Attitudes spread. If there's a negative one on your squad, you need to stop it before it affects your squad's experience and performance. Dealing with a negative teammate is a sensitive issue. The last thing you want to do is call her  out in front of everybody or be harsh and condescending if you talk with her  in private. Approach the situation as gracefully and respectfully as you can so you can resolve the issue without hurting anyone's feelings.

First, try talking to the negative teammate. If you're a captain or team leader and she is a younger teammate, respectfully tell the teammate her attitude needs to change because it's affecting the entire team. Ask if there's anything you can do to help. Maybe there's a situation that needs to be addressed that's causing the negativity. If you're not in a position to give the teammate some constructive criticism, you can still lightly suggest she keep it positive. This might be enough for the teammate to realize she needs to make a change.

If you don't see an opportunity to casually bring the problem up to your teammate or if that doesn't work, talk to your coach or captain. Avoid telling other teammates because then it becomes gossip and as a good team member you want to help the situation without making anyone look or feel bad. Explain the situation to your coach or captain and let them handle it.

When someone who is supposed to have your back, like a teammate, is the one whose negativity is bringing you down, it can be extra hurtful. While you can't just avoid this person all together, you can refrain from sharing all your hopes, dreams, and goals with her. Telling your teammates about your goals is a vital part of achieving them, but a good teammate will hold you accountable and do whatever she  can to help you succeed. A negative person will doubt and criticize your goals. You don't need that negativity in your life, so don't seek help and support from a negative teammate. You can't share big goals with small-minded people!

Another way to deal with negativity on your team is to just overpower it with positivity. When your negative teammate makes a comment, counter with something positive. If she complains about how hard practice has been lately, you can say, "Yes, practices have been tough, but our hard work will pay off." A positive attitude will spread just like a negative one. Let yours be the stronger one that everyone catches!

You could also be dealing with a teammate who isn't generally negative about the team or toward other teammates, but who is negative to herself. This isn't as bad for your squad, but you never want to see a teammate struggling emotionally! Plus, doubt and negative thoughts could keep any cheerleader from reaching her full potential. The best way to help your teammate is to be there for support and to instill confidence. The best confidence comes from putting in hard work, so offer to help your teammate work on skills before or after practice.

With a teammate who puts herself down a lot, stop her! Friends don't let friends say bad things about themselves. Never let her say "can't," and if she makes a negative comment, like, "I'll never get this," or "I'm just not a good tumbler," make her take it back and say two nice things about herself. We all have trouble staying positive sometimes, and being on a team means we have a support system when we need the extra encouragement.
Do you have any experience dealing with a negative teammate? How did you resolve the situation?