Netflix Cheer Review – The heartbreaking reality to a misunderstood sport

It feels like cheerleading has been around forever. It’s a staple in every school. Those involved in the sport are often stereotyped and people never look beyond that.

Netflix documentary on the sport gives viewers an inside look into the misunderstood world of cheer.

Prior to watching this documentary I had a vague idea about competitive cheerleading. I’ve seen a few of them when they were broadcasted on TV.

But just like everyone else, I assumed cheerleaders were predominately privileged girls who had big egos. Pretty much what they portray on tv shows and movies. But I was severely wrong.

Cheer takes viewers on a 6 episode journey following the prestigious Navarro cheer team work towards the biggest competition of the year.

This documentary introduces you to the members of the team. It surprised me that many in the team have faced a dark painful past. But it’s inspiring seeing these diverse guys and girls overcome their personal struggles, finding purpose and hope in cheer.

It’s incredible witnessing how the Navarro cheer team work towards something bigger than themselves, with the guidance of their fearless coach Monica. Monica knows when to be strict and when to be caring. It’s a gift many leaders seem to lack. But she manages her team like a well oiled machine but also like a family. They may have many disagreements but they’ll fight for each other no matter what.

We also see the severe injuries most (if not all) of the team endures. Some can be life threatening other injuries can impede them from ever cheering again. Yet each person pushes through their injury and continues- even though they are well aware of the risks. But that shows how passionate they are for the sport.

Many people might not even consider cheerleading a sport. But cheerleading has evolved so much, it’s beyond waving Pom-poms in the air. It’s high speed acrobats, gymnastics, and dance -all in one.

Some people are shocked at the extremities these young athletes will go through for the sport. But if you’ve ever been involved in any competitive sport, injuries and risks (sadly) are the norms. The physical and emotional strains these guys and girls go through shows that cheerleading isn’t a one-dimensional after-school activity.

One of the sadder things Cheer shows, is the uncertain future many cheerleaders face. After spending years investing their time, money, and soul into the sport – they are not guaranteed a stable job after they compete. Some can go on and become coaches or trainers. The cheerleaders in the documentary confess their worries for their future outside of cheerleading and college. Many of them are hoping for a better future whatever that may be.

If you are a cheer enthusiast or completely oblivious to the sport, the docuseries Cheer is perfect for you. With only 6 episodes you can watch the whole thing in one day.

This is the first show I’ve binged in almost a year. As someone who finds series (whether on tv or Netflix) quite long and boring, I was very happy Cheer kept me hooked from the first episode to the nerve-wrecking finale.