Cheerleading: A force of Motion

By Helana Semborski

There are many people out there who say cheerleading is a sport but it’s not just a sport, its science. Cheerleading uses many different parts of science. It uses friction and grip, force, velocity, mass, air resistance, and way more. It also uses Newton’s second law of motion.

How is


related to cheerleading? Well if you look at a cheerleader’s shoes then you notice they have a thick rubber on the bottom. That creates more grip, which in turn creates friction. You need that friction when you’re stunting. A flyer doesn’t want her feet slipping out of the girl’s hands when they are holding her up in the air. Thanks to grip and friction there is a less of a chance of that happening. Also you have to make sure you wear ankle socks when cheering. If you don’t the bases have a harder time griping the girls legs. Also a flyer may not put any lotion on or anything that could make her legs and hands slippery which creates less friction because once again, the bases won’t be able to get as good of a grip on the girls body.
Cheer shoes

Why does


matter in cheerleading? In cheerleading there are many different stunts. In most of them, it helps if the girl who is the flyer has a small mass then . When the girl has a smaller mass they can get more power in the stunts.

When stunting there are many forces moving against you. One of them is

Air Force or Air Resistance.

When you throw a girl into the air for either a cradle or stunt there is a lot air force pushing the other way. So when you throw the girl, the bases need to throw hard and the flyer needs to keep her body straight and her arms on her sides. When the flyer goes up into the air, she tries to push her self with her arms. She tries to push her hands down to help to push against the air force so she can get more air and get higher up. Most of the time, the higher you go the better the stunt.

Once again stunting depends on


When you throw the flyer up in the air, the girl needs a lot of power to do certain things. Take the Liberty for example. The bases need to throw the girl at a certain speed and direction. That’s the definition of velocity. If the flyer doesn’t get enough speed or it isn’t in the right direction there is a good chance the girl will fall or that the stunt won’t look good.

Newton’s second law of motion

is a big part of cheerleading. His second law states that force = mass times acceleration. When the bases throw a girl they use a certain amount of force. If they use to much force the girl could topple. If the bases don’t use enough force then they might not get the flyer up in the air. If they throw a girl with a smaller mass there will be more acceleration. If the bases try basing a girl who may have two times the weight of a smaller flyer, there might not be as much acceleration even if they are using the same amount of force. There is a very likely chance that the bases won’t be able to get the girl with the bigger mass up.

The last thing is


If there isn’t enough force from the bases the flyer will fall because of gravity. The gravity is pulling down on the flyer at all times. That is why in all stunts there is at least one base to help keep the flyer from falling.

All in all, cheerleading is a sport of science. We need science to do the different things in cheerleading. Otherwise, there would be a lot of cheerleaders with broken bones.

This is the JV girls doing an extension prep
A Liberty

a pop cradle

Works Sited