By Cpl. Timothy Yao, 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), U.S. Army
Army Reserve soldiers from the 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command led and motivated the cheerleaders through military-style exercises to strengthen the team for its fall season.
“We’ve had spirit days in the past, but this year I wanted to bring in actual Soldiers to work with the girls,” said Amanda Lucas, head cheer coach at William S. Hart High School.
“We will work hard, you will be sore. We’ll be yelling, but it’s to motivate you girls to push and work together as a team.” Said Msg. Brian McWilliams, one of the soldiers invited to lead the group.
“I’m a gymnast, and the girls are used to those types of exercises,” said Lucas.
Working out different parts of the body and focusing on more stamina in a short amount of time was a good change of pace for the cheerleaders.
The cheerleaders were introduced to the Army’s warm-up stretches before they started their hour-long work out session. From push-ups and flutter kicks to sprints and bear crawls, the girls were challenged both physically and mentally in ways they have not been before.
Lucas stresses how physical fitness is important for cheerleading: “They’re lifting each other, they need the physical strength to be able to keep safe and not drop each other.”
McWilliams also spoke with the cheerleaders afterwards about the importance of teamwork and accomplishing obstacles in life.
“I didn’t always tell you how many repetitions we were going to do so you wouldn’t be able to anticipate what came next. But your cheering and motivation towards each other kept the whole team going till the end.”
“The girls got the idea of respecting authority and the value of teamwork from this event, which will help us as coaches during the season.” said Lucas.
Other coaches were also able to learn more conditioning drills for athleticism from the Army presence.
This is the first time service members were involved with the Hart High School cheerleaders, and the coaches are thankful for the Army Reserve’s involvement with the community and look forward to expanding the experience in the future.