How did you start in cheer?
I got my start in cheerleading a couple years ago(my junior year of college). Before this, I had no idea what cheerleaders did exactly. I played football in high school and never even thought about wanting to cheer. Once I got to The University of Oklahoma, I saw a couple stunting and thought it would be awesome to learn how to do it. A few months later, I met one of OU’s male cheerleaders at a campus gym and asked if he could teach me to stunt. He proceeded to tell me that I should come to practice the next day and work out with the team. After a few months of learning the basics, I tried out for the squad and made it!
How did you choose OU?
OU has always been my dream school. I was born and raised in Tulsa/ Broken Arrow, OK so I had grown up a Sooner fan. I knew I wanted to go to OU for school but getting to cheer for them was just icing on the cake.What kind of conditioning do you have to do during a school year to stay in shape?Before I started cheering, I was really into powerlifting so I had already come in with a foundation for strength and conditioning. On the squad, we had to do assigned running 3 days a week, this included sprints stadium runs and distance running. At the end of each practice, we did abdominal/core work. Most of the squad would workout(run or lift weights) on their own time or go to a local cheer gym and practice in the evenings.
What is it like cheering at OU football games?
Cheering at OU football games is one of the most exciting things I have ever done. There’s nothing like running the team on the field in front of 85,000+ fans. Everytime I step on the field, I get chills. Once you’re down there and involved, you’re part of the tradition that IS The University of Oklahoma football. It’s a privalege to get to be on the same field as all of the past Sooner legends.
What is your favorite part about cheerleading?
Stunting is my favorite thing to do. There is always room for improvement and you have to be in sync with your partner. It’s a science that demands attention to detail.
For guys that may want to get into cheerleading, what advise would you give them?
Jump in head first! There’s such a stereotype about male cheerleaders that scare most guys but once you’re in you’re family. Go to your local gym/high school/college and ask if there’s anyway you can jump in and start learning. Never quit. It takes time and a lot of practice before things start to click. If you can’t hit a stunt or tumble, work on it until you’re sick of it. Repetition is the most important thing in this Sport.
What are your plans after you graduate?
I graduated with my Bachelors degree last spring from OU and am currently in graduate school for Exercise Physiology. I have since been accepted into Chiropractic school, so I will attend that once I get my Masters degree.
Thank you Paul for this great interview! (Photo was given to us to use in this post)