High School cheerleading is where all the fun begins. You have summer camp, games, homecoming, pep rallies, and many other exciting events to look forward to. Not only are the simple aspects of high school cheerleading exciting, but you will notice that practices become demanding, you will experience what it’s like to cheer at games with stands full of screaming fans, and you will become a role model to those around you. You hold a very important job as a high school cheerleader, so we want to show you exactly what to expect with our guide to high school cheerleading!
Tryouts are a great way to start a new year. Depending on the coach or cheerleading advisor at your school, the tryout date can be scheduled anytime from late winter to early spring, and the process usually lasts an entire week. All high school tryouts are different, but at most, you will start off the week by taking a “cheerleading clinic” after school where you will learn a cheer, sideline, and dance. Each day until the day of tryouts, you will practice and try to perfect each move. Some schools may set aside time at the clinics to work on tumbling and stunt skills each day as well.
On the day of tryouts you should be well rested, eat a healthy breakfast and lunch, and drink lots of water. Most high schools run their tryouts similar, but at all of them, you will be expected to dress neatly, with your hair pulled up, and no jewelry. You will more than likely tryout in a group of three to four other girls, where you are instructed to perform a run-out with optional tumbling, a toe touch, and the cheer and dance you learned at the beginning of the week. A panel of three to five judges will score you on categories such as spirit, eye contact, sharpness, and ability. Once everyone has tried out, the results will either be called out or posted.
High school cheerleading tryouts can be one of the most exciting times in a girl’s life. Whether you cheered in junior high school or you have no cheerleading experience, it’s always good to go into tryouts with confidence. Make the experience as fun as possible, no matter what.
Camp is a great way to gear a squad up for a new year. At camp, you will learn cheers, dances, and stunts, all while playing games and bonding with your team. Camp usually lasts about three to four days and is from sun up to sun down, so you can expect to be exhausted (in a good way) by the time you head home!
There are several different types of camps your squad can attend including resident camps and private camps. At a resident camp, your team will travel to a college or university where you will stay in a dormitory for three nights. The camps here are usually large, meaning there will be many other teams there that your team can meet and get to know throughout the week. A private camp is held in the privacy of your own school. At these camps, your team will get one-on-one instruction from the staff. There are many other types of camps, but remember that no matter what camp your team decides to attend, it will be an absolutely unforgettable experience.
In most cases, high school practices will be held after school anywhere from three to five times a week. They usually last a couple of hours and can consist of stunt practice, cheer practice, or competition practice, depending on what you have coming up. Before your first football game, your coach or advisor will more than likely have you work on cheers and sidelines for the game, or maybe you have a pep rally on Friday that your team needs to organize. If you are a competitive team, and it’s competition season, your coach or advisor may have you work on stunts, tumbling, or a routine. If you’re on a team that competes, practice time will speed up starting in late October and ending in early February, so be prepared for weekend practices if your coach decides to call them.
No matter what your team is working on at practice, it can be described as one of the best places to make memories with high school friends. So whether you are working on cheers for the big game or doing a routine over and over for an upcoming competition, know that practice is a great way to work hard, have fun, and bond with a great team.
Cheering at games is what high school cheerleading is all about. Think about it... your school has more than likely been around for several years and holds a strong tradition, there are many alumni and loyal fans in the community who attend, the student body loves being involved in school spirit, and the players are one hundred percent dedicated because they absolutely love the sport they are playing. It can’t get much better than that, besides the fact that you get to be a big part of it all!
Cheering at games can be different at every high school, but the spirit is always high. Most squads will cheer for football and basketball only, but many cheerleading squads are now making appearances at baseball games, soccer games, volleyball games, and wrestling matches. No matter what school you cheer for or how many athletic teams your squad supports, the spirit range is always topnotch at the high school level. There will be pep rallies, homecoming, and spirit days that most of the student body will participate in. As a cheerleader, it’s important for you to lead them in school spirit and convince them to come to all the games and support their teams.
Being a cheerleader in high school can be one of the most “looked-up-to” activities a person can be involved in, but it can be hard work too. You will find that there’s much more to being a cheerleader than just being “cute” and “popular.” Not only do you represent the teams that you cheer for, you also represent your school. This means you should always keep good grades, have nice behavior, and be someone for others to look up to.
You will more than likely be given a list of rules that you must abide by throughout the year to remain on the cheerleading squad, and your cheer coaches and advisors will check on a regular basis to make sure you are living up to the standards they have set. This may include maintaining a certain grade point average, showing up for time on class, always having homework and maybe even being involved in a few on-campus activities or completing a certain number of community service hours. If your advisors ask a lot from you, don’t feel pressured. They are only trying to help you to excel and get you prepared for the future; therefore, you should be grateful.
As a top representative of your school, you will become a role model to many. Little girls dressed in cheerleading uniforms and mocking you through the fence at games will always have their eyes on you. People in the community will recognize you from your many appearances in town and at the games. And teachers, staff, coaches, and students from your school will always notice what you do because you are a cheerleader. So, no matter where you are, you should always present yourself in a classy and professional manner because you never know who may be watching.