The Complete Guide to Starting Cheerleading at an Appropriate Age

The Complete Guide to Starting Cheerleading at an Appropriate Age

Cheerleading is an athletic activity that consists of a person who performs a series of jumps, chants, and motions with the aim to lead the audience to cheer, It’s often done at a sporting event and is one of the most social and exciting activities for kids to get involved in! There’s a lot to consider when it comes to whether your child is ready to join a cheer team. One of the most popular concerns is age. Is your child old enough and what options do they really have? This article will give you all the information you need to decide if your child is at the best age to start cheerleading.

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What is the Best Age for Starting Cheerleading?

There is no specific age to start cheerleading. It is up to the child and the parents to decide when they are ready. However, the recommended age is no earlier than 8 if they plan to get involved in stunts. There are many benefits of starting cheerleading at a young age, such as developing better coordination, self-confidence, and body awareness. However, some kids need more time to get acclimated to the sport. 

The Importance of Learning the Ropes Early on

Cheerleading is a sport that requires a lot of physical strength and agility. This is why it is important to start kids in cheerleading when they are young, but physically ready. They will get the hang of the moves, learn how to tumble and develop the physical strength needed for the sport.

However, cheerleading isn't just about tumbling and cheering - it's also about leadership skills, teamwork and discipline. These skills are vital for future success in the sport and even in their day to day lives. They’ll learn how to speak up when they reach their limit, when they’re afraid, and when they have suggestions. Learning the ropes early on can help them develop social skills and physical attributes to better them in their life later on.

What Happens if I Start my Child in Cheerleading Too Early?

Fun fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children wait until they are in elementary school before joining a team. This is because elementary school age is the best age to start cheerleading due to having a lower risk of injury, and the skills needed for cheerleading can be developed more fully at this age. When you enroll your child in the sport too young, you run the risk of them not being able to progress as they would if they waited until they are at least 8 years old.

Cheerleading is a sport that requires you to be physically active, social, and full of energy and “pep”! Sometimes, kids at a young age just can’t focus well enough to participate. This lack of focus can lead to significant injury. Additionally, if your child isn’t quite social enough yet and you enroll them in the sport, you may actually end up deterring them from wanting to continue. You have to follow their lead for this one!

How Old do You Have to be to Join a Competitive Youth Team?

Competitive youth cheerleading teams are a great way to get involved in sports and meet new people. However, the requirements for joining a competitive team can vary from school to school. Some schools require an elitist drive and competitiveness in one's school work, while other schools value natural talent. Many students feel that the effort it takes to compete in athletics can be rewarding; some even say that the rewards are worth it. This is because with practice, dedication, and hard work comes success.

There is no age limit to joining a competitive cheerleading team. However, the majority of teams don’t start until the 8th grade, or around age 13. This is just before high school and is a great way get involved in a high impact sport after school.

How Old is Too Old to Start Cheerleading?

There is no age limit for cheerleading so technically you can start cheering at any age! The minimum age requirement to be a cheerleader for most school’s is 6 years old, but the best age to start cheerleading is at least the age of 8. However, there really isn’t much of a cap on this. If you’ve never been a cheerleader and you find yourself in high school just dying to be part of a team, you can try out! However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The older you get, the more competitive and physically demanding cheerleading is. There is a lot expected of you beyond memorizing the cheers and dances. You’re expected to be flexible, perform stunts, be capable of physically supporting your fellow cheerleaders, and so much more. This isn’t being said to deter you, cheerleading is a blast and if you want to, you should pursue it! If you have no background in gymnastics though, you might want to consider starting there and then moving up to the team!


Cheerleading is a sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages. A person can start cheerleading at any age, but it is recommended to start when they are in elementary school. This is the best age to start cheerleading as their bodies are still growing, they adapt quicker to the flexibility requirements, and they’re often more eager to be active! However, you can start cheering at any age, so don’t be afraid to get out there and try out for your local team!

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