Tryouts are coming up, and you may be getting nervous. These tips are designed to help you with some of your fears. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the coach.
- Talk to the coach. The coach is the one who knows best what they want for the squad. You ask multiple people, but until you talk to the coach, you will not know exactly how to perform or what to work on.
- Prepare in advance. Do not wait until the week before tryouts to get ready. Getting in shape for cheerleading can take quite a while. Find out what the requirements will be far enough in advance so that you will have adequate time to prepare.
- Talk to other cheerleaders. Most of the time you will find that they are just as nervous as you are. Try to find a friend to work with you. This will help keep both of you motivated! As an added bonus, you will be sure to know someone at tryouts! This may help calm your nerves even more.
- Like other programs, ours will have clinics/practices before the actual tryouts. This allows the coach to teach everyone the skills needed for tryouts. This is also time for coaches to evaluate how well you work with others. You should focus on working hard and making friends. Be sure not to isolate yourself from the rest of the team. While it is true that they may be your competition, they may also very well become your squad mates!
- Be confident in yourself. You may not think that you are as talented as some of the other candidates, but that is not all that matters… Sportsmanship and a great attitude go much farther than many may think!
- Be open to trying new things. You may have only acted as a base in past, but the coach may want you to try flying, or vice versa. Do not take this as an insult. Your coach is looking for good “all-around” cheerleaders who are versatile and can be utilized in many different ways within the squad.
- Plan Ahead - Do a little homework! Research the squad. Think about your past squad experiences and be ready to support your accomplishments with specific information targeted toward the squad’s needs. Have your facts ready! Once you have finished studying, begin role playing (rehearsing). Use the general questions provided in the “Tips for Tryouts at MSJC” page. You may find it helpful to write down your answers on a piece of paper in order to keep the focus on your strengths and remain concise. Try to relate your answers to the interviewer and what you know they want for the squad. Focus on achievements!
- Speaking: Speak slowly, clearly and in complete sentences. Be Positive, avoid negative comments. Maintain eye contact with your interviewers. Show you want the job with your interest. Do not fidget with your clothing.
- Dress appropriately. This is your chance to have the coach see you as more than just a cheerleader. Dress as if you were going to an actual job interview. Do not wear jeans and t-shirts to this. If you are unsure what to wear, ask! The coach is there to help!
Day of Tryouts:
- Be sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before tryouts. You want to have as much energy as possible for the judges so you can put your absolute best foot forward and really shine and dazzle the judges!
- Wear your hair the way you would for a game or performance so that there are no fly-aways and the coach can see what she can expect from you. It does not have to be fancy, just up and out of your face in a ponytail with a red bow! Go on, show your school spirit!!
- Follow the dress code set forth by the coach for tryouts.
Oversized clothing can make it hard for the judges to see the body and motions being presented/demonstrated, and this can adversely affect your scores. Wear clothes in which you feel comfortable. There are few things worse than watching people tug and pull at their clothing during a tryout!
- Women: black fitted shirt with a sports-bra underneath (Absolutely NO Cleavage or mid-drifts showing!), black cheer or dance shorts with “spankies” underneath (not loose), white socks, white sneakers and red hair bow. Make up, if worn, should be mild and blend in naturally. Absolutely NO JEWELERY!!
- Men: black t-shirt, black shorts, clean shaven, well-groomed with white socks and white cheer-like shoes. Absolutely NO JEWELERY!!
- Make sure your sneakers are comfortable.
- Have all your signed waivers and permission forms in your hand.
- Be prepared with your best jumps and tumbling passes.
- Smile, smile, smile!
- Keep your motions tight.
- Be enthusiastic about trying new things. "Can't" is not in your vocabulary, but "I'll try" is.
- If you don't understand something, ask!
- If you make a mistake, pick up the next move and keep going!
- Make eye contact with the judges.
- Remember, coaches aren't just watching you for your current skills; they are also looking to see if you have the potential to grow. And they are keeping an eye out for how well you work with others, too. No coach wants a diva, crybaby, whiner, or Miss Bossy joining the squad and ruining all the fun for everyone. You might have great skills but if you have a lousy attitude it will definitely count against you!
- To do a little extra, make an example of a spirit poster and bring it with you to tryouts. Showing your team spirit even before you know if you are on the team never hurts!! It also gives the judges and the coach an example of the kind of creativity or energy you will bring to the team.
- The judges will likely ask you to answer a few interview questions. Some examples of those are:
- What is the role of a good cheerleader?
- Cheerleaders are school ambassadors to the community. They also boost school and team spirit. Which one do you think is most important?
- As a cheerleader, you should be proud of your school and community and ready to bring them together through volunteer work and other acts of goodwill. What community volunteer work would you suggest the cheerleaders do this year?
- Do you have any thoughts on pep rally themes and activities to use during the next season?
- What other spirit-boosting ideas do you have?
- If you were asked to try something new but weren't sure if you could do it, what would you do?
- What are your strengths as a cheerleader? (Tumbling, stunting, dancing, jumping, crowd leading, dedication, positive attitude, kindness, work well under pressure)
- What skills do you most hope to improve this year? (Tumbling, stunting, dancing, jumping, crowd leading)