Spirit Raising – Raising School Spirit

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Running out of new ways to promote spirit and support your school’s athletic teams? If you’re tired of just making locker decorations every week, here are some innovative ways to enhance your squad’s school spirit plan!

Give a name to that crazy bunch of kids who are willing to yell for the cheerleaders. They deserve special identity and lots of recognition (“Rowdy Rooters,” “Noise Boys,” “Bleacher Creatures,” etc.). Encourage them to try a different gimmick each game. Be sure to hang a banner above their section that proclaims them the “Rowdy Rooters.”

• Place Styrofoam cups in your cyclone fence to spell an important message. Remember, messages can be supportive of a team, can be used to promote an upcoming activity, can wish happy birthday to the principal, etc.

• Find out the birthdays of players, coaches, trainers, scorekeepers. Send each a card.

• Assist with sports awareness — create flyers with rules of the game.

• Name a girl and/or a boy “Athlete of the Week.”

• Design a school victory flag — fly it when any team wins.

• Mount a “spirit bell” on a can built by a metal shop.

• Set up a spirit showcase (players, coaches, trophies, etc.)

• Plan a “Senior Night” — honor senior players at their last home game.

• Decorate the coach’s house before a big game.

• Plan a “Meet the Team” night.

• Dedicate a song to the team on a local radio station.

• Organize a pep band parade.

• Stage a “Downtown” pep rally.

• Cheerleaders plan and lead hand motions by everyone at a game.

• Before a basketball game, throw a super ball high in the air. Each time the ball bounces, the crowd yell “Go!” or “Win!”

• Sell spirit flags, towels, or shaker poms to wave at games. Try to come up with something unique.

• Have a post game locker room party.

• Show game videos at a local pizza parlor.

• Have a variety of pep rallies — both in location and theme.

• On the night before a big game, have a western “chili feed” right after the teams finish practicing. Set up a chuck wagon, hay bales, a campfire, and sell bowls of chili.

• Create class chants or songs.

• Publicize the cheer-of-the-week.

• Decorate the locker room prior to a field hockey game (or any sport).

• Give team members food and cold drinks after practices.

• Organize care packages for players.

• Place a 6 inch sign in the center of every clock that says: “Time to Beat the Panthers!”

• Make Christmas stockings for players.

• Use a popular teacher as master of ceremonies at a pep rally.

• Use faculty cheerleaders at a pep rally.

• At pep rallies, tape candy, suckers, balloons, etc. under seats. As the rally begins, inform students to look under their chair for a possible surprise.

• At a pep rally, have football players carry your mascot in on a platform like a king.

• Create a spirit jug with a cork or some kind of lid. Paint it in your school colors and display the jug so that the kids can see it from day to day. Bring the jug to your pep rallies. When the person holding the jug uncorks it, everyone goes bananas. When the cork is placed back in the jug, everyone immediately stops. Remember to use a variety of kids to hold the jug, not just the same popular cheerleader at each pep rally!

• At a pep rally, each class yells to a repeated phrase in a story or skit.

• Use a Spirit Stick and present it to those who win class competitions.

• Write “school spirited” words to the tune of a TV commercial or to a popular song. Teach the new song at a pep rally.

• Use flashlights at a rally (“Spirit Shines”).

• Have door prizes at pep rallies. Give points to the class with the best attendance at rallies.

• Ask your classes to yell animal noises at a rally, a different animal for each class.

• Plan a bonfire rally the night before a big game (if permitted).

• Paint run-through signs for use at halftime.

• Decorate the team bus.

• “Kidnap” the team and take them to breakfast.

• Place a notice in your daily bulletin three days before a big game: “At exactly seven o’clock this evening, we are going to call one student’s home. If the person who answers the phone does so by saying “Beat the Lions,” everyone in your family will be admitted free to the game and you’ll be awarded a gift certificate compliments of a local restaurant.”

Source: Burton, Bob. Spirit Works…Turn it On! For more information, visit www.spiritworks.com.

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