Getting ready for next year’s season takes a lot of work, but first and foremost, you need to get a team together. Preparing for tryouts takes a lot of work, but once your tryout week is there, the better prepared you are the smoother it will run. Set dates and block out time on the school’s calendar. We have all been there. As cheerleaders we usually get second best to bigger sports like football and basketball. Make sure you have your dates scheduled ahead of time and another team is not going to kick you out of the gym when you have a room full of judges and nervous potential cheerleaders. Have a parents’ meeting. Before tryouts even happen, have a meeting with all the cheerleaders who want to tryout for your team next year and their parents. Tell them about potential costs and time commitments and make sure they have the paperwork they need for their tryout. But most of all, tell them how much fun your team is and what a great season you have in store for them. Make tryout material. Have your exiting seniors create new cheers, chants, and dances for the cheerleaders trying out to perform. Take a step back and allow your seniors to fulfill their last duty as high school cheerleaders. They have been waiting for four years to show their leadership. Make sure they have material that shows clean motions and high skill levels. Many organizations also have prepared tryout material you can buy. Set a tryout clinic time. Here it is! Have your seniors teach the kids who are trying out the routines and cheers they created. Sit back and watch how quickly your new cheerleaders pick up the material, how they interact with each other, and how they interact with their leaders. During days one and two teach the material so on day three you can spend the time reviewing and answering questions. Before you dismiss, have your seniors perform a mock tryout. Have one cheerleader be a cheerleader you will take onto the team and another be a cheerleading who does everything wrong. Have fun with it! Be ready for tryout day. Get there early and have everything printed out. Make sure you have multiple score sheets for each cheerleader trying out, extra pens and pencils for the judges, and tables, chairs, and mats set up. After everyone has tried out, it is time to pick your team with your coaching staff. Put the scores from highest to lowest and do your picking.