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It’s a great time to start cheerleading! After nationals, all clubs are looking for new talent to build their team with. Here’s what you need to know for your first ever cheerleading lesson!
How to dress
Cheerleading, as opposed to gymnastics, is done in shoes. Make sure you have a pair of comfortable and clean trainers with you that won’t stain the gym floor. Ideally they don’t have any sharp edges on the sole in case you’ll perform as a flyer.
Wear a sports bra and comfortable gym clothes. Shorts or leggings are ideal because coaches can see your movements best. Make sure there are no zippers or buttons that could scratch your fellow participants when stunting.
Have your hair in a ponytail or braid so it doesn’t cover your face when you’re stunting or tumbling. You’ll want to focus on what you do, not your loose strands!
How to behave
Most importantly: Be yourself. As the sport is so diverse, you’ll find all sorts of characters on a team, and that’s what makes it fun! We’re not all super-serious and down to business all the time, and at tryouts the atmosphere is usually quite loose. Have fun!
Still, some things are important to remember. Coaches will teach you some of the basics, and it’s very important for you to be attentive and listen. We’re not really looking out for your skill, we’re aware that you’ve never done this before! But we are searching for people we can work with. If you don’t listen to your coach at tryouts, we assume you also won’t listen in training, and that will influence your team placement.
Always ask questions when something isn’t clear, as stunting can be dangerous if you didn’t understand what’s going on. We are so used to talking in our cheer-terms that we sometimes forget how to explain things the easy way. So don’t be afraid to speak up!
Don’t be nervous!
No one gets turned away at tryouts. We know that we will have to teach you many things from scratch, and I know of no team that will send people away. Coaches will place you on a team based on your physical fitness, motivation and coachability (= how well you listen and implement changes). Never worry about your performance! We will take care of you 🙂
It will get easier
The first few trainings can be hard, especially if you haven’t been involved in sports before. Many beginners have some wrist pain from stunting or tumbling the first time. But don’t worry! That’s completely normal. Within a few weeks, you won’t feel that anymore. You will get used to the weight of a flyer, even if it feels almost impossible to hold her up at the beginning. The longer you train, the fitter you will get, and as soon as your technique improves everything will be so much easier.
Communicate with your coaches
It helps coaches tremendously when you’re straight forward with your commitment of time and effort. Tell them if you already know that you’ll miss training regularly because you have piano lessons, or if school ends too late for you to make it on time. If you’re looking for a position in a high-performance team and you want to go to championships, tell them that you’re ready to be in every practice. That way, they can assemble a strong team and you’ll be happy with your placement.
You don’t need to decide on the spot
As our sport has so many different aspects, you can usually come to several trainings before you have to decide if you want to stay or not. If you’re not sure, ask the coaches about another trial!
Tips for returners
If you’ve already been in the club or even on a championship team last year, you’ll have to prove yourself again during tryouts. Within the next weeks, the stunt teams for next season will be assembled. Time to step up your game!
Show up to training on time and be attentive. Help integrating new members into the team so they feel welcome. Make sure your own performance is impeccable, even if you’re stunting with people you’re not used to. Coaches can see if you’re trying hard or not. Don’t start criticising your teammates, even if they are stunting for the first time, except your coach asks you to. Focus on yourself and your own technique. You can only be an asset to the team if you use your experience wisely! Be aware of where you are in your process as a cheerleader, and improve from there.
Go sign up!
It’s great to see cheerleading growing in Switzerland! Check out the map of Swiss teams and sign up now for tryouts!