Sometimes one team doesn’t have everything you are looking for as an athlete. You may want to be pushed in your skills on a competitive team, or maybe you have that competitive spirit where you love performing on that blue mat in front of a panel of judges. If that’s the case, then a competition team is just for you! Right? But, as much as a competitive team is fun and improves your skills, you don’t get the same school spirit as you get when you are on your high school’s cheerleading team. The experience of cheering at a Friday night football game, or at a pep rally in front of your entire school is something you will never forget. Sometimes, you can have it all, but it usually isn’t going to be easy. Here are a few tips for juggling two teams, and making it work.

Be Honest with Both Coaches from the Beginning. Before tryouts even happen, tell both coaches you are interested in participating in your school’s team and a competition team. You’d be surprised on how willing coaches will be to work with you if you are open and honest from the beginning. Unfortunately, sometimes practice times may interfere, and cannot be worked around. Don’t take it personally. There are 20 other teammates the coaches are trying to schedule around, not just you.

Don’t Put One Team Before the Other All of the Time.
There are going to be times where you are going to have to pick one team over the other. It is inevitable that practices will overlap sometimes. If you are always choosing one team’s practice instead of the other most of the time, coaches and other cheerleaders will notice and start to feel like second best. If you need to choose one team or another, think about what events each team has coming up. The last thing you want to do is skip a practice the day before a big game or performance!

Don’t Bail Last Minute.
I have seen this happen too many times. A cheerleader wants to cheer for football season, but once basketball and competition season rolls around, they bail on their high school team to focus fully on their competitive team. Just don’t do it! You are letting down your teammates, your coaches, and it’s just not fair to anyone. If you join a team, you are in it through the good and the bad. So, work hard through practices–even if they seem pointless to you–and in doing so, you become a team player.

Don’t Forget About School.
None of this is important if you are not doing well in school! Most school teams have a GPA requirement that you need to maintain, and if your grades drop because you have too much on your plate, there was no point of trying to juggle both teams in the first place. Although your heart will always be in cheerleading, your involvement in cheer comes second to your schoolwork, so make sure you are prioritizing your time properly. Don’t worry, it IS possible to be on two cheer teams and keep your grades up in the process.

Are you juggling two cheer teams? Do you have tips for other cheerleaders? Share your story in the comments!