All cheerleaders may jump, flip, or stunt, but not all cheerleaders are the same. There are school cheerleaders who focus on keeping up the spirits of the crowd, while supporting a sports team and all-star cheerleaders who showcase their skills through a competitive atmosphere. For some people who love every aspect of cheerleading though, they choose to do both. As difficult as it can be to be on both a school and all-star cheerleading team, it takes full commitment to both teams. Maintaining a schedule and addressing conflicts in your schedule ahead of time is key to successfully being on both teams. School and all-star cheerleading have their similarities and differences and although it can be challenging to be on both, experience in one area of cheerleading can actually contribute to aspects in another area of cheerleading.
- All-star and school cheerleaders spend most of their time facing a crowd, make sure to always smile and remain upbeat
- School teams that compete use a dead mat. This makes it extremely important to use proper technique when tumbling, to prevent injury
- Where all-star cheerleaders need to be as flashy as possible to standout to judges from a far distance, school cheerleaders typically take a more natural approach when it comes to hair and make-up
- Sports fans can be loud, make sure to be even louder while maintaining a speed the crowd can chant along to
One of the greatest aspects of cheerleading is the bond created between teammates. From all of the rough practices to the greatest performances, no one can relate to what you experience better than the ones by your side through it all. But being a teammate is more than just wearing the same uniform and performing to the same music. A teammate is someone you can trust on AND off the mat. Having older teammates “mentor” younger teammates can help build stronger bonds within the team. Some teams refer to this as “bigs” and “littles,” “big sister/little sister,” or “brothers” for coed teams, etc. This works especially well when veterans take the big sister/brother role and can mentor rookie teammates. Veterans can use their knowledge and experience from past seasons on the team to positively influence rookies and younger athletes. “Bigs” motivate “littles” to push harder at practice, they encourage and motivate “littles” throughout the routine, but most importantly, “bigs” are the person “littles” can trust and go to about anything. Whether it is cheer related or even just venting about a bad grade at school, it is important for rookies/younger athletes to know that they have someone they can go to about anything. Not only does this create special individual bonds, it will also make the team stronger as a whole. Having a shoulder to cry on or a person to hug after every performance is something every cheerleader should have: a teammate on and off the mat.