Mean Spirited Cheer

Mean Spirited CheerWith competition season in full swing, the message boards and social networking sites are all populated with posts from cheerleaders, coaches and parents about the glowing performance of their teams Some cheer teams have great sportsmanlike conduct and will even post rave reviews of other routines.Along with these types of posts, are the negative ones that make cheer athletes feel inferior and are meant to belittle the efforts or accomplishments of other teams. It’s a trend that is being called “Mean Spirited Cheer” and cheerleaders and coaches are fed up with this type of behavior.

With social networking sites being so popular and with so many people “living online”, Twitter wars or Facebook fights have spread beyond the “Hollywood Stars”. Now, feuds are popping up between gyms, cheerleaders, coaches or even parents. An increasing number of coaches have posted messages about negative behaviors that they have experienced at competitions and these posts have gone viral and gained a lot of attention.

I have personally witnessed many bullying types of behaviors over the years and I know how scarring they can be. Even as a cheer competition judge, I have been bullied when a group of parents who did not agree with the outcome of the event flipped the judges table over. As a coach, I have seen athletes doubt their skills or lose their confidence because an online post made by a “friend” robbed them of  their confidence.

Cheer News Network is taking a look at bullying and unsportsmanlike conduct in an attempt to educate cheerleaders on how to stop it.  The Cheerleading Worlds have introduced a Behavior Clause in this year’s packet. The Champions Cup Cheer And Dance State Nationals has included a Statement Of Ethics that cheerleaders and coaches have to sign. Even “cheerlebrity” athlete Abby Belcher has come up with Abby’s Pledge, an effort to prevent bullying through education awareness. Has the behavior at competitions or online gotten so out of control that cheerleaders, coaches and parents now need contracts to manage sportsmanlike behaviors?

Have you seen behaviors like this at your competitions? If you or your team is experiencing these types of behaviors you should take appropriate actions to end communication or in severe, cases, report the offenders. For more information on cyber bullying or the appropriate steps to take visit: http://www.cyberbullying.us. Visit Cheer NN daily to check for more stories on this topic as we take a in depth look at how cheerleaders deal with the new trend of “Mean Spirited Cheering”.

Contact Us to tell us how your team deals with unsportsmanlike conduct or Become A Cheer NN Reporter to tell your story.