Joining a cheer team is a big commitment and a major decision. Cheerleading is a lifestyle and a cheer squad is a family, after all. Asking these five questions will help cheer parents know what to expect and whether a particular squad is a good fit: What costs can I expect to pay this season? Find out now so that there are no surprises later on. Plus, if the cost is too high, you can opt out now and look for an option that fits within your budget. For instance, if the cost of an all star team is too high, you can look into having your cheerleader join a local rec squad or try out for the school team. Knowing what fees you’ll be expected to pay and when will help you know how to save and fundraise, as well. What is the time commitment? This is good to know for both you and your athlete. Will your cheerleader be able to handle this on top of any other activities and responsibilities? Will you be able to get your cheerleader to practices and games or competitions? Find out now so you can plan your schedule accordingly. What safety plans does the coach have in place and does he or she have any emergency training? Cheerleading can be a dangerous sport. Make sure you feel comfortable leaving your child in the coach’s hands‚ and make sure the coach has safety standards in place. How much parent involvement is expected? Find out if parents are needed to drive to camps, competitions, games, etc. The team may also be looking for chaperones for some events. Make sure you have time to do anything that’s expected of parents, and, if your schedule is free and you want to be as involved as possible, express an interest so the coach knows to come to you for extra help. What is the coach’s coaching philosophy? Is it “win at all cost, ” “just have a good time, ” or somewhere in between? A coach is one of the most significant figures in a young person’s life, and sports are a great opportunity to learn important life lessons and build character qualities. Make sure the coach is on the same page as you and the right fit for your cheerleader. Cheer parents, what other questions do you ask before your child joins a cheerleading squad?