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Abstract

Cheerleading is a new sport, practiced in 110 nations; since 2016 enjoys provisional Olympic status. Its leaders claim that it is a “happy” sport, but research on its psychological effects is lacking. In this field-study we examined core-affect, positive-affect, and negative-affect in 65 cheerleaders before, during, after, and one-hour after a cheerleading training. Core-affect was more positive during and immediately after training, but it tapered off one hour following the training when feeling states were still more positive than at baseline. Negative-affect declined linearly from baseline to one-hour following training when it became significantly lower than its previous values. Positive-affect showed quadratic dynamics, in parallel with arousal, being higher during and immediately after training than during baseline, or one-hour after training. These results demonstrate for the first time that cheerleading is a “happy” sport, which apart from the skill-development also yields positive psychological emotions both during and after training.
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