Behind the Scenes at Cheer Try Outs

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Try out time is the most stressful time of the year. I get so stressed out about what team I will make that I drive my mom insane! She would say, “Trust the coaches. They know what they are doing.” Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. The chatter starts almost instantly when the dates are posted. Everyone wants to know what team and what position you want to make. The gym is always full of athletes taking classes and private lessons trying to gain new skills.

My first few years as an all-star cheerleader was at a small gym. I had no clue what tryouts were so it wasn’t that stressful. My more recent try out experience was at a larger gym. I remember my mom having to fill out a “skills” sheet. This would determine which level try out I could attend. She had to list the highest skills I had in jumps and tumbling. What freaked me out the most was that I have to do a separate flyer’s try out. This consisted of three stations which were: holding body positions on the floor, holding body positions on a stunt stand and stunting with the coaches. Each body position had to be held for one minute. The scary part about it was that if you couldn’t hold your position at each station, you were asked to leave.

I was nervous the minute I walked in the door. I was given a group number and a number was placed on my shirt. Parents weren’t allowed inside. “You will do fine.” my mom said. I was in group 2 so I had a chance to see how things were going before I started.

The flyer/stunt session was first.  All the coaches were walking around with clipboards and were very serious. After each group finished the first station, if your number was called you had to leave and you couldn’t continue to the next station. I am proud to say that I made it through all the stations.

I was extremely excited. One of my friends didn’t make it through and she was very upset. “Don’t worry, just because you can’t be a flyer doesn’t mean there isn’t a position for you.” I told her.

The next session was jumps and tumbling. I wasn’t as nervous about this session. I performed my toe touch for my jumps and my running backhand spring for my tumbling. It wasn’t perfect but I did my best. Now the wait. You see, the coaches get together after try outs and make team placements. I had to wait an entire week to find out which team I made. I’m sure I wore a hole in my carpet from pacing. Finally, our teams were posted online by our try out numbers. I made a level 3 team and I was so excited because I had leveled up!

If I have to give advice to an athlete that is planning on trying out for a cheer team it would be do your best and focus on you not others. Do your best and leave it all on the mat. If you don’t make the team that you had hoped, don’t stress because you can be amazing on any team.

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Maddie Forsythe

Maddie is an all-star cheerleader from North Carolina. She began cheering at age seven and is now a member of Cheer Athletics Charlotte. Maddie's favorite part of cheerleading is working together with her team to create an amazing routine. She loves being able to travel to different cities and meet new people along the way.

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