It’s an honor to be named captain of your cheer squad. It means your teammates look up to you and your coach thinks you’re a great leader. As a captain, you have the opportunity to help your coach and teammates. You have a role in their growth. However, with the perks come the difficulties. It’s not easy being captain and here are five reasons why: You can’t play favorites. Even if you’re friends with all the cheerleaders on your squad, you’re most likely closer to some than others. One of them may even be your best friend! There’s also the chance that there’s a girl you don’t get along with as well. As a captain, you have to put your friendships and emotions aside and treat everyone fairly. Talk with your friends and make sure they understand this so they don’t get upset if you don’t automatically take their side in a disagreement with another teammate. You must arrive early and leave late. In order to set the best example for your team, you have to make sure you’re always punctual to practice! You may need to arrive early to help the coach get everything ready. You’ll most likely always be the first to arrive and the last to leave at practice. You must always remain spirited. While cheerleaders are naturally spirited, it’s hard to remain upbeat after a competition loss or a bad practice. As a captain, you have to remain spirited to keep your team’s energy up. Even if you’re feeling down, you have to act positive for your team. It’s hard, but the team and coach will rely on you to remain strong. Give your team a pep talk and show them what it really means to be a champion. You need to instruct (including your friends). While it may seem like a given that, as a captain, you may be instructing your teammates at times and providing feedback on what they need to improve, this is a lot easier said than done when it comes to your friends. It’s hard to lead when you’re afraid your friends may think you’re telling them what to do or criticizing them. Some teammates may be more difficult to instruct than others. It’s up to you to tell your teammates the truth without being hurtful or seeming critical. You must spend more time cheering. While this is generally a positive (who doesn’t love more time for cheerleading?), it can be an obstacle when you already have several hours of practice, school, and homework during the week. When a coach is teaching a new routine, it’s up to the captain to learn it quickly in order to help out fellow teammates who are having difficulty. The coach may even teach you the routine outside of practice before teaching the rest of the squad. This means finding more time in your already busy schedule for more practice. Being cheering, the coach may also require meetings with you to assist with selecting team uniforms, equipment, or other cheer supplies. Make sure you have a planner to stay organized! Remember, even though it’s hard being a captain, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be one. Being a team captain is a very rewarding experience and you can learn a lot of leadership skills that will help you throughout life outside of cheer. What do you think is the best and/or worst part about being the captain?