Parents put a lot of effort into the activities of their children and this is especially true for parents of cheerleaders. Many parents are just as competitive as their children are, even to the point of turning their supportive encouragement into that of a drill sergeant. Often this becomes a point of pressure on the child. Most children want to please their parents; they like to know their parents are proud and that they will pressure themselves into performing harder just for that “good job” compliment. However, sometimes this pressure is overwhelming to the child and can negatively affect their performance.
For cheerleaders, there are means they can take to help deal with parental pressure that may help them to do better. If the cheerleader feels the pressure, they need to sit down with their parents and tell them so. Sometimes just having a nice long talk will help to open communications and each side can discuss the situation calmly. Parents need to know if their child feels pressure from them to the point of having a negative impact on their performance. Cheerleading is all about teamwork, so the parents need to realize they are also a part of their child’s support team and their job needs to be in helpful encouragement not in detrimental pressure.
Cheerleaders are known for their ability to well, lead. They need to also know how to lead with their parents, at least when it comes to undo pressure the parents may be applying to them. If the cheerleader feels the pressure has pushed them to a breaking point, they need to stand up for themselves by letting their parents know, especially if the pressure has turned into an abusive situation. No child needs that, so as a cheerleader, the child needs to face their parent and tell them to stop and to seek outside help in the situation. There is no need to go through it alone if it becomes physically or emotionally abusive.
If the parents are pressuring their cheerleading child too much, perhaps, the coach and trainers could enlist that energy to help with team efforts. This would help them to take so much focus off their child and put it towards helping the team as a whole effort. Cheerleaders can request of their coaches to be more involved with parental issues when it comes to affecting their performances.