Do you want your daughter, who has just stepped into her teens, to enter the world of cheerleading? Or are you a teenager who is mesmerized by the razzmatazz of cheer girls at sports events? Wondering whether you have already missed the bus?
Cheerleading is fun. Some girls start as late as high school or college and become magnificently graceful cheerleaders. If you are passionate about this and really want to put in your best, you are just at the perfect point in life to begin this journey.
Is 13 too old to start cheerleading and what’s the right age to start? This is the question bothering many teenage girls whether they can start cheerleading at this age. Well, girls, it’s never too late to start cheerleading if you are meant for it. Teenage is the perfect time to groom yourself to become a cheerleader, and there’s nothing to worry about, even if you are close to 18. With a serious push, intense practice, and improving your flexibility, you can be all set to be a brilliant cheerleader in a few years. Here in this article, we will guide you about the right age to start cheerleading.
What Age Can You Start Cheerleading?
Girls as young as three to five can start cheerleading and rope in dance and gymnastics tactics. Starting at 5 to 7 years of age is a good idea for girls because their bodies are very flexible at that stage.
Since gymnastics and cheerleading depend on the body’s flexibility, energy, and practice, starting young is a huge benefit. Young girls can train their bodies to be as flexible as elastic when they start early.
So, if you want to enroll your daughter in cheerleading, you can very well do it when she is just a kid. Children as young as 5 years old know the art of perfect tumbling in cheerleading classes.
Having said that, if you hadn’t started when you were a child, you can very well start when you are a teenager. No rule can stop you from making it to the team if you work hard and train yourself.
When Is It Too Late to Start Cheerleading?
It’s better to start as early as you can, but it’s never too late as well. You need the right training to help you learn the art and become flexible enough for dance movements and acrobatics.
If you are young, healthy, hard-working, and confident, you are not late at all, even in college. Focus on your fitness and practice routines to match up to the skills of professional cheerleaders with years of training. Start correcting your postures and work on the splits, the tumbling, kicks, toe-touch, and other basic skills to get them perfect.
You are only too late when you are well past your youth. However, there are women like Laura Vikmanis, who at 42 years of age, made it to the NFL as a cheerleader. Even as a mother of teenagers, she proved everyone wrong and made it to the squad with sheer determination and practice.
Can You Start Cheerleading at 13?
Yes, 13 is a great age to begin cheerleading. Even if you feel you are too old compared to your little classmates who are 6 or 7 or 8, you can easily match them soon.
At 13, you are still very young and flexible with your body. It is an age full of vivacity and energy for a sport like cheerleading. Train your body to become animated enough for the beautiful cheer skills. At this impressionable age, you can be brave enough to learn new skills and master them quickly. With daily practice, you can be as great as if you have been cheering since you were a kid.
Can You Start Cheerleading at 14/15/16/17?
At 14, you are bubbling with energy to make something out of yourself. It’s a great time to channelize your energy to athletic skills and become a cheer girl. You can expect yourself to learn the black flip, the tumbling, jumps, and stunts quite quickly if you can work hard in a disciplined manner.
Cheer girls who start their journey at 15 years of age are young enough to use their strength to master the athletic skills with dedicated hours of practice. Increase your stamina and join additional classes to perfect your moves. You are not an odd one out even now amongst the little girls in the class.
Girls at 16 can also become a cheerleader in high school or college. It is best to transition from another sport, gymnasts, acrobatics, or have training as a dancer at this age. It becomes very easy to master the moves as a cheer girl with a little practice. But, never mind if you are not into any of them.
Even with no athletic skills, young adults as old as 17 years can train themselves under a professional guide or take lessons to nail the skills. The process may be hard and tiresome, but it is not impossible to achieve with the right preparation. Use the best of strategies to get yourself used to the movements and cheer like never before.
How to Start Cheerleading with No Experience
You may have been dreaming of being a part of the cheerleading squad but is zero experience holding you back from trying? Even if you have no cheerleading experience or basic training, it helps master the skills if you are a gymnast or know acrobatics.
Dancers, gymnasts, and acrobatics find it easy to enter cheerleading even with no formal experience. The reason is that they are already into some form of training and know the basic grammar of the skills, movements, and stunts. Their trained bodies are flexible, and their movements and finishing are already sharp, smooth, and graceful.
However, if you are not into any of these and are presently horrible at tumbling, you can still cheerleading a serious try.
Here are some steps we would suggest you to prepare yourself to enter the squad as a cheerleader with no former experience or training.
Work on Fitness and Stamina
The first step towards becoming a cheerleader is to work on your fitness levels and stamina. You have to practice and perform for hours, which needs immense stamina and energy. Start with basic body training to work on your fitness and get into shape. It will also help you become more flexible with the skills. Working out also improves stamina to perform at a stretch.
Increase Your Confidence and Determination
To make it to the squad when you start late, you need confidence and determination along with hours of daily practice. Be confident about your passion, and be dedicated enough not to stop till you achieve the levels of those in the squad. You need the willpower to grit your teeth and push yourself extra hard to be equal to those performing with you. The confidence must reflect in your dazzling smile that’s the mark of a true cheer girl.
Practice the Skills and Stunts
The actual work starts when you observe the choreography, skills, and stunts performed by cheerleaders. Train yourself with a guide, watch online tutorials, and learn the tactics of performing those skills. You must learn how to do the jumps, tumbling, kicks, and stunts.
Begin with stretching, touching the toe, backward arch, splits, and similar flexibility exercises to move on to the jumps, cartwheel, and tumbling. You should focus on how to get them perfect like a pro. The landing must be smooth in jumps, the toes must be pointed when you kick, and the body should be as elastic as possible when you bend. Floppiness is unacceptable in cheerleading.
You can read more here: Do You Have To Be A Gymnast To Be A Cheerleader? Demystified
Seek Professional Help
When you start late, your strategy must be to make the best of things. While training yourself to perfect the moves, it is recommended to enrol in professional classes or seek a guide. A trainer will give you the right guidance to enter the squad by working on your movements, body posture, and performance. You can check usacheer.org to check out coaching programs near you.
Nothing is too late in life if you aim for it with a determined attitude. You may fail several times when you start late than others already at the game. But, remember, you are not too late to let go of your dreams. Practice makes you perfect, and here too, that’s the secret. If you hadn’t started as early as others, it’s better late than never. Give wings to your dreams and be the perfect cheer girl with a confident smile and hours of dedicated practice to make it to the team.