So, you wanta be a Cheerleader? Where do you begin? If you think the starting point is trying out for a squad, you're wrong. The road to becoming a Cheerleader is long and hard and it begins with "education." Learn all you can about every part of Cheerleading and you'll be off to a good start at being one. But, this doesn't necessarily mean that once you know about Cheerleading, you are a Cheerleader. The process just starts there and goes on to hard work, practice, sweat, determination and then tryouts.
Cheerleading is as much about who you as what you are. A Cheerleader is a leader, a role model, a friend, and an athlete. At times they are a teacher and at other times a student. They can be considered a sport participant or a spectator, depending on where they are and what they are doing. They are looked up to by many, and put down by others. It's not always easy being a Cheerleader, but the rewards are many. The skills you learn will not only carry with you throughout your lifetime, but will help shape who you are or what you become. So, if it is your dream to be a Cheerleader, start with these basics.
- Learn as much as you can from sources like books, videos, friends, Cheerleaders, and the Internet. Below are some areas to concentrate on:
- Talk to the coach or advisor of the squad you're trying out for and find out the requirements. If possible talk to current Cheerleaders.
- Attend a performance of squad you're interested in. Watch them closely and observe their skills and abilities.
- If you don't know something, don't be afraid to ask questions.
- Enroll in some classes, attend a camp or clinic (this might not always be possible as a lot of camps/clinics are for squads only). Check local gyms, recreation departments, and colleges for Cheerleading, gymnastics/tumbling and dance classes to take.
- If you'll be cheering for a sport, learn about that sport. Know when to cheer and when not to.
As you can tell there is a lot to learn about Cheerleading, but education is only the beginning. Cheerleading takes physical strength, stamina and flexibility. Be sure to watch for our next article, "Shaping Up for Cheerleading," which will be coming soon.