Cheerleaders work hard every day to follow their dreams and push themselves to new levels of precision and fitness. They look at cheerleading as a way of life instead of merely a hobby or something to do after school. But without the right support system, gear, and transportation, cheerleaders would not be able to meet their personal cheer goals or get to all the year-round cheer events! Cheer parents are the backbone of cheerleading, providing cheerleaders with the means to excel at the sport they love. Without cheer parents, cheerleading would be a lot harder to pull off–not to mention, more expensive! So, with that in mind, there are several things a cheer parent should possess in order to be able to provide their cheer child everything they need.

1. A day planner. When we say cheerleading never stops, we mean it! Cheerleading is a year-round endeavor, and your child will probably want to participate as much as possible. That includes sideline cheer, cheer training camps, all the practices involved, and maybe even competitive cheer (which is a whole other schedule to put on the calendar!) In order to avoid becoming stressed over what is expected of your little cheerleader, have a day planner handy at all times. If you’re not a fan of writing things down by hand, we luckily live in the age of technology and you can program all of your cheerleader’s mandatory events right into your smart phone. Just remember to set reminders!

2. Fundraising flyers. The moment your child joined a cheer team, you probably realized just how expensive cheerleading really is. Well, the costs don’t stop. From annual participation fees to the necessary gear and uniforms, cheerleading costs a pretty penny. The last thing you want to do is tell your child that you can’t afford for them to continue doing what they love to do. Before you throw in the proverbial towel, however, you can cut down the costs with strategic fundraising! There are a lot of ways to raise money for cheer, and letting people in your social circle know of your fundraising efforts is paramount to sidestepping cost on a shoestring budget. Whether you decide to do a bake sale, car wash, or other fundraising campaign, make sure you advertise it effectively!

3. A shoulder to cry on. Cheerleading is usually a very fun activity with many memorable moments that a cheerleader will cherish forever. But there are times that the sport brings the water works, too! It might occur right after the loss at the big cheer competition, the last sideline game of the season, a very bad practice, or after an unexpected injury… but it will most certainly happen, and a cheer parent better be prepared to empathize. Cheerleaders are strong individuals–who learn the importance of teamwork and self-confidence as they grow on a squad–but are also under a constant state of pressure to hit their marks, practice like champions, and all the while succeed in school as they give back to their community. Talk about a lot on your child’s plate! They can maintain a balance for all of these high expectations only with the right support system, and that’s where your role as a cheer parent becomes the most critical for their success.

What are other must-have items for cheer parents? Do you think there are other ways to show your passion and support as a cheer parent? Let us know in the comments below!