Cheerleading has seen a marked decrease in catastrophic injuries since
2005 and has one of the lowest injury rates of all high school sports.
To continue these advances in cheerleading safety, USA Cheer worked
with Jim Lord, Executive Director of the American Association of
Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) and member of the USA
Cheer Board of Directors. Together, they have been active in preparing
coaches, parents and athletes for the upcoming season, from making sure
that every team has an Emergency Plan in place to a "Return to Play"
"Cheerleaders, like all athletes, often just want to return to the
activity as quickly as possible," says Lord, "and this means that they
might rush back when a longer period of rest is required."
USA Cheer and AACCA each maintain websites with current safety
recommendations and data. AACCA's website features many of the
resources that coaches and parents need to help keep their cheerleaders
healthy and active this year, including:
-- Emergency Plan -- "It's crucial that every coach utilize an Emergency
Plan and, most importantly, practice it early in the season."
-- Baseline testing -- If there is even the hint of a concussion,
neurocognitive testing is the best way to either confirm it or clear the
athlete. In order to properly evaluate an athlete's reactions, baseline
testing should be done at the beginning of the year. Every coach,
cheerleader, parent is encouraged to take the free concussion course at
-- Follow Skill Progressions -- The basic skills should be taught and
perfected before proceeding to higher and more advanced skills.
Progressing too quickly is the most common reason for falls and injury.
More info can be found at aacca.org/parentsguide.
Together, USA Cheer and AACCA launched www.cheersafe.org in the spring
of 2013 as a resource for the entire cheerleading community. Parents,
coaches and cheerleaders are recommended to visit for current news and
reports that affect cheerleaders at every level.
About USA Cheer
The USA Federation for Sport Cheering is a not-for profit organization
and is the national governing body for all disciplines of cheerleading.
USA Cheer has three primary objectives: help grow and develop interest
and participation in Cheer throughout the United States; promote safety
and safety education for cheer in the United States; and represent the
United States of America in international cheer competitions. For more
information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 901-251-5959.
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