Cheerleaders and parents, as well as the few die-hard school spirit fans, are usually the only ones occupying the away team's side of a football field on any given Friday night. With fewer fans to get on their feet, it can sometimes be a little boring when you travel to cheer at other high schools. You can also get easily discouraged if those nights happen to coincide with big home team events–like Senior Night, Pop Warner Night, and, the biggest one of all, Homecoming. On those occasions, you will probably be left chanting and cheering to a small percentage of game attendees, battling to be heard over the other side of the field as they pop off with celebratory music, costumes, yelling and dancing! It just might not seem fair. What you have to remember is that with every Homecoming game, there is always an away team visiting for the night. So, when you step off the bus to find that it’s another school's Homecoming weekend, here are some things to keep in mind.

1. Stay out of the spotlight.
It seems counterintuitive for a cheerleader to shy away from the crowd’s eye, but unless you absolutely have to, try to stick to your side of the field. Sure, it’s fun to collaborate with the home team cheerleaders in joint cheers–because, hey, cheerleaders are all-inclusive, even with their rivals–but Homecoming isn’t the time and place to divert attention to your squad. If you feel that the other school’s Homecoming hoopla and halftime performances had a deflating effect on your crowd, wait until game time resumes, amplify your energy, and use the third quarter to turn your fan's frowns upside down.

2. Remember that your time will come. Like we said, everyone gets a Homecoming, and your time has either already happened (and was awesome!!) or is right around the corner. Be patient, don’t be a hater, and let the home team’s student body have their fun for the evening. The last thing you want to do is start a battle royale between schools by raining on someone else's Homecoming parade.

3. Watch your step!
You might have your school’s track and field down to a ‘T’, but you’re on someone else’s turf now. You are aware that it's Homecoming night, but you have no idea what that school actually has in store! Homecoming floats are usually pulled by cars and trucks on the track, so make sure you pay attention when they start getting deployed to make their rounds. Try to stay out of the way and off the track if the parade does a full circle. Also, there might be instances where the other team's crowd throws streamers, balloons, balls, or a number of other things onto the track; be aware of any objects that could have rolled over to your side during halftime! Lastly, Homecoming performances often involve props and costume changes, which could lead to some of the participants throwing items around. Before you resume cheering in the second half, make sure you do a full scan of the track and field to avoid injury. You don’t want to sit out for the rest of the season because you've tripped over something that wasn’t there before!

What else do cheerleaders need to keep in mind at another school’s Homecoming? Tell us in the comments!