Monday, September 22, 2008


Everyone has needs in their lives. Each individual's needs varies at different phases of their lives. There is a commonly agreed upon model to classify our needs, to understand how one move from one level of needs to another.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

There are eight levels of needs in this model:

1. Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.

2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, stability, etc.

3. Belongingness and Love needs - work group, family, affection, relationships, etc.

4. Esteem needs - self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc.

5. Cognitive needs - knowledge, meaning, etc.

6. Aesthetic needs - appreciation and search for beauty, balance, form, etc.

7. Self-Actualization needs - realising personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

8. Transcendence needs - helping others to achieve self actualization.

This model is typically applied to life. But it can generally be narrowed and broken down to apply to any social circle. In this case, I felt that the diagram and model can very well be used to explain the needs in Cheerleading too. Only when one level of needs are fulfilled before one will move on to the next level.

In Cheerleading terms:

1. "Biological and Physiological needs" - In cheerleading aspect, our basic needs first is to learn the basics, have the strength and conditoning, and then be familiar with all the elements of cheerleading, such as tumbling, stunting, jumps, cheer and chants, arm motions, dance.

2. "Safety needs" - Once we satisfy the needs in (1), we can move on to the next level of needs, (2). In cheerleading, the moment we start doing anything, safety will come into the picture. There is always a need for safety. Only when we know that we are safe, that we can proceed on.

3. "Belongingness and Love needs" - In every society or community that we are in, love and belongingness is very important. One may join the cheerleading squad knowing no one else, but we will always seek out others to make friends and form a bond. In cheerleading, this is a very important need. If one does not feel the sense of belonging in the team, one will not be able to stay long, despite having level (1) and (2) needs.

4. "Esteem needs" - Once we have fulfilled level (1) to (3) of needs, once we feel a strong sense of identity with the team, have a good bonding with our teammates, we will feel very comfortable. This is when we will want to fulfil our next need, "Esteem". We would want to be able to get some achievement and status. We will look to improve our skills and also go for some leadership or management role in the team. Reputation and respect are also very key in the cheerleading circle.

5. "Cognitive needs" - We will want to be able to know through understanding. To know how do our stunts, or skills with understanding. We will want to explore the unknowns. For intstane, trying out new transitions, or understanding the stunt, other then just doing it.

6. "Aesthetic needs" - Soon when we are equiped with a particular stunt, say a single liberty, we will want more. We will want to do it nice and make it look easy, instead of being very wobbly. The same applies to pyramids, tosses and gymnastics. One may know how to do a BHS, but one will seek to beautify it, make it look better.

7. "Self-Actualization needs" - As the definetion speaks for it self, realising personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences. This is where one puts together all the above needs and bring it to the pinnacle, looking forward to greater things. One will start to see problems as challenges. One will start to have their own unique view of things.

8. "Transcendence needs" - When one has almost everything, there will be a need to share his knowledge with others. At this stage, one has see past all "material" wants. One will be very open minded, very much "enlightened" and no longer needs to prove anything to anyone. One has been through every stage of cheerleading life, winning and losing, the pain and the joy. One will be helping others to achieve self actualization.

So at which stage of needs are you currently at? How many levels of needs have you satisfied? At which level of cheerleading are you talking in terms of, basic level, pro level, or elite level? These are questions that you may like to ask yourself. A person's success can often also be measured by which level of needs one is at.

For more in-depth and detailed readings on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, go to:

P.S I think I am at stage (5) currently.

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