Tips On Having a Good Cheer Try-out

With try-outs fast approaching, many cheerleaders find themselves overcome with a mixture of emotions, ranging from anxiety to excitement. Next to actual competition, try-outs can be one of the most nerve-racking times in a cheerleader's life. So how do you deal with the stress and have the perfect try-out?

Getting ready

First, make sure that you are prepared for whatever all-star, recreational, or school squad you are trying out for. It's very important to have all the skills that are required for your squad before the try-out date arrives.

For example, if the squad you are trying out for requires a back handspring, make sure that you arrive on the first day of try-outs with that skill well in hand. Also, you want to make sure that all of your paperwork is completed on time. Try-outs are stressful enough without having to deal with paperwork problems.

Importance of a clinic

The clinic before a try-out can range anywhere from a few hours to a week long. During this clinic, you will be taught the material that you are expected to perform at try-outs. In some cases, you may be asked to create your own routine. There will usually be no clinic for these types of try-outs.

However, if you are required to attend a clinic, then you need to be well prepared for it. It's very important to make a good first impression. On day one of the try-out clinic, walk in with a positive attitude, hold your head high, and show no fear. It is often a good idea to bring a video recorder to the clinic. That way you can record your instructors performing the try-out cheer, chant, and dance, and practice them at home. Another good idea is to bring in a blank tape and record a copy of the dance music, so that you can go over the moves at home.

The big day

The day of try-outs can either be a very stressful or enjoyable experience. If you have practiced the material and you are well- prepared, then you should have no trouble at all. However, the way you present yourself could also have an effect on your score.

Make sure you arrive in comfortable but conservative clothing. Also, if it's allowed, wear your team or school colors. When it is your turn to perform for the judges, make sure to smile and complete your routines and skills to the best of your ability! Remember that mistakes are common and no one is perfect. So no matter what happens, recover from your mistake and finish the try-out with a smile! Good luck to everyone in this upcoming try-out season!

Kelly Fitzpatrick is a cheerleading and gymnastics coach for PJC Gymnastics. She is also a summer and competition staff coach for Cheerleading Technique Camps (CTC). If you have any questions regarding cheerleading or for more information, visit

For more cheerleading news, tips and tools, visit eteamz, your online team sports community.

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