Even when you love cheer as much as you do and are as dedicated to the squad as you are, you can get exhausted and burned out. Even if you don't realize it, at some point in the season you need some refreshing due to school exams, traveling to competitions, long stretches of practices without performances, the difficulty of working on a new stunt, colds going around, etc. Even spirit raisers need their spirits raised sometimesand luckily, they're pros at it! Here are four ways you can keep your team spirit up when exhaustion hits:

  1. Surprise your teammates! Make them a gift bag, order something fun like matching cheer keychains, bring candy bars, or make cookies for the end of practice. This is a guaranteed way to raise morale on the team!

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  1. Take a break. Set aside a few minutes at practice and just dance it out. Have a fun cheer off where you each have to make up a routine on the spot for 10 seconds then switch out. You might even come up with something good you can use later!

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  1. Step away from the gym. Have a team retreat, go to a concert, go surfing or snow tubing (depending on where you live), go horseback riding, go to a cheer event even if you just watch, or go on some other fun outing just to get you away from the gym for a day or two and give yourselves a chance to refresh.

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  1. Plan a bonding event. Have a pizza party at someone's house or in the gym after practice. Watch a cheer movie together or have a sleepover and play get-to-know-you games. You can even tie-dye t-shirts or decorate posters for the locker room. Building and strengthening your friendships outside of the realm of cheerleading will make practices even more fun and lift team spirits.

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Have you ever experienced mid-season burnout? How does your squad keep your spirits up?