If this is your first time being a part of a cheerleading season, you might be excited about plenty of things that you’re going to have the opportunity to experience, one of them being the traveling that you’re going to be doing with your cheer team.
Cheer meets, competitions, cheer camp, there’s going to be plenty of opportunities for you to travel with your cheer team, and you’re going to have a lot of fun. However, when the novelty wears off, and it’s back to business, you may find it rather stressful to deal with traveling logistics while worrying about the competition.
If you find yourself at this stage, here are some simple tips to help you deal with the specifics of cheerleading traveling without having to stress yourself out too much.
Make a list
One thing you should do when getting yourself ready for a cheer trip is to make a list of things that need to be done for the trip to go well. This includes planning out the itinerary, and what you’re going to need to accomplish these things.
If you’re traveling during the summer, don’t forget to pack essentials like sunglasses and sunblock to protect your eyes and your skin from the harsh rays of the sun. If you’re planning for an overnight trip, make sure you have enough clothing to last you the trip.
However, while it’s important that you have everything you need for the trip, make sure that you don’t end up packing more than you’re going to need.
Don’t forget that you’re going to be traveling with the rest of your team, so you can’t pack your entire wardrobe into your transportation and not leave room for everybody else’s things. Take note of only the things you’re going to need.
Remember that you’re all traveling for a cheerleading competition, not a vacation. While it’s great to have fun with your team, the main goal is to focus on the cheerleading competition.
Get there early
When it comes to meeting the rest of your team, it’s always a good practice to get there earlier than the agreed upon time. Meeting up earlier gives you and your team enough time to sort out final plans and make sure that everybody is accounted for.
It’s always much better to make sure that there’s plenty of extra time before leaving rather than being late and scrambling to make sure that everybody’s there at the last minute. A great start to a cheerleading trip can lead to a pleasant cheerleading trip and competition.
There are plenty of things that you learn from cheerleading. One of the core things that you learn from your cheerleading career is how to handle both victory and failure with equal grace and aplomb.
It is just as important to learn how to win properly as it is to lose well, especially on the competition mat. In addition to learning how to handle losing with grace, you also have to learn how to deal with a failed stunt. Failed stunts happen all the time in cheerleading, no matter how well you’ve practiced a routine over and over.
However, if you learn how to handle a failed stunt, then you will show everyone that you know how to compose yourself, despite a failed stunt. Here are some tips that can help you with handling a failed stunt in cheerleading.
Keep your cool
The number one thing that you should always remember to do when dealing with a failed stunt, especially in the middle of a cheer routine, is to keep your cool. The absolute worst thing you can do when dealing with a failed stunt is panic and freak out.
If you fail a stunt or a routine in the middle of a cheer competition, panicking is a surefire way to throw the routine off. If you or your team messes up a stunt, the first thing you have to do is keep your composure so that you and your team and proceed with the routine without a hitch.
Staying calm also help minimize the amount of physical risk that you can expose yourself to when a stunt goes wrong.
Keep an eye on the rest of your team
Speaking of safety, aside from keeping your cool, one of the first things that you should do when you mess up a stunt is to check up on the rest of your team. The thing about a failed stunt or routine is that you do end up getting hurt if you’re not careful.
This is because the stunt is designed to be executed in a certain way, so if it’s executed wrong, then you do end up exposing yourself to physical injury. Because of this, one of the first things you should do is check up on the rest of your team to make sure that every other person on your team is fine after the failed stunt.
You should never proceed with another stunt or routine if one of your team members is injured or incapacitated.
Learn from the experience
If you and your team have a particular stunt that you’re having difficulty with, then you should definitely learn from the experience and figure out how you can all improve from it. Don’t be discouraged by a failed stunt, learn from the experience and grow from it.
Cheerleading is one of those sports where it looks like a lot of fun, but you’re not entirely sure if you can actually handle what’s expected of you. After all, what do you really know about the routine of cheerleaders?
When you watch the media depictions of cheerleaders, all you see is a bunch of “mean girls” strutting about in short skirts and shaking their poms in front of people’s faces. In reality, cheerleading requires a lot of effort and personal discipline, and anybody who joins cheerleading expecting it to be exactly the same way as it’s being shown on the media is going to be very sorely disappointed.
It’s important that you do as much research about cheerleading if you’re interested in taking part in the sport. Here are some things that you have to consider when making the decision to take part in cheerleading.
One of the very first things that you should always consider when looking into joining cheerleading is the time you’re going to have to give up for cheerleading. Because of the extensive training required of cheerleading athletes, you’re going to be expected to come in before or after school, sometimes both, and spend long hours training and doing drills.
Not only that, but there are also weekend training sessions that you might have to participate in when competition season rolls around. During the summer, you have cheerleading camp, especially if you want to make the team next season.
You have to understand that cheerleaders sacrifice so much to get to where they are, and you have to ask yourself if you’re willing to give that much time for cheerleading.
Cost is another serious thing that you have to consider, whether you’re a cheerleading parent or the cheerleader. When you’re going to go into cheerleading, you have to expect that you’re going to have to pay for a lot of things.
Uniforms are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cheerleading expenses. You also have to pay for gym fees, competition fees, and buy specific cheerleading gear. Of course, if you’re part of a school cheer team, the team will hold fundraisers to help offset the cost of the cheerleader’s expenses, but you will still end up paying for some of those expenses out of pocket.
One way to work around this is by buying used uniforms and gear from some of the older cheerleading alumni to help with some of the costs.
Cheerleading is a very rigorous sport, both physically and mentally. Not only do cheerleaders have to be physically well-rounded and capable, but they also have to be mentally strong as well.
However, no matter how hard you try, burnout is a very common thing and it is something that many a cheerleader has had to deal with at some point in their cheer careers. When this happens, the other team members do their best to help them get through the burnout.
However, if the entire team is experiencing burnout, this can be problematic. As their coach, it is your duty to help them avoid burnout. Here are some tips to help you avoid cheerleading team burnout.
Connect with your team
A good way to help your team avoid burnout is by making sure that you maintain good and constant communication and a connection with your team. A lot of athletes don’t like to admit that they’re experiencing burnout because they don’t want to let their coach or their team down.
As their coach, you have to show them that it’s okay if they come to you with any problems that they might be facing with their cheerleading, and that includes letting them know that burnout is something that you can all get through together.
As the coach, it is your job to always keep encouraging them and let them know that as long as they put in the effort, they can do anything they set their minds to.
Keep things fresh
One of the main reasons behind team burnout is the monotony of doing the same drills and routines day after day. While it is important to keep your training consistent, this does tend to wear one down quite a bit.
One way to help prevent this is by switching things up once in a while to keep things fresh. You can schedule a regular friendly competition among the team for who can come up with a great routine on the fly, or something like that.
Having fun activities like these during training helps avoid the monotony commonly associated with burnout.
Have regular team events
In line with keeping things fresh, it’s important to bond with your team outside of the gym as well in order to keep things fun. Having regular team events like team dinners and outings helps you create a bond that exceeds far beyond the four walls of the cheerleading gym.
Promoting the sense of team spirit and camaraderie helps teams avoid burnout by making cheerleading mean more than just cheerleading itself.
Behind every great cheerleading team is a great coach. While every single member on a cheer team pulls their own weight, the cheer coach is the unsung hero waiting behind the curtain, supporting their teams from a distance.
Coaches deserve so much more recognition, but they’re more than content letting the cheerleaders take all of the glory and applause. Coaches are a combination of the motivator, guidance counselor, and physical therapist, which means they help out their cheerleaders improve themselves in every single aspect possible.
But what exactly makes a good cheerleading coach? Here are some traits of every great cheerleading captain.
Of course, if you’re going to be working with a group of cheerleaders, no matter their level of expertise, you’re going to need a lot of patience.
Not everybody manages to improve at the same paces as everyone else, so as a cheerleading coach, you need to have a lot of patience for cheerleaders who don’t have the same level of ability and progress as the others do. Being patient also gives the other cheerleaders the confidence to explore their personal abilities at their own pace.
Another trait that you can observe in good cheerleading coaches is their consistency. Whether it’s their consistency in keeping a schedule or how they choose to progress a routine, consistency is a great trait to have in a coach. A consistent coach is easier to rely on compared to an inconsistent one. You will find that cheerleaders are more likely to trust a coach that is more consistent.
A positive attitude
Of course, cheerleading is all about positivity, so it makes plenty of sense why cheerleading coaches should have a lot of positivity as well. No matter how bad it looks for the competition, a good cheer coach will always be there to cheer on the cheerleaders and giving them the boost that they need to try harder.
Interested in learning
Good cheerleading coaches are always on the lookout to learn something new. This constant search for knowledge helps them find new things that they can apply to their team’s routines and trainings.
While a good cheerleading coach is a positive one, they must also learn how to be realistic at the same time. Any failures that they may encounter along the way must be seen as an opportunity to learn and grow.
This helps teach the cheerleaders that failure is an important part of the learning process and should not be something that they should be afraid of.
Being a cheerleading captain is one of the biggest responsibilities you can take on in your cheerleading career. Of course, each and every single member of any cheerleading team is important, but the captain is the one that holds the team together.
It can be pretty taxing to be a cheer captain as you’re expected to handle a lot of roles to guarantee that the cheer squad continues to persevere. Not only do you have to lead the team, but you’re also expected to act as mediator, mentor, and motivator.
However, when you do a good job and everything falls into place, there is no greater feeling than that. But for first-timers in the captain’s seat, they may find themselves at a loss with what they’re supposed to do to keep the team going, especially in times of hardship.
Take a deep breath and learn about some ways that you can be the best cheerleading captain you can be.
Learn how to connect with your team
As a cheer captain, it is basically a requirement that you need to interact with your team. Your team looks to you for guidance and motivation, and how are you supposed to give them that if you constantly keep yourself away from the team?
You should always take the time to mingle with your team members and check up on them. They should feel comfortable turning to you for any help or guidance when they need it.
You have to care about what you do
One of the number one things that you’re going to need in order to be a great cheer captain is by having the passion for what you do. How can you push yourself to do your best in something if you don’t even care about what you do?
The passion that you have for cheerleading and your team is the fuel that you need to make sure that you have confidence in what you do. No matter how hard things are looking at that moment, that passion will help you and your team get through it.
Learn how to recognize your own strengths and faults
When your team made the decision to put you in the seat of cheerleading captain, they probably recognized something in you that convinced them that you were the right cheerleader to be made captain.
However, this does not mean that you are the very best cheerleader in the entire squad. One of the things that you should do is recognize your own strengths and shortcomings and use them to grow both as a cheerleading athlete and as a captain.
Do not be arrogant in your position as captain, instead, use it as a way to grow and develop your own skills as well as the skills of your teammates.
A lot of cheerleading is based on confidence. Cheerleaders need to have confidence in themselves and how they perform their stunts if they want to execute their stunts as perfectly. However, not only do cheerleaders have to have a lot of confidence in themselves, but they also need to have a lot of confidence in their teams.
A lot of cheerleading stunts are heavily reliant on teamwork, and if a cheerleading team doesn’t have confidence in themselves as a team, then it might be difficult for them to execute their stunts as a whole.
Team confidence is a key component to any successful cheerleading team, and it’s important to build that confidence as early as possible. Here are some ways that you can help build your cheerleading team’s confidence.
Show confidence in them as a coach
Of course, as a cheerleading coach, one of the most basic things that you can do to build their confidence is by showing them that you have confidence in them. After all, how can a cheer team be confident in themselves if their very own coach has no confidence in them?
You should always show your cheerleading team that you have the utmost confidence in them from start to finish. Always work with them until they have perfected the current stunt and praise them whenever they get it right. A team’s confidence will always start with their coach.
Teach them to handle mistakes on the mat
Mistakes do happen from time to time, and there might be times when your cheerleading team makes a mistake out there on the mat during a competition. When that happens, you have to show them the right way to handle mistakes that happen in the middle of a routine.
Doing so can help with the transition of the routine as a whole. Failing to work through a mistake can disrupt the flow of the routine, which can affect the rest of the routine negatively.
Don’t condemn mistakes
When mistakes do happen, you must never condemn the team for their mistakes. Teach them that mistakes are normal, especially in cheerleading, and the best thing that they can do is simply work through them and be better.
Always continue encouraging them, especially when mistakes occur, as this can be one of the strongest barriers to team confidence.
Help them build confidence in their stunting
Of course, as a cheerleading coach, one of the best things that you can do to build confidence in a team is by helping them through their stunting. Failed stunts can be a huge blow to their confidence, so always be patient enough to keep working with them until they finally hit it right.
A lot of people aren’t aware of how much work goes into just one routine that you see in cheerleading. The truth of the matter is that it takes months of hard work and practice to make sure that all of the stunts that you see them performing are as perfect as you see up there. Because of the amount of work that goes into even just a portion of one of the routines, it can be pretty frustrating for a cheerleader to find it difficult to hit a stunt properly.
Fortunately, if this does happen, there are a number of reasons that could be causing this difficulty, and as a result, as long as you identify these reasons, you will be able to hit that cheerleading stunt in no time. Here are some of the more common reasons that might explain why you’re having difficulty hitting those stunts.
Take a look at the group as a whole
For some cheerleaders, the reason why they might be having difficulty hitting a certain stunt can be attributed to the fact that there might be someone else in the cheer group who is having difficulty executing their part of the stunt.
The truth is, a lot of the stunts in a routine are a group effort, and if one member of the group is having difficulty with the stunt, sometimes it can be caused by another group member having their own difficulties.
When this happens, it’s important to train the group as a whole in order to make sure that the entire cheer group is functioning as a well-oiled cheerleading machine.
If the problems in stunting are with the cheerleader themselves, then there is a good chance that you might be working with a weak core. A strong core is the basic foundation of a lot of stunts, and if you’re having difficulty hitting it, it might be because your core hasn’t been strengthened in a while.
Most of your cheer stunts are heavily reliant on your core muscles, so it’s a good idea to maintain a good core strengthening regime in order to boost your stunting.
Lack of control
This is something that is hard to explain, but a lot of cheerleaders understand. Sometimes difficulty in hitting a particular stunt can be caused by a lack of control over their body.
A cheerleader that hits a stunt perfectly can feel the control over their entire body like they know exactly how far to jump in order to hit the stunt just right. This feeling can only be achieved through the control of their body.
However, if they feel as though they can’t get that control, there is a good chance that it might be caused by a weak core. The core is an essential part of getting stunts in cheerleading, so it’s very important that you spend enough time strengthening this in order to guarantee your performance.
Cheer parents sometimes go unappreciated when it comes to cheerleading. However, if you really think about it, these are the people who are one-hundred percent behind their cheerleading athletes when it comes to their cheerleading careers.
These are the people who support their children all the way from the beginning of their careers to where they currently are. For plenty of cheer parents, they have to be prepared for anything that their child will have to encounter throughout the course of their cheerleading day.
From being the chaperone to competitions and cheer meets to preparing healthy meals to make sure that their children are eating healthy meals, cheer parents are the unsung heroes of any cheerleading team.
One of the ways that they are also prepared is by bringing the essentials with them during a competition or a cheer meet. Here are some must-haves in any cheerleading parent’s bag.
Cheerleading meets and competitions can run on for fairly long, and you and your child can get hungry while it goes on. Bringing healthy snacks can help tide the both of you over while waiting for the competition to move along. However, you should take a look at the gym’s rules to see if they allow outsiders to bring in their own food as some gyms don’t allow outside food to be brought in.
Cheerleading gyms can get pretty hot, so it’s always a good idea to bring some water along with you to keep you and your child hydrated. Again, you have to check ahead of time to make sure that this is allowed, as there are gyms that don’t allow outside food or drink to be brought in.
Hair product/ accessories
While you put in a lot of effort to make sure that your child’s hair and outfit look great, emergencies do happen once in a while, and the best thing to do in this scenario is to be as prepared as possible.
It’s highly recommended that you bring bobby pins, hair spray, and extra bows just in case your child or any of the other cheerleaders have some sort of hair emergency and might need help fixing it.
It might seem like a hassle, but it’s always better to be prepared rather than have the situation arise and not have the supplies on hand.
There may be times when your cheerleading athlete may be sore after meets or competitions, so it’s always a good idea to bring some over-the-counter medicines to help alleviate some of their pain.
Cheerleading is one of those sports where a child takes one look at the amazing stunts and dance moves and immediately falls in love. Plenty of children are taken in by the flashy moves of cheerleading and decide that that’s the sport that they want to take part in.
While it’s great for the child’s physical and emotional benefit, for plenty of parents, they’re not entirely familiar with how cheerleading works and what they should prepare for when their child joins cheerleading.
Here are some things that you should know before your child starts cheerleading to help make it easier for the both of you.
There are plenty of expenses that you have to consider
Something that a lot of parents are very unprepared for when it comes to cheerleading is the number of expenses involved when it comes to cheerleading. Initially, you’re going to be given a list of expenses to expect.
This is going to include cheerleading uniforms, gear, cheer gym expenses, and the like. However, as the season continues, you’re going to find that there are a lot more things that you’re going to have to spend on. Competition related expenses, like transportation costs, hotel stays, team shirts, and so much more are things that you’re going to need to spend for later down the road.
Of course, all teams have ways of helping offset the cost, like fundraisers, but to be safe, it’s recommended that you take extra expenses into consideration if your child decides to join cheerleading.
Cheer shoes don’t last as long as you hope they would
This rule doesn’t only apply to cheer shoes, but cheerleading gear in general. With cheerleading shoes, you might have noticed that these are made of a different type of material than typical sports shoes.
With cheer shoes, these are made of a lightweight material that makes it easier for cheerleaders to execute their stunts on the mat. However, because of their lighter weight, they tend to break down faster.
These shoes aren’t cheap, and if you’re not careful about how your child takes care of them, you might find yourself having to buy more pairs later that season. Shoe covers are a great investment to help preserve the soles of the shoes and help them last a little longer.
It’s going to take a lot of time and dedication for the both of you
Cheerleading is going to take a lot of time and dedication, not just for your child, but for you as well. The thing about cheerleading is that it isn’t a seasonal thing, it’s something that you’re going to have to dedicate yourself to all year round.
Even when the regular season is over, there is still cheerleading camp during the summer and cheerleading tryouts to prepare for during the off-season. You’re going to have to drive your child to meets and practices, and overall, it’s going to take a lot of dedication from you and your child.