Subjective difficulty of cheerleading elements

Subjective difficulty of cheerleading elements


Postgraduate A.V. Petrushenko1
Dr.Hab., Professor I.V. Manzheley1
1Tyumen State University, Tyumen

Objective of the study was to determine the subjective difficulty of technical elements in cheerleading for junior athletes (12-16 years).
Methods and structure of the study. The study included a theoretical analysis and comprehension of the complexity and difficulty of technical elements in cheerleading based on the studies of these phenomena in general pedagogy and complex coordination sports, as well as the identification of the subjective difficulty of three groups of cheerleading elements (acrobatics, stunts, and tosses) for athletes of different ages, roles, with different sports experience, and from different sports schools. The pilot study included an online survey of the cheerleaders from 10 sports schools in Vladivostok, Dzerzhinsk, Yekaterinburg, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Taganrog, Tyumen, Ussuriysk, and Chelyabinsk. A total of 266 female athletes aged 12-17 years with 0-4 or more years of sport experience were sampled for the study. The questionnaire survey form offered five modules, which included questions on the sociodemographic characteristics of the respondents and the difficulties of particular cheerleading elements.
Results and conclusions. The difficulty of cheerleading elements is a characteristic feature of this sport discipline. It reflects the relationship between the element complexity and the athlete’s readiness to perform it. The difficulty of the technical element is seen, first, as the amount of resources needed to assimilate it; secondly, as resources needed to perform it; and thirdly, as the probability of its successful execution with the quality specified for a particular athlete. The difficulty is divided into objective (factual) and subjective (perceived).
The athlete’s age is the key factor determining the subjective difficulty of such elements as stunts and tosses but is insignificant for acrobatics. Sport experience largely determines the subjective difficulty of all the technical elements. Different cheerleading roles result in different levels of subjective difficulty of the elements. The largest differences were observed in terms of acrobatics, the smallest - in tosses, and controversial - in stunts.

Keywords: technical elements, difficulty, complexity, cheerleading, cheer sport, competition rules, technical training.


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