The biggest mistake we make about Lakeland cheerleading is thinking that all of the cheerleaders are out to get one another and they want to topple each other off the pyramid.
What we don’t know is that these girls actually uplift each other and they want the best things to happen to one another. In fact, if everyone can be the captain or can be the star of the squad, we’re sure everybody will be happy to take turns.
It’s hard enough that the cheerleading industry is being categorized as a non-sport even as the Olympics committee has already announced that it is. Just because these girls dance and do routine stunts does not make them a mere dancer (and what’s wrong about being a dancer, anyway?).
They do the same workout as athletes do. They practice just as much as basketball and football players do. They have the same grade requirements and they have as much team spirit as other school athletes claim to have.
Most cheerleaders think of their teams as their second families. These girls have been with them through it all—personal struggles, academic problems, heartbreaks, crushed competitive spirits, losses, victories, and many more. They bond almost as greatly as families do so there should be no questioning their loyalties to each other.
Of course, competition is tough. Of course, cheerleaders strive to get to the top and be the head cheerleaders. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big. What’s wrong is thinking that girls cannot support their friends because of envy and jealousy (which is what other people think “competition” is all about).
Do you know that Lakeland cheerleading squads from different schools are even friends with each other? They don’t share secrets about their routines and stunts, yes, but they can hang out with each other and share their love for cheerleading. Being passionate about one thing should bond girls together.
It should not drive a stake between them. It should not separate them. Rather, it should bring these girls closer together. The same passionate love for something should be a glue that makes cheerleaders stand up for each other.
Even in businesses, the term friendly competition exists. Most businesses are worried and concerned about their own standing that they refuse to focus on the goals of their competitors.
This might be the same thing that’s happening among Lakeland cheerleading squads. Teams are specifically focused on bettering themselves that they care not about what the other squads are doing.