March is national Cheer Safety Month, and here at GlitterStarz we love to share our tips and tricks for staying safe! Cheerleading is fun of course, but it also can be dangerous if precautions aren’t taken to avoid injuries, such as foot & ankle injuries or concussions. We all know the obvious safety tips, such as no chewing gum while cheerleading and wearing the correct shoes to avoid injury. Here are a few less known safety tips to keep in mind this month and EVERY month!
- Choose a certified and experienced coach. Make sure your director is qualified and certified through the AACCA (American Association of Cheerleading Coaches & Administrators) or another similar certification program. Choose a program and coach that is knowledgeable about cheer safety & provides the proper equipment.
- Get proper rest every week. Take at least 2 days out of the week to rest if you can—to let your body recoup from practices & competitions. Also be sure to let your coach or director know if you feel any pains or discomforts that may require resting or sitting out from practice.
- Practice & perfect lower level stunts before trying more difficult ones. It’s ok to take it slow and steady if it means staying safe when trying a new stunt. Brand new stunts are ok to try if you have the proper guidance from your coach, enough practice, a spotter, and the proper equipment.
- If you experience a head injury, be sure to notify your coach & a parent. Get checked out by a doctor to confirm whether or not you have a concussion, and take the doctor’s advice seriously if he or she asks you to wait a few days to return to practice.
- COACHES – make sure you or someone who attends all practices knows CPR and has a first aid kit handy.
- Maintain a healthy diet and drink enough water to ensure you are hydrated enough & have the proper nutrients. Exercise can be draining and requires you to replenish the nutrients through healthy food and drink.
- Make sure you are always supervised by an experienced adult when practicing & trying new moves.
- Warm up before every practice and competition. Don’t forget to stretch!
- Wear a cheer safety vest if necessary while learning new skills (we’re talking to you, FLYERS!)
- Don’t feel any shame for taking a couple of months off in the summer. Your body deserves a break after cheering all year long! Just be sure to participate in regular light exercise to make sure you are ready to go when the season starts again.
Have any great safety tips we missed here? Share them below !!
Read more at Cheersafe.org https://www.cheersafe.org/about/national-cheerleading-safety-month/
And Kidshealth.org https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/cheerleading.html