Cheerleading team building and progress facilitation by elementary skills test model

PhD, Associate Professor O.V. Timofeeva1
PhD A.D. Dugbley1
Associate Professor A.D. Malchenko1
A.A. Soparev1
1Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Moscow

Keywords: cheerleading, team building, basic skills test, basic cheerleading element, technical fitness, theoretical and practical trainings.

Background. Cheerleading is the actively progressing motor-coordination-intensive sport discipline that combines a variety of dancing styles and gymnastics elements on a choreographic basis. It has been increasingly popular for the last decades as verified by the inflow of enthusiasts and growing university team numbers and competitions with the great progresses and accomplishments [3]. The competitive routines include the sets of obligatory basic elements that must be executed perfectly and synchronously in pacing, timing and amplitudes by every team member – that means that the teammates must be equally skillful in at least every basic cheerleading element execution technique [1, 2, 4]. This is the reason why the prospects for the picked teams are selected with a special attention to their basic cheerleading element execution skills otherwise they may imbalance the team performance standards. Thus the basic cheerleading element test systems are always of special interest for the sport community.

Objective of the study was to compose a cheerleading team for performance discipline and facilitate its progress using on a new elementary skills test model.

Methods and structure of the study. The study was run in 2017-19 at the Peoples' Friendship University’s Physical Education and Sports Department. First, the beginner female students were surveyed by a questionnaire survey form to select the prospects having the prior dancing or gymnastics sporting experiences. Then we made an analyses of the relevant theoretical and practical study reports to analyze and classify the competitive performance cheerleading skill sets; and offered seven basic skills tests, each of them rating the basic cheerleading element execution on a 5-point scale (see Table 1 hereunder). We rated the excellent, good, satisfactory and low/ poor skills by 5, 4, 3, 2/ 1 points, respectively, in the selections and qualifications for the university cheerleading team. Later on we used the new basic skills tests model in the 2-hour theoretical and practical trainings three times a week for two academic years to further streamline the test procedure and assess it benefits.

Results and discussion. We sampled the 1-year female students (n=121) to primarily select only 33% (n=40) prospects with the dancing or gymnastic sporting experiences, conditional on being rated relatively high by the prior basic skills tests. Having surveyed the university team prospects (n=40), we found only 7% Masters of Sport (MS, n=3), 10% Candidate Masters of Sports (CMS, n=4), and only 20% (n=8) Class I-III or lower qualified former gymnasts. Most of the prospects (53%, n=21) reported the pre-university high-level dancing experiences, and 10% (n=4) – high-level ballet experiences. This means that the university cheerleading team was formed mostly of the girls with the prior gymnastics/ ballet/ dancing experiences tested with widely varying technical fitness as was found by the basic skills tests procedure: see Table 1.

The prospects had been trained for two academic years, with their basic cheerleading element progress in the theoretical and practical trainings tested by the basic skills tests procedure, and with the trainings giving a special priority to the individual basic cheerleading element execution techniques and teamwork perfection aspects in terms of pacing, timing, synch in amplitudes and movement precision as required by the modern cheerleading tradition and standards. As a result the post-training tests found significant progress in every tested element. Thus, the numbers of trainees tested excellent and good in the splits and swings tests were found to grow by 25% and 30%, respectively; in the arm skills, cheer jumps and leap techniques – by 25%, 20% and 18%, respectively; and in the pirouettes and acrobatic elements execution skills by 16% and 21%, respectively.

Table 1. Pre- versus post-experimental (1, 2) basic skill test rates of the performance cheerleading team (n=40)

Tests

Test stage

Points

 

n = 40

р

1

2

3

4

5

tested share (%) of the total

Splits

1

-

5

35

25

35

3,9±0,15

<0,05

2

-

-

15

25

60

4,5±0,11

Leg swings

1

-

5

20

35

40

4,1±0,14

<0,05

2

-

-

15

15

70

4,6±0,11

Basic arm skills

1

10

15

22

28

25

3,4±0,2

<0,05

2

-

-

10

40

50

4,4±0,10

Obligatory cheer jumps

1

30

38

10

12

10

2,4±0,2

<0,05

2

-

2

23

45

30

4,0±0,12

Obligatory cheer leaps

1

5

25

26

22

20

3,3±0,18

<0,05

2

-

-

20

42

38

4,2±0,11

Pirouettes

1

15

20

35

13

17

3,0±0,2

<0,05

2

-

5

37

25

33

3,9±0,14

Acrobatic elements

1

18

13

22

22

25

3,3±0,22

<0,05

2

-

-

32

23

46

4,4±0,14

 

Conclusion. The new basic skills tests procedure was found beneficial for the prior qualifications for the performance cheerleading university team and its technical and teamwork progress facilitation purposes to meet the modern cheerleading standards and traditions. The basic skills tests model made it possible to improve and efficiently manage the theoretical and practical trainings and put the individual and team cheerleading basic elements technical growth on a consistent basis, as verified by the significant progress of the sample in every test rate.

References

  1. Bondarenkova I.A. Actions to improve accessory exercise technique in cheerleading at specialized basic training stage. Fizicheskoe vospitanie studentov. Kharkov: KhOONOKU-KhGADI, 2014. no. 2 (40). pp. 33-37.
  2. Zinchenko I.A. Actions to improve technical training in cheerleading (work with pompons). Fizicheskoe vospitanie studentov. Kharkov: KhOONOKU-KhGADI publ., 2009.  no  3. pp. 31-36.
  3. Matyunina N.V. The attitude of pedagogical university students to sports activities. Proc. XII International res.-practical conf. Omsk: OmSTU publ., 2019. 348 p.
  4. Epp T.I. Methodology to improve coordination of group motor actions of qualified cheerleaders. Omskiy nauchny vestnik. Ser.: «Obschestvo. Istoriya. Sovremennost.  2014. no.2 (126). pp. 204-208.

Corresponding author: olgtimofeeva@mail.ru

Abstract

Objective of the study was to form a cheerleading picked team in the performance discipline based on control over the basic elements.

Methods and structure of the study. Sampled for the study were the first-year female students of Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (all faculties). The study objective was to form a cheerleading picked team in the discipline based on control over the basic elements, for which purpose a questionnaire survey was conducted among the female students who had entered the first year of study. Those girls, who had indicated that they were professionally engaged in either gymnastics or dancing, were invited to practicals. Further on, based on the analysis of scientific and methodological literature and evaluation of the basic elements used in the competitive performance discipline compositions, we singled out seven control tests, which execution was assessed on a 5-point scale.

Results of the study. The control tests made it possible to form the picked team and proved that the female students qualified for the picked team had different levels of technical fitness due to various sports and dance activities they had been engaged in before entering the university.

Conclusion. The use of control tests in the training process enabled to plan and control individual and team technical fitness, which resulted in the statistically significant changes in all the test rates.