By: Danielle Bertiger
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As Titans players wrap up their offseason training, fans may be surprised to learn that Titans cheerleaders have gone through their own training camp as well.
Throughout the month of June, the squad has practiced Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings (and Saturday for Rookies) on top of various workshops and seminars ranging from etiquette to "Football 101."
This schedule would be extremely rigorous for anyone. However, considering that all of the cheerleaders
are either students or work full-time, it's even more impressive.
Last, but certainly not least, every Friday the squad is required to attend "Fitness Friday" to prepare for the preseason fitness test during the last week of June. The test consists of 25 pushups, 50 v-ups, 100 step-ups in less than 2 minutes, a 300m-shuttle run, and the demanding 8-minute mile. This test is required to maintain one's eligibility to cheer at games, so the women have to push themselves if they want to remain on the team.
The consensus among the cheerleaders taking part was that the mile is the most challenging part of the test. Between the intense drills and battling Mother Nature, Fitness Friday training is certainly no leisurely stroll in the park. The humidity was so high that one cheerleader commented that it felt like she was breathing in a wet towel. Another team member said that during her first year on the team, the heat index on the track was 114oF on the day of their test. It became increasingly clear that the cheerleaders' training is not only a test of their physical abilities, but also a barometer of their mental focus of mind over matter.
Luckily, the women earned two weeks off after their fitness test. They are looking forward to visiting family, traveling to various beaches, and one team member is even going to Portland for training to become a Barre instructor!
Wondering who is behind this Fitness Friday madness? It's none other than Director and Coach Stacie Kinder, along with her husband -- United States Track and Field Olympian Gary Kinder ,who was working out right beside the team the entire time (or more accurately, in front of them, while the team tried to keep up!).