Cheer camp is a lot of fun, but it’s also a great opportunity to become a better cheerleader. You will have the time and instruction you need to master old skills and learn new ones, all while bonding with your team and preparing for a great season. These six tips will help you get the most out of cheer camp:

  1. Come prepared. There are two main ways to come to cheer camp prepared. The first is to make sure you pack everything you need. This cheer camp packing checklist will be a huge help. The second way to be prepared is to be in shape. You don’t have to be in perfect, peak-of-the-season shape, but you shouldn’t go straight from the couch to camp. You will likely do some (or a lot) of conditioning at camp, but that’s not what camp is for. The better shape you are in before camp, the more you’ll be able to focus on learning and improving cheer skills. Having the stamina to practice for extended lengths of time will go a long way toward getting the most out of cheer camp. This isn’t just a two-hour practice, after all—it’s cheer camp!
  2. Set goals. You will cover many things at cheer camp and work on a lot of general cheerleading skills, but you should still come in with a couple specific things you want to accomplish at camp. Maybe there’s a certain skill you want to learn, or maybe you want to work on your leadership skills or get to know your teammates better. Whatever goals you set, write them down and be specific.
  3. Stay focused on your goals. It’s easy to come with good intentions, but then get lost in the excitement of camp and lose sight of what you came to do. Remind yourself of your goals and tell your teammates and coaches what you’re working on, too. This will help keep you on track and give you the support and encouragement you need to accomplish what you came to do.
  4. Enjoy yourself. We learn better when we are having fun. Plus, you’ll be able to push yourself harder to be the best cheerleader you can be if you have passion for the sport. Passion doesn’t mean you concentrate so hard you never even crack a smile. Passion means your legs are shaking and you’re covered in sweat, but you have a smile on your face and are loving every minute of it! Don’t forget to have fun!  
  5. Take notes. Whether you bring a notepad and pencil with you and jot down notes throughout the day, write down key things each evening, or even summarize your key takeaways once you get back home, taking notes on what you learn is a great way to ensure the lessons stick. You learn a lot at cheer camp, and it’s impossible to remember it all. Having notes you can go over that tell you what to focus on during specific stunts or ways to practice or improve different skills will be a huge help throughout the season and ensure you get the full benefits of cheer camp. What good is learning all this information if you don’t retain it? 
  6. Look out for your teammates. You can’t get better without your whole team getting better. One cheerleader does not make a squad. Pay attention to what’s going on with your teammates. Work together, laugh and have fun, look for opportunities to help, and encourage each other. Keep an eye out for new or less experienced teammates who may be struggling to get a move down or even to fit in with the team. Make sure you reach out and make them feel like valued members of the team. When you see someone doing a good job, let them know! And, especially focus on bonding. You put your life in each other’s hands when you’re cheering, so make sure you are in sync outside of the gym and field too!

What helps you get the most out of cheer camp?