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Try-outs may be coming up, and you may be getting nervous. This page is designed to help you with some of your fears.  These tips are based on my experience and opinions.  You must remember that all squads are different. Some look for certain aspects, while others look for something completely different.  Be sure to talk with your squad's coaches, so you know exactly what they are looking for!  Read below for more information on trying out!

Before Try-Outs

     1)  Talk to the coach.  The coach is the person who knows best what he/she wants for the squad.  You can ask a ton of people, but until you talk to the coach. You will not know exactly how to perform, or what to work on!

  2) Prepare in advance. Do not wait until the week before try-outs to get ready.  Getting in shape for cheerleading can take quite a while.  Find out the requirements far enough in advance to prepare. 

3) Talk to other cheerleaders.  Most of the time you will find that others are just as nervous as you.  Try to find a friend to work with. This will help keep both of you motivated.  Plus, you will have someone you already know at try-outs! This will help calm your nerves even more.

Practice Week

  1) Many squads have practices before actual try-outs.  This allows the coach to teach everyone certain skills needed for try-outs.  This is also time for the coach to evaluate how well you work with others.  This is the time to make friends, while working hard.  Be sure not to seclude yourself from the rest of the team.  Sure, you may be competing against them soon, but they may also be your squad mates.

2)  Be confident in yourself. You may not think you are the best cheerleader on the court, but that is not all that counts. Sportsmanship, and a great attitude go farther than many think.

3) Be open to trying new things.  You may have only flown during you cheerleading career, but the coach may think you have potential to be a great base. Do not take this as an insult.  Most coaches want to make good all-around cheerleaders.  The most versatile cheerleaders can fly and base.

The Day of Try-Outs

1) Be sure to get a good night sleep.  You want to have all the energy possible for the judges.

2) Wear your hair in a neat fashion.  It does not have to be fancy, just up off your face. (a pony tail is fine)

3) Wear clothes that fit. Over sized shirts make it hard to see motions.  This can really hurt you, for normally they look worse over better.  Make sure you are comfortable in what you wear. Nothing is worse then watching someone tug at clothing in the middle of a cheer.

4) If you have time after school, (before tryouts)  take a hot bath. This will help calm your nerves.  It this is not possible, don't worry. There are other ways to calm down!

The Actual Try-Out

1) Before you are called to perform take three deep breaths.  When you breath in say, "I know I can do this." and on the way out say, "I am going to do this!."  Of course this is a mental exercise! 

2) Enter the floor with as much enthusiasm as possible. The judge wants to know you can perform, even when not doing a routine.

3) SMILE!  This is very important in cheerleading. Make it look natural.  Huge fake smiles are detected from a mile away.  A judge wants to know you are actually having fun...and not throwing on a plastered smile.  

4) Use a loud clear voice.  Do not sing or chop your words. The words should be sharp and clear.  Be sure to pronounce Ts, and Rs.  Go, Fight, Win. Should sound like three separate words. Make sure not to make Fight, sound like Figh. 

5) Use expression in your voice. Sounding like a robot is not going to cut it in many try-outs.  A monotone voice is not pleasing to the audience or judges.  

6)  If you are not sure what the judges are asking you to do, then say so.  A simple "Can you please explain that again?" is fine! Judges want you to do the best you can.  That way they know they are judging your real talent.

7) If you make a mistake MOVE ON. Do not giggle, fuss, or get embarrassed.  It is OK to make mistakes. Everyone does it! It is how you handle it that counts.  Judges want to know that a mistake does not faze you. What judges, or other cheerleaders see, the average viewer will not see unless a scene is made.  Plus, sometimes judges may not even pick up on a mistake! 

8) If  the judges ask you to do a skill over again, it does not mean that it was bad. Sometimes a judge misses something, or was not sure if what they saw was correct.  Do not take this as a bad thing!

9) If you feel you did not do a jump (or do any skill) the best you could. Or really messed it up. It is ok to ask for a another attempt. Judges know that not everything is hit perfectly. Normally they will allow a re-try. (Note-This does not mean ALL judges allow re-tries)

10)  Leave with a smile on your face.  You are not any worse off by trying out! Wither you make it or not, you should feel good about trying!  If you did not try-out, you would not be on the team anyway!

GOOD LUCK to everyone at tryouts! Remember the judges want to see the best from you. Win or lose, you are all winners for trying!


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