Joining a cheerleading team is a big commitment, so finding one that is a good fit for you is important. You’ll have more fun and do better on a team that fits your needs and personality. Ask these five questions before joining a cheer squad to make sure it's the right one for you:

1. What’s the time commitment? You need to find out now if you’ll be able to dedicate yourself to the team. Being a good teammate is key to being a good cheerleader, so make sure the squad’s schedule fits in with your other responsibilities, like school and any other sports or activities. 

2. What are the team rules? Your coach will likely go over these, but make sure you are clear on them. For example, your coach may require you to be at practice 15 minutes before the scheduled start time. There may also be rules about what you can wear to practice and on the way to games or competitions. Make sure you know what is expected of you.

3. What is the team environment? Find out what the team is like and how the coach envisions the team being. Is it competitive or supportive? If you’re a tumbling machine who has been at it since you could walk, you might want a more competitive environment where you are constantly fighting to keep your spot or claim a higher one. Or, maybe you’d be happier on a good, skilled team that cheers at a high level but is out to support your team and each other as goal number one. Make sure the team you are considering joining is a good fit for you.

4. What other events will your team be doing? Cheerleaders don’t just cheer at games and competitions. They are also often expected to hold fundraisers, attend camps and clinics, and participate in school and community events. Make sure you know what else your squad will be doing so you will know if it sounds like something you would enjoy. 

5. How much will it cost? Your parents will likely be talking to the coach about this, so you need to find out how much of the cost you will be responsible for yourself. Are your parents going to pay some or all of it? Knowing how much you will need to pay to cheer will help you plan and save. If your parents are helping you out with the costs, you can still impress them with your responsibility by looking for ways to minimize cheer costs!

What other questions are important for cheerleaders to ask?