If this isn’t your first year coaching cheerleading, then
you’ve probably had some ideas here and there for next season as they came to
mind. With tryouts around the corner in the spring, it’s time to put those
ideas into action and really determine what’s possible for your team. The whole
point of cheerleading is to take the sport to the next level, so getting the
right team in place to do so is paramount. In order to make the most out of
tryouts without compromising on your future team goals, there are some things
you need to be ready.
Judges. There are
a lot of elements that go into tryouts, but the main thing is a second eye. Do
you have an assistant coach, a team captain, or a prime team parent that can
assist you in hosting the tryouts? Let them know what your plans for next year
may be at this point in time and what they can keep in mind as they watch.
Remind them not to judge too harshly on new cheerleaders–you never know what
they may be capable of! Make sure to create judging forms so that your judges
will not only take accurate and helpful notes, but also every cheerleader gets
judged fairly and in the same fashion.
A gym. Competitive
coaches usually have this one set in stone already, but for sideline cheer
coaches or coaches who share a practice space, you have to make sure that you
can secure a gym ahead of time. Since it’s most likely on a weekend morning,
try to coordinate with the basketball coach to use the school gym, or try an
open track field if the weather is nice. The last thing you want to do is
postpone tryouts due to an unexpected time confliction with another team. Once
everything is squared away and you have a green light for a tryout space,
double-check with a school janitor or gym caretaker that you will have the
lights on and doors unlocked the day of! This minor detail can cost you, so do
your due diligence to have everything go smoothly.
A pre-tryout meeting.
Potential cheerleaders and their parents are most likely unaware of exactly
how much time goes into cheering. Attempt to lessen the number of team dropouts
by getting all of the information out on the table and by answering any
questions in a group setting. This significantly cuts down on individual
questions you get by cheer parents, which gives you more time to focus on team
growth next year! Frequently asked questions include how much does cheerleading
cost? What is the prospective schedule like? When is practice? What about
traveling? How much commitment do the parents have to put forth? Make
everything crystal clear, and have informed applicants show up on tryout day.
attitude. With so many thoughts to juggle in your head while you try to
pull off successful tryouts, it’s tough to remember that you’re not going to
have the same team as the year before. Seniors are leaving sideline teams, some
of your main cheerleaders are aging out of your competitive teams, and you will
have to piece together a whole new team dynamic. Connecting the dots won’t be
easy, but it can be done with a little compromise. Your goals for next season
don’t have to be thrown in the trash, just amended a little to what you have to
work with. And once you figure out who goes where, you will realize how strong
your new team is going to be!
What else do coaches
need for tryouts? What helped you during this process? Tell us your tips in the