Balancing school and cheer can be tough, even for seasoned cheerleaders. You might think that putting all your focus on cheerleading, going over routines in your head instead of paying attention in class, makes you a better, more dedicated cheerleader, but this isn't the case.

A hard-working, successful person brings that same level of discipline and commitment to excellence to all areas of life. The way you do anything is the way you do everything. If you want to improve your cheering, you need to approach school with that same drive because "bringing it" in the classroom will only reinforce and intensify your work ethic in the gym. It shows what kind of person you are.  This isn't to say you have to get As in science or math or any class that doesn't come as naturally to you. It just means you do the best you are capable of doing.

Another reason not to neglect school is that you need to prepare for your future. Cheerleading is a great way to do this because it builds lasting friendships and enforces habits that will take you far in life. However, not everyone can make a career out of cheerleading. Cheerleading can always be a part of your life, but it's impractical to think it can continue to be your whole life after high school. You don't want to come to your senior year and realize you put all your focus on cheerleading and don't have the grades to get into the school you want or the experience to get the job you want. Also, a lot of colleges aren't able to give full or even partial scholarships for cheerleading, but you can still get an academic scholarship.

Now you know that focusing on school AND cheer is necessary, but that still doesn't make it easy. Follow these three tips to help you balance the two and give us your own tips in the comments!

  1. Have homework or study parties with your teammates. Meet in the school library or an available classroom before or after practice to study together. Doing it together will make it enjoyable, you'll be able to help each other, and it will reinforce team qualities like hard work and responsibilitywhile bonding!

  2. Realize that being a student athlete means you might have to make some sacrifices. Sometimes you have to go to practice or stay home and do homework instead of going to the mall with friends. Make sure you aren't missing too many social outings, but as a student athlete you might not get to go out with friends every time they ask.

  3. Ask for help. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed for asking. People will respect your desire to succeed. If you are struggling in a particular class, ask a teacher or classmate to explain a concept to you. See if one of your friends wants to come over for a study session. If you're struggling with time management and balancing your commitments, ask a parent, coach, or school advisor for help. They have plenty of experience with juggling priorities and can likely give you some helpful pointers.

How do you balance school and cheer?