What NOT To Do At Cheer Tryouts

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Spring is in the air, as we welcome back the sunshine and plan (or daydream about) beach trips and trips to Disney World, spring time also means cheer tryouts. What you don’t do is just as important as what you do.

Don’t procrastinate. Watch for postings of the dates when your tryouts will be and start practicing several weeks before hand. You’re not giving yourself enough time to prepare if you wait until the night before your tryouts to brush up on your jumps or back handsprings. Working on your toe touches, back handsprings, tucks and your dance moves a week or two before tryouts will help your body build strength and you’ll build confidence, both of which are essential for a successful tryout.

Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to new people. Whether you’re the new potential candidate or if you see a new face joining the team say hello and offer a genuine compliment such as, “Your outfit is really cute” or “I saw you pulling a scorpion while everyone was stretching, it looked really good.” Icebreakers help ease some of the nerves, and lets face it, unless you’re a cheerbot you’re going to have some level of anxiety about tryouts.

Don’t have a bad attitude with your teammates or the coaching staff. Everyone on the team is valuable and contributes something special. Everyone in the room will have ideas, experiences and opinions; when you put 30 to 90 teenagers in a room those 30 to 90 opinions are going to mirror one another, vary or clash. You CAN find common ground and get along. If the coach tells you, “Jump higher” don’t get an attitude with them, accept it as a challenge and genuinely try to jump higher and know in advance that, “Do it one more time” translates to doing it at least ten more times! The coaches want the team to succeed as much as you do.

Delete it, don’t tweet it. Do you dislike a teammate? Did a coach lose her mind and make you do 5 million wall sits? Don’t “vent” on social media. Coaches, and college recruiters, do check your social media accounts. Too many athletes have lost scholarships and team placements over things their prospective coaches read on their social media pages, don’t put yourself in that position, those 140 characters aren’t worth it.

And finally, don’t give up! Go out there every day and give it your best and as always, be fierce!

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Jennifer McDermott

Jennifer is a proud cheer mom to two girls and lives life 2 minutes and 30 seconds at a time. She is a former cheerleader and cheer coach and believes there is no sport more amazing than cheerleading. Jennifer works at a police department as a supervisor of the police and fire dispatchers. Her hobbies include writing, dancing, theater, attending concerts and hockey. Let’s go Lightning!

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