We all make New Year’s resolutions, so let’s do this year together! You can make goals as a team, and then encourage cheerleaders to make individual resolutions.

1. Learn new tumbling.
Been wanting that backhand spring? Work on it. Take extra tumbling classes to make sure you have it, and that you are doing it properly. There is no such thing as being able to do ‘too much’ tumbling. Plus, getting creative on your tumbling not only will make you stronger as an individual, but will help make your team stronger, as well!

2. Stop making excuses, and stop procrastinating.
You’re a little sore; you just don’t feel like it; there’s always tomorrow… Tomorrow is yesterday’s today. Odds are, even if you don’t feel like doing something right in that moment, as soon as you start to do it, you won’t regret it. That TV show will still be there, and so will your social media accounts. Make every moment worth something this year!

3. Give it all, all of the time.
My teenage cheerleaders introduced me to a new word: they said, “coach, I am going to be honest, I was sore, so I decided to ‘yeet’ it at practice.” You heard that right, “yeet”. My response? “What exactly is a yeet?” Apparently, it means ‘wing’, like I decided to ‘wing it’. I could show you the exact conversation. Who made up a slang word, when that slang word has the exact same amount of letters as the actual word? I don’t get it, but that’s another discussion… GIVE IT ALL, ALL OF THE TIME. Technique, tightness–it all matters. Every single point counts. If you do it perfect at practice, the odds are you are going to do it perfect once you hit that mat. Work on jumping properly, and point those toes. Get your stunt up, and give facials with every single rung through. There is such a thing as muscle memory!

4. Let go of self-doubt.
Insecurities are something we all have, but where do they get us, further into a rut? Teach yourself and your team that ‘can’t’ is no longer an acceptable word. You can, they can, as long as you believe in yourself, or your teammates have someone right there encouraging them, letting them know that they can do it! We all get stuck in our own head at times, so learn to get out of there, and have a little bit of faith. Worst case scenario, you can do what I do: if my little ones say “I can’t”, then they know they to drop and give me 10 push-ups. It’s amazing what confidence can do. You won’t know what you can do if you don’t ever try.

5. Give back to the community.
Whether it be a community cleanup, reading to little ones, or creating care packages for those in need, get involved outside of the cheerleading world to help the community!

6. Practice good sportsmanship.
I get it–other teams are going against you. Who cares. Wish them good luck, and tell them great job. If you see someone crying because their stunt fell, don’t laugh or jump up and down. Go up to them, tell them it’s okay, and give them a hug. Stop booing a team that is an opponent, and don’t give dirty looks to another team because they placed higher than you. I am a firm believer in karma, and in the end, aren’t we all just one giant family?

What other New Year’s resolutions should cheerleaders make? What have you accomplished this year in cheerleading? Share your story with us in the comments!