coach is unresponsive, talk to a parent or administrator.