It sounds crazy at first. When, as a cheerleader, should you not cheer? Is there ever a time when cheering as a cheerleader is inappropriate? Actually, yes. It’s just as important to know when to not cheer as it is to know when to cheer, especially when you’re on the sidelines of a sports game. During sports games, there are key moments when you should cheer. The biggest moments are when your team is on the cusp of victory. If the football team is about throw a Hail Mary to win the game, you should cheer on the team and rouse the crowd to get excited. If the basketball team has scored to take the lead with just a few moments left on the clock, it’s a time to cheer. But there are other less obvious times to cheer, as well. When your team is losing, for one thing. This can be tricky though. Your cheer has to be specifically created for this kind of moment. It shouldn’t be about dominating the rival team; instead, it should be about having the drive to rise up and keep going. Your cheers should be inspirational and encouraging. You want the crowd to focus on what the team can do, rather than its current losing status. You should also cheer when an injured player returns to the field or court or recovers from a hit. Even if it’s from the rival team, a good sport cheers for everyone’s recovery, no matter what jersey they wear. On the opposite side of the spectrum, you should never cheer when someone gets injured. Even if you think you’re being supportive, this is not the time. If a football player gets taken down and isn’t getting up, or if two basketball players collide and fall, your squad should immediately fall silent. Many squads will stand in a unified stance watching and waiting for the injured player to get up. Even if a rival team’s member gets injured, you should always show respect, especially since many times the audience will follow your lead. If you stop cheering, they’ll realize something serious has occurred. You should also hold off on cheering during a big play of the game. Remember, you’re not the focus – the football and basketball players are. Your cheers should predominantly take place at the very beginning of the game, in between plays, during half time and breaks, and once the game has ended. You don’t want to take the focus off of the other team. It’s their game! You’re there for support and spirit. Half time and the pep rally is your time to shine. Lastly, remember that, while you should definitely cheer when your team wins the game, focus on celebrating the win, not rubbing the loss in the other team’s face. Your cheers should be about playing hard for a win, not dominating the “loser” team. In regard to the entire game, keep your cheers sportsman-like. Don’t lower yourselves to cheap insults or jabs at the other team. The audience will only follow your lead. Instead, keep the game upbeat and positive. It’s about two hardworking teams playing for a hard-earned win. Now, get out on the sidelines and cheer! Is there another time when you think it’s inappropriate to cheer? How does your squad determine when to and when not to cheer?