Check out the Complete Guide to Inspiring Spirit: Tips and Tricks for Cheerleaders!

This week's Spirit Series blog will focus on the two most common sports games that cheerleaders perform at: football and basketball. As a cheerleader, your job at any event is to amp up the crowd, motivate your team and bring everyone together to support the community. However, these two sports have some pretty big differences that you need to keep in mind!

Here's a quick breakdown of some of the major differences that you should consider when planning your cheers and stunts, and when picking your uniforms.cheerleading for football and basketball

The Seasons
One of the biggest differences between these two sports is when each one's season take place. Football is getting into full swing right at the start of the school year, and through the fall. Just as football season is wrapping up in the winter, basketball season is kicking off. That timing has a major impact on where each sport is played. Football is played outside, so the players, crowds and cheerleaders commit to braving any weather they may get. That is why squads need to stock up on layering options for their cheerleading uniforms for football season. Basketball season takes place during the winter and is played on a court inside of a gym. With the heat on, the gym full of fans and an intense game taking place, cheerleaders probably want to be in a breathable, lightweight uniform.

The Cheers
Every member of a cheer squad should be familiar with the rules and scoring systems of each sport. When working on cheers for your school's teams, make sure that you are creating some that can be easily adjusted to work for any sport. Keep in mind the distance from the sidelines to the bleachers as well. On a football field, the bleachers are typically raised, so that the cheerleaders will be below the crowd. For basketball, the sidelines and bleachers nearly mesh together, separated by just a little bit of floor.

Be sure to consider each sport's sideline regulations. Keep these in mind when planning your stunts - you don't want to do anything to cause a penalty for your team! If your squad isn't sure about the regulations, have your coach or captain check with the football and basketball coach or captain.

Don't forget to account for the differences in acoustics as well. Inside of a gymnasium, your cheers will travel well, echo, and don't have to compete with much outside noise. On a football field, your voices can get lost in the wind or blend with other noises like nearby traffic. No wonder cheerleading megaphones are so popular!

The Spirit
No matter what sport you are cheering for, the energy and attitude of the crowd plays a major part in your team's performance! Be sure to come up with unique and creative spirit ideas for both football and basketball players throughout their season to show your support at pep rallies and before big games!

Do you have any tips for squads that cheer at games for multiple sports? Post them in our comments section!