Tips from Terrell - Prepping for Camp, College Tryouts and Beyond!
Terrell B. is a kinesiology major and captain of the Grambling State University cheer squad. We caught up with Terrell, a USA Head Instructor and crowd favorite, at our annual USA Instructional Staff Training to get tips and advice just for you!
How can people make the most of the summer camp experience?
Go in with an open mind! You’ll be doing things you may not have done before. Go with no preconceptions and be open to new experiences. Expect the unexpected and be willing to try new things!
How can rising seniors take the lead?
Rising seniors can step up by making new member feel welcome. Text new or young members and ask if they have questions about routines or about camp. You can help ease a ton of stress just by sharing your own experiences. Do your best to create bonding opportunities before you even get to camp.
Be the leaders. You know how it feels to be the up and coming freshman or the new junior transfer. You can definitely do your part to make sure the morale is high and your team is already feeling unified before you even get to camp. Once you get to camp, you’re already friends and can start excelling in other areas.
Thinking about trying out for a college team? What can you do now?
Practice outside of practice. You can’t expect to get better if you only practice during your high school practice time. It will take some outside time and work, but the payoff will be so beneficial and will boost your confidence going into college tryouts. Put in extra time outside of your own team to go to that open gym. Meeting those college level skill requirements will take more work, but it really is worth it in the end. Especially with potential scholarship opportunities out there, you have to be at the level that they need in order to reap those benefits. Instead of watching that extra Netflix episode, head to an open gym and find someone who can teach you how to partner stunt and do more of the collegiate level skills.
What is most surprising about being on a college cheer team?
One of the biggest surprises for college freshmen is that you are considered an adult. The coaches don’t have to go through your parents. That’s a big change for most high school students. Knowing everything is now on you and there is no fall back adds a new level of responsibility. You have to be on time and do what you need to do. In college, you are held accountable because we expect you learned the basics in high school. That’s normally a pretty big shock for freshmen.
Also, you’re more responsible for your nutrition. In college, you know, they have those huge buffet style meals. Make sure you’re eating right. Be more mindful that your metabolism may not be what it used to be as a high school sophomore. Make healthy choices.
Overall, you need to be more prepared and responsible in college.
What do you love most about being on a college squad?
What I love most about college cheer is the broad sense of community. Not only do the people at the school support the team, but the whole community supports the team. Most colleges have that community camaraderie that’s hard to put into words. You have the cheerleaders, dancers, band, players, alumni, fans of all ages – everyone is there pouring energy onto the field rooting for the same goal. There is a pride that college game days bring to life. At Grambling, people are out there in their RVs camping out getting ready for Homecoming. It’s a total experience. It’s like taking your high school game and multiplying it by 1,000. I love that.
Also, you get to do the higher level, fun college skills! The crowd “oohs and aahs” and just loves it!
You set your own bar. Whatever you believe, you know you can achieve. I know you hear that a lot, but it really is never too late to achieve the goals you set for yourself. It does take a more work, but I believe it’s not easy to be exceptional.
Exceptional people don’t follow the grain, that’s what makes them exceptional. They’re not “every day” normal. It takes a lot of sacrifice. Anything worth having does not come easily, but it’s going to pay off if you put in the work. It may not feel that way in the moment, but it takes a lot of extra spark to be on a college squad. Once you are part of a great program, your life will change in indescribable ways. You grow so much as a cheerleader and as a person.
Thanks, Terrell, for being an amazing USA Head Instructor, captain, teammate, leader and all-around exceptional human being! We can’t wait to see you at #usacamps this summer. Aaaaand a 1-2-3-4…al-right, Terrell!