There are so many things cheerleaders will learn at camp and while each camp is different for each team, there are a few basics that every cheer team should learn at camp. By the end of summer, make sure your squad has learned these four essentials:

  1. The power of teamwork. Particularly for new members who have never been on a team before, it's important that cheerleaders understand how important it is to work as a team. A cheerleader's focus shouldn't be standing out as the star of the show. Rather, the goal is for every cheerleader to be in sync and for their cheer skills to all match, from the height of toe touches to the extension of a needle. It's better for a team to look even than for one cheerleader to jump higher than everyone else.

  2. A full routine. Over the summer, a cheerleading team should learn at least one full routine. Even if it's not a routine you'll use on the sidelines at games or on the mat at competitions, learning a routine gets cheerleaders into the motions of remembering a series of movements. Memorizing two minutes of cheer motions is hard at first. But once you've mastered one routine, it becomes much easier to learn. Cheerleaders will learn through the process what works and what doesn't. For example, one cheerleader may find it easier to repeat short sections over and over before learning the next section while another cheerleader may learn that it's best for her to perform the full routine and patch in the forgotten pieces later.

  3. Basic terminology. A team not knowing cheer terminology can really slow down a coach from teaching. During camp, cheerleaders should learn the names of cheer motions and stunts. It will be much faster and easier for a coach to teach by saying "hit a scorpion" rather than explain each step of a scorpion. Check out our free ebooks, including The Cheerleading Guide to Stances & Motions, The Cheerleading Guide to Stunt Groups, The Cheerleading Guide to Jumps, and The Cheerleading Guide to Basic Tumbling. All of these include step-by-step visual guides for cheerleading stances, motions, jumps, and stunts. Coaches should hand these guides out to cheerleaders before camp for them to study.

  4. Details about their teammates. By the time fall comes around, cheerleaders should be very familiar and friendly with their teammates. At camp, coaches should stress team bonding. Play fun games that allow teammates to get to know each other better. Being friends, not just teammates, can help a team get through hard times (which all teams will experience at some point).
What else do you think is important for every squad to learn at camp?