Cheerleading is a dangerous sport already, and there are more ways than one to put you and your team in jeopardy. Traveling, competitions, sidelines and more have hidden red tape that cheerleaders would be smart not to cross–no matter what and where and why. What’s the worst that can happen, you ask? Well, let us tell you–a LOT. That is why we put together a complete list of all the cheerleading no-nos that you could possibly find yourself faced with and what you should do instead.

  • Cheerleaders will always be involved in their community in some way. Whether that is through fundraising, event participation, or just getting people excited at football games, cheerleaders will always be subject to public opinion. That’s why it’s super important for cheerleaders to uphold a good public image and avoid controversy as much as possible. When it comes to maintaining your and your team’s reputation, make sure to never do these four things at community events.

  • Competitive cheerleaders aren’t the only ones that have to travel– all cheer teams hit the road at some point. When en route to a destination, many actions can cause delays, injuries, worries, or your coach to engage in massive eye-rolling. The last thing you want to do is make your team late for the competition, the away game, or any other event. Without causing your coach or the bus driver a migraine, and without risking your own safety, there are just some things that cheerleaders should never, ever do on the travel bus.

  • You’ve made it to the competition, but now what? There’s so much to see and so much to do, you might accidentally get swept up in the madness without realizing it. To stay on track and hit the mat with full force, you have to focus. However, you can still sabotage your competition score off the mat and around the competition grounds. Some minor details can turn out to be completely detrimental for your team in the end. With that in mind, competitive cheerleaders should take note of the four worst things to do at a competition, and avoid them at all costs!

  • School is back in session, and that means that sideline cheerleaders are all heading inside from the football fields into the basketball gyms for the spring semester. Basketball is a whole new world from football, and cheerleaders can easily get confused not only about the differing rules and tactics, but also what to do while cheering for it. Although the offensive and defensive cheers may be similar, where to stand, how to watch, and how to react is a completely different ball game–literally. For an easy transition between the sports (especially if basketball is completely foreign to you), just try to avoid these three things at basketball games and you should be good to go.

Have you encountered another faux pas in cheerleading that cheerleaders should know about? Do you have advice for your fellow cheerleaders? Share your story in the comments below.