photo from www.MaddieGardner.com Cheerleaders are known for their spirit. But some stand out from the others for their ability to inspire and become role models for other cheerleaders. Perhaps the ultimate example is Maddie Gardner. If you’re a cheerleader, you know who Maddie Gardner is. If you live for cheer, you probably look up to her and aspire to achieve the same success! Maddie is not just a 2-time former Worlds champion; she is the first individual cheerleader to sign a sports management contract (with Proformance Sports Marketing and Entertainment) and the first cheerleader to perform a “ball up 360 tick-tock.” Now, she balances life as a college cheerleader and student at the of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with hosting her own cheer show, “Cheer Mashup,” and acting as the spokesperson and face of Chasse, a leading cheerleading apparel company. While we can’t tell you how to become an elite cheerleader over night, we can share tips and advice on how to be a model cheerleader just like Maddie. It’s all about attitude A big reason everyone loves Maddie is her attitude. She is down-to-earth, gracious, and friendly. She doesn’t act like she’s better than anyone else. Having a positive and good attitude is an absolute necessity if you want to inspire. Offer to help a team member who’s falling behind; motivate your squad when times get tough. Keep it clean on social media With social media, one wrong decision can be documented forever. Even if you immediately delete an angry Tweet, an inappropriate Facebook comment, or a questionable Instagram photo, there’s a chance someone saw and shared it. Always be aware of your audience and fans; many of them will be younger cheerleaders. When in doubt, don’t share it on social media. Get involved A great way to network or inspire others is to get involved with community fundraisers or cheer events. Offer to volunteer at a cheer fundraiser; see if you can help coach a youth squad. Volunteering or participating with other organizations and squads can help you meet others in the cheer industry and inspire! Work hard… Maddie is one hard working cheerleader! She balances school with cheer and multiple other responsibilities. Without hard work and perseverance, she would never be able to handle her schedule. Always try your hardest and give your best effort. …But know your limits If you really feel overwhelmed, it’s better to cut something out of your schedule than to slack or fall behind. Just because you know someone balancing five things doesn’t mean that you should. You may only have time for four things. Don’t push yourself just to catch up to or impress someone else. How do you inspire others? Does Maddie Gardner inspire you to be a better cheerleader?