Anna Johnson Out of Cheer Competitions for Two Weeks Because of Injury

Competition cheer hasn’t always been appreciated for the hard sport that it is. Cheerleading is an extremely hard and dangerous sport. Anna Johnson, a freshman at McIntosh high school, has been cheering for seven years, and after doing a running tumbling pass during cheerleading practice, is now left in a cast for the next eight weeks with a broken ankle.
Johnson argues that cheer deserves more appreciation as a sport because of how difficult it is. She talks about cheerleaders and how they are constantly sore or in pain because of an injury during practice. “You can ask any cheerleader and every single one will say that their back hurts all the time,” she explains.
Cheerleaders often practice and perform motions like standing tucks, running layouts, cartwheel tucks, jumps, stunts and pyramids. Moves like these cause a lot of strain on muscles and bones. If the body is not warmed up correctly or a slight misstep is made, injury is very likely. Deanna Simmons has a medical standpoint on cheerleading injuries. As the Athletic Trainer at McIntosh High School, she treats and consults many cheerleaders in pain. Cheerleading injuries range from fractures and ligament sprains to concussions, wrist and elbow injuries. Despite all the injuries that come with cheerleading, research shows that cheerleading has become safer over the years due to restrictions that have been placed. is a website that has cheerleading injury statistics; these statistics say that cheer has become safer since 2001, but still ranks second, behind soccer, in most injury-prone women sports. Although it is still a very dangerous sport, cheerleading safety has become a widespread concern and has gained a lot of support to make it safer.
Under the website’s statistics, says, “This decrease in injuries is a collaboration of efforts across the board. State high school associations and governing bodies of college athletics like the NCAA and NAIA have increased training requirements.”
Safety restrictions are important to have for any sport, but with a sport like cheerleading where every move done can be incredibly threatening, It is especially important that safety awareness is raised. With more safety precautions, cheerleaders can focus on having fun and doing a sport they enjoy instead of having to worry about getting hurt all the time.
Another hardship of doing cheer is how time-consuming it is. Johnson says, “It’s hard to balance school and cheer… because when you’re doing it, it’s all you focus on.”
Cheerleaders spend hours and hours perfecting routines for their competitions. This can be costly and difficult because, after all the practicing, a cheerleader must go home and try to focus on school work. As with any other sport or extracurricular activity, it is hard to do schoolwork when a huge game or performance is looming in the future.
Although cheerleading is a hard, time-consuming and very injury-prone sport, The sport seems to be worth it. Johnson says, “You get really good friendships, it’s like everyone kinda is like family.”As seen by most people, cheerleading teams often appear to be extremely close with each other, these friendships are extremely important and last forever.


Cheerleading Safety Data and Research