Jim Lord, Executive Director of the AACCA shared these important safety tips in the October issue of AC.
As a cheerleader, you are not only responsible for your actions, but for the actions of your entire cheer community, which includes your teammates and your coaches. In return, your teammates and coaches are also responsible for your well-being. Safety is a key issue in cheer, and it is crucial for everyone to be looking out for each other at all times.
There might come a time when you are put into a situation where you feel like you need to step up and say something to a teammate or coach in order to prevent a teammate from sustaining possible injury, but you don’t know how to go about doing this. Three key tips when you feel this way are: Trust your gut; communicate; and follow through.
— First, trust your instinct. If you feel like something is off, say something. Waiting could lead to a teammate being injured, and you will regret not speaking up if it could have prevented the problem.
— Second, communicate to a teammate, captain, trainer or coach, depending on the situation. It is important to talk to someone who can do something about the situation.
— Third, follow through, and don’t take no for an answer if you are truly worried. You should be prepared for pushback from your teammates and even coaches, but if you are truly concerned about the safety of a teammate, get the information to someone who will address the issue.