Reason #1 that Cheerleaders are Crazy
The word alone is enough to send a shiver down most spines. Most people can relate to the anxiety involved when they are being judged. Everyone has interviewed for a job, auditioned for a play, tried out for a sport or taken an exam. Each of those situations involves a person or their work being evaluated by someone else. But cheerleading tryout are far more insidious than these other trials.
For one, you have to do some pretty dangerous stuff. Odds are, you are going to have to perform a variety of tumbling skills. Before you can even take your first tumbling lesson they make you sign a waiver acknowledging that this activity can result in catastrophic injury or death. Great. And that is under ideal conditions. That is with protective mats, sometimes 3 feet thick. That is with instructors reinforcing your technique and ready to catch you if you fall. This is with Mom and Dad cheering you on from the window of the waiting room. What do you get at tryout? The 1/4 inch mats you MIGHT have are more of a hazard than anything because they are sliding around a dusty gym floor and the velcro that is supposed to hold them together hasn’t worked since they were bought back in 1984. The instructors are long gone so don’t even ask for a spot. And tryouts are closed, so forget about support from your parents. But that is probably good because what you usually get is a guilt trip about all the money they spent on the lessons (the ones that can result in catastrophic injury or death).
But lets say you have all of your skills and routines down. That’s great. But remember, the judges are not just grading your performance. They are judging EVERYTHING about you. They judge your shape. They judge your hair. They judge your makeup. They judge the way you walk in the door. They are looking for wrinkles in your outfit. Seriously. You have to flip head over heels on slippery mats from the Cold War era and worry about your clothes getting wrinkled? I have heard about cheerleaders getting cut because one sock was pulled up higher than the other. I have been a judge at tryouts where one judge complained that a girl was too happy. Not that she seemed fake. Not that she didn’t seem serious. No. She was too happy, and who, after all, wants a happy cheerleader?
Wow, what a terrible day, right? You wish. Tryouts go on all week. Some all star team tryouts have been known to go on for months. By the way, a lot of times you have to pay a tryout fee. After all, someone has to pay the experts for their time and effort to put all those numbers and comments down on paper.
Speaking of which, that paper that contains someone else’s opinion of your net worth goes straight into the shredder. You thought you were going to get some feedback? Forget it. You thought you would have a chance to question the outcome? Yeah right. You have a better chance of seeing the President’s original birth certificate than seeing your score sheet. What you get, in most cases, is a couple of days to think about it. That’s right. You don’t get to know the results that day. Adding 10 numbers up on the 30 scoresheets would take too long. Instead, you get to wait the whole weekend to find out the results. And on Monday, instead of the coach facing you and telling you the results, you get to try to find your name on a list which is posted on the gym door for the world to see.
Surviving this gauntlet is how they weed out the ones who are cheerleading material. And if you have read this far, what you have learned about cheerleading material is that it includes being completley crazy!