Try out week can be very nerve wracking and stressful. Some cheerleaders may be trying out for a new gym, some may be trying out for a new level, and some may be trying out for the first time. Here are  some tips to help you try out with confidence.

1. Focus on yourself.

Walking into the gym can be intimidating when there may be 50+ cheerleaders trying out for the same level. Some may look better than you and you will look better than others, but all of that doesn’t matter. Focus on yourself and your skills. Worrying about others can add pressure and cause you to make mistakes. Think of try outs as an opportunity to show off what you have learned throughout the past year. Focus on your skills and what it takes to perform them.

2. Refocus when you become distracted.

Even though you understand to focus only on yourself, sometimes you may become distracted. First, become aware of when you are distracted. Next, take a deep breath and focus on the air going into your lunges and the air going out. Then once you are clam, think about what you CAN do. You can keep your legs together on your back handspring, you can stand up all in your stunt, and you can keep your head in on your back tuck. Worrying about distractions takes away from focusing on your skills.

3. Understand the requirements for each level.

It is extremely important that gyms create teams where over 75% of the team can perform that level’s skills. This means that if you are interested in trying out for a level 4 team, having a round off back handspring layout is one of the minimum requirements. It does NOT guarantee placement on a level 4 team. To be competitive, a level 4 team should have over 75% of the team doing standing tucks, layouts, trick to layouts, jumps to back handspring back handspring tuck, multiple level 4 stunts, and pyramid.

4. Each team has a certain amount of positions to fill.

Cheerleading coaches look for more than just certain skills, they also look at jumps, dance, attitude, standing tumbling, and running tumbling. They also may be looking for a certain person to fill a certain position. For example, they may need a 12 year old flyer to a jr. level 3 team, a 15 year old back spot for a coed level 4 team, a 10 year old base for a level 1 team, or a backspot for a sr. level 5 team. If you are a 13 year old flyer they may need you on a jr. or sr. team.

5. Every level and every team is important.

I understand that many cheerleaders think that the higher levels are more important, but with the development of The Summit Championships, every level is important. It would be just as important to win a ring in level 1,2,3,4, or 5. It is more important to be placed on a team where you will be needed. Try not to get caught up in making a specific level or team.

Good luck to all the cheerleaders trying out and remember to smile and enjoy.