Team Mascot Mania

By  |  0 Comments

If you think Hollywood has it wrong about cheerleaders, just think of the poor team mascot. For some reason, screenwriters seem to think that all mascots are cheerleaders who didn’t pass tryouts. Nothing could be further from the truth! Mascots are fun, enthusiastic, entertainers who work hard to pump up the crowd. In fact, they’re a lot like cheerleaders, but with the added challenge of being hidden inside a lot of fuzz!

Here are a few tips for mascots and the cheerleaders who interact with them.

Keep Your Head On (Literally!)

Did you know that theme park characters with heads are never supposed to talk? Part of the team mascot magic includes staying in character by keeping all parts of your costume on whenever you’re in public, and learning how to pantomime instead of talk. It can be especially confusing, and even frightening, for small children to see a mascot take off his head!

Work with Your Crowd—but Have an Escort

One of the best ways to pump up the crowd is to interact with them. But if you get close enough for crowd members to actually touch you, you will need an escort. It’s amazing that even older children and adults don’t really think about the actual person inside all of that fuzzy material, so they often try to pull off ears, noses, gloves, tails, etc. Your “human” escort can help protect you and provide a little crowd control.

Get on their Level

For very small children, a large, furry creature can be quite scary, so try crouching down to the children’s level. It can help if you stay a few feet away and just wave while you let them approach you gradually, Your escort can also help by touching your hand or arm, or demonstrating giving you a “high five”–or a “high paw”!–to show that you are friendly. Passing out small toys or candy can help you interact with them, too. Overall, just be patient, but if the child starts crying, just move on to the next person.

Stay Hydrated and Cool

Temperatures inside those costumes can get well above 100 degrees on very hot days, so dress lightly and make sure you drink plenty of water and take plenty of breaks. There are cooling vests with spaces to insert ice packs that you can buy to wear under your costume, too.

Be Mischievous

The crowd will love it when you play tricks on your cheerleaders, marching band, or even other crowd members. Some fun tricks could be “stealing” a cheerleader’s poms, “marching” behind a band member while playing “air trombone”, or even grabbing a spectator’s hat and making him work to get it back. And, cheerleaders, go with the flow and don’t get too upset if your mascot plays a trick on you—your team mascot is supposed to be a trickster!

Be the Hero

When you’re planning a homecoming skit or competition routine that includes your character, you should always be the one who defeats the bad guys (usually one of your opponent’s mascots!). And it can also be fun for the mascot to get the girl at the end!

Be Enthusiastic But Stay Safe

When your team makes a great play or scores a touchdown, you can help celebrate by waving or running with a flag or banner. If you can do a handspring or flip, you can also wow the crowd with tumbling, but make sure your costume is fitted enough and not slippery so that you don’t trip or fall.

Most people think this post is a Love!
What is your reaction?
  • WOW (0)
  • LOL (0)
  • Love (2)
  • Dis-Like (0)
  • Fail (0)
Marge Packman

Marge was a member of her high school pom team and has coached youth and school cheer for over 17 years. She has a BA in English from Northern Illinois University (Go, Huskies!). After graduation she joined the Peace Corps, met her husband, and moved to The OC. After cheer practice, you can find her watching football with her son or perusing the scrapbooking aisles with her daughter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *