Summer is the season for hitting the beach and indulging in
ice cream (uh, and summer reading—while on the beach eating ice cream, of
course). It’s also the season for
kicking off a new cheer year. While the
competitive season takes place in the fall and winter, summer is when
cheerleaders prepare for the work ahead.
Everybody has their own goals for what they want to
accomplish over the summer, but here are a few ideas of what every cheerleader
can hope to achieve over the next few months.
the weather outside is frightful…being cooped up in the gym for practice isn’t
After a long winter season of hard work indoors, indulge in
summer sunshine and the sweet aroma of freshly-cut grass.
Being able to practice outdoors is something
that can be achieved during the summer season through early or mid-fall,
depending on where your squad is located.
Take advantage of good weather while it lasts! If your squad meets officially with coaches
or instructors over the summer for practice or cheer camp, see if you can hold
practice on campus grounds, at a park, or even at the beach. Don’t
forget your sunblock!
For unofficial meetings, such as
captain-led practices to teach incoming members the cheers they’ll need to know
for games, the great outdoors is a great option. Meeting at a park can be
especially useful, since many games in the fall are outside as well, and
cheerleaders can practice their volume and enunciation from one set of
bleachers to the other. Beaches, which are more crowded this time of year, may
not be the best location for practicing cheering itself.
important reminder, if your team is meeting unofficially and there are no
coaches or professional supervisors (i.e., a gymnastics instructor or counselor
from cheer camp or tumbling practice), do
not practice stunts or tumbling alone. Especially on the beach, where the
sand increases potential injuries for practicing these types of tricks. Cheerleaders must put safety first. (Pool stunting, we're looking at you!)
Drink More Water
When you work hard, especially
outside in the sun, you sweat more, and you need more water. Invest in a water bottle that has a good lid
or cap and is small enough to fit in your bag, and take it with you on the go
for hydrating at practice or sipping throughout the day. Many water bottles are designed to hold both
hot and cold liquids as well, making them useful year-round. can fill up your water bottle at water
fountains or ask a barista to use your reusable bottle instead of a disposable
cup (hooray for sustainability!).
Water’s ability to hydrate and keep
us healthy is important, and water as a beverage choice has its perks, like
healthier skin and rejuvenated muscles. If you want to splash up your water
with flavor, try adding fresh or frozen fruit or lemons to your water bottle.
Summer is the easiest time of year
to want to drink more water. When the sun is
strong, somehow nothing tastes better than water. Sip all summer and you’ll find that keeping
your water intake up in all other seasons will be easier, too.
curls dominate competitions, and on the sidelines, high ponytails and
half-up-half-down looks are go-tos for squad hairstyles that show off matching
bows. When it comes to practice, though,
braids are the unsung heroes. French
braids are perfect for cheer camp, as they keep hair tightly in place for
tumbling and stunting practice. Occasionally
braids will appear on sidelines or at competitions as well, and they stand out
because so few squads bring them to the mat. Braids are the perfect blend of clean uniformity and creative detail.
to popular belief, short hair can be braided as well! Depending on the length
and cut, it may be a half-up-half-down French braid that keeps hair out of your
face or a mini-braid to pin back long bangs and keep them out of your face
during practice. Cute and efficient is
always a winning combination!
more reason braiding is a cheer goal? There’s no better way to master braiding
techniques than to throw a sleepover with your squad where everyone braids one
another’s hair. Team bonding traditions
like “curling parties” are less common with the popularity of using hair clips
for competitions, but modern cheerleaders can keep the spirit of these events
alive with “braiding parties.” Even if
practice braids aren’t for your squad, let’s face it, learning how to wind a
waterfall braid or master the impossibly cute milkmaid braid can only be a good thing.
What are your summertime cheer goals? Be sure to share!