As much as you may not be able to imagine not being a cheerleader, that’s not the case for everyone. For some, they may discover that cheerleading isn’t for them. Whether it’s a personal issue or just a loss of interest in the sport, quitting the team should be a mature and thought out decision and should be handled with care. If you’ve decided that cheer isn’t for you, follow our tips for quitting your team.
First, as cheer enthusiasts, we must ask: have you thought out your decision? Think about why you want to quit. Do you not like your teammates? Are you struggling learning the routines? Do you moan and groan when you’re at practice and games? If you’re just upset about not catching on, that’s not a good reason to quit! Everyone struggles in the beginning and some people don’t learn as quickly as others. If you’re having trouble learning (or even having an issue with a teammate), talk with your coach first. If you share your concerns, your coach may find a solution!
Second, have you given cheer a fair chance? If you’ve only been on the team for a couple of weeks, you haven’t had the time to bond with your squad and learn the value of cheer or being on a team. Remember, when you joined the squad you committed your time to and position on an entire team. It’s not fair to let them down unless you have a good reason to quit. Ask yourself if you can handle a year of cheer. Would you be able to stick out the year and then quit?
If, after much deliberation, you’ve decided that you need to quit mid-season, don’t just hand in notice to your coach. Quit the right way so you don’t let your coach or teammates down.
The first step is to talk with your parents and explain your decision. They should have a voice in your decision if they paid for program fees and dedicated time to take you to practice.
Next, talk with your coach. Be clear about why you’re quitting, especially if you had a problem with a teammate or the coach. It may be intimidating, but you should be honest. Ask the coach if there is any way you can help before leaving. If the team needs a replacement member, offer to stick around until they find a replacement. Or, if a game is in a few days and the routine requires you being there, offer to stay on until the game so they don’t have to create a new routine until after the game.
Lastly, and this may be the most difficult part, talk to your team and tell them why you’re quitting. Your teammates deserve to hear it from you, not the coach or captain. If you have friends on the cheer team, talk to them about how you can still hang out outside of cheer. You don’t want to lose a friendship because you left the team.
Once you’ve quit the team, don’t immediately join another activity or sport. Give yourself a little time to figure out what you’re interested in and what you’re not interested in. Maybe you need to focus on school right now. Or, maybe team sports aren’t for you. Remember, just because cheerleading didn’t work out for you, doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Not everyone is cut out for cheer and you may be meant for something else, whether its theater or swimming or softball.
Now tell us! Have you ever quit a team before? Has a teammate ever quit your squad? How did you handle the situation?