Tryouts mean something very different between cheerleaders and cheer coaches. For those trying out, winter is used to pump up your fitness routine, focus on your cheer goals, overcoming obstacles, and going full out to make the team of your dreams. For coaches, this time is spent a little differently. No matter if you’re a sideline or competitive team coach, tryouts can make or break your next season, and knowing how to approach them is key. You can’t just throw up a sign-up sheet and hope for the best! But, once you plan and prep your way through wintertime, it dawns on you that tryouts are nearly here. Cheerleaders are experiencing a range of emotions thinking about the Big Day (or couple days, if there is a tiered tryout), and coaches are also experiencing something similar. And, these five emotions are coming at you increasingly as you power through the end of your season.

1. Empowerment.

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You reflect on all the organization and preparation that you’ve done, and you feel proud of yourself. In between your job, your family, your current team, and everything else in between, you have a legitimate foundation for a solid tryout process. You feel like a superhero that can do anything! Pressure? HA!

2. Paranoid.

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But, then you have this sneaking suspicion you’re forgetting an element or two. Like big ones that are so obvious, but you can’t quite put your finger on them. And, what about independent variables, like a sick judge or a last-minute relocation? What if you can’t chose between cheerleaders, and make the wrong decision? How are you going to pull this off at all? Ohhhh, the parents are going to make your life horrible if you don’t get this right…

3. Nervous.

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Speaking of parents, you hope that you land a cooperative bunch of cheerleaders and team parents. You’ve gotten this far as a cheer coach, but life has a funny way of interrupting your cheer responsibilities, and you hope that next season is worth all of this stress.

4. Excited.

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But, new team means new beginnings! You never know if new cheerleaders will have the skills to escalate your competitive team to a new level–or boost your team in general! Level 5, here we come!

5. Calm.

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The closer you get to the tryout date, the more reassured you are. Whatever happens happens, and you’ve put in the legwork to avoid tryout disasters. Cheers to next season!

How else do cheer coaches feel when anticipating tryouts? Share your coaching experience with us in the comments!