Cheer dads are the unsung heroes of competitive cheer leading. Though they are far outnumbered at any event, they proudly take on many tasks from chauffeur to make up artist. We all love the cheer dads who often go above and beyond to make sure each competition goes smoothly for athlete and family.
I am in awe of cheer dads and especially my daughter’s father when he is able to attend her events. There is a special bond between a daddy and his cheerleader that moms just don’t fill. Cheer dads seem to “get it” on some level that is beyond the norm. Maybe it’s because they learned to really appreciate sports and the competitive spirit early on, being so hyper attached to a single football, baseball or basketball team that they could do no wrong. Now that their daughter (or son) is an athlete on a team, that team is the single most important team in the universe – their athlete is the MVP.
Here are 6 cheer dads you’ll see at cheer competitions. See if you recognize anyone:
- Coach cheer dad. No, he’s not really the team coach but he knows all the key terms like: back handspring, base, flyer, tumbling run, stunt. Bonus points if he also knows scorpion or liberty. He’s the one who’s pricing cheer mats and flyer stands (or better yet, is thinking of building one himself for his cheer leader). He thinks it’s a great idea to get a trampoline in the back yard and is eager to tote his athlete back and forth to every practice – even popping in to see how it’s all going.
- Assistant to the cheer mom. These dads are on the ready (maybe even with with a bag of their own) containing: battery back ups, extra bobby pins and pony tail holders. They carry the water and the athlete’s backpack too. If cheer mom isn’t available? These dads know how to get their cheerleader ready, apply make up and can even tease hair!
- Problem solving cheer dad. This dad is eager to help the team in any way – doesn’t matter what you need or what it’s going to take. Don’t have an extension cord? He’ll go out and buy one (in a strange town where he doesn’t know the nearest Walmart or hardware store). Best place to park? He’s got that covered. Raining? No worries he’s got the umbrella. Don’t ruin the cheer shoes outside – he’ll carry her! Athlete fading? Dad says, “Let’s go walk around and find something to get excited about.”
- Me too! cheer dad. Wear a bow? Sure, he’ll even let the girls style his hair. Get out on the mat for a silly contest – count him in! Try to strike a pose along with the athlete? Yep! The number of times I’ve seen a cheer dad try to do a scorpion . . . always makes me laugh. This cheer dad will do just about anything to show his support. This fun loving dad was voted most likely to photo bomb your athlete with a goofy grin or peace sign.
- Overwhelmed dad. With that deer in the headlights look, this dad doesn’t know what he’s in for! Okay this may be his first time at a cheer competition. He sits quietly in the team section, taking it all in. It’s clear he wants to be supportive but isn’t quite sure where he’s going to fit into this madness. Gotta appreciate the fact that he dared enter the realm of competitive cheer. Soon enough the other dads will take him in, it begins with a simple nod. A handshake of recognition (you’re one of us!) and pretty soon the team bonding will be in full force.
- Fanatical cheer dad. You know this guy – he’s the “blue man” from Cheer Athletics, the guy who’s not too macho to dye his hair bright pink and put on a very frou-frou tutu (yes, I saw this myself!). He’s likely to be the team mascot and put on the face paint. He’s not to proud to be loud about the team he supports! The great thing is, fanatical cheer dads have such a wonderful personality that the don’t mind random strangers taking their photos!
Cheer dads are awesome people. They are not afraid to go the extra mile to show love and support for their athletes and teams. Every year it seems like I see more cheer dads joining in and they are getting better at the “cheer dad” thing. Look out cheer moms – cheer dads are on the rise!