Whether this is your first year auditioning or you’re already an experienced cheerleader, having anxiety about tryouts is normal. You may be stressed about making a completely new team while navigating high school, or you may be focused on moving up a level on a school or all-star team. Thankfully, audition anxiety can be reduced by successfully preparing yourself in the weeks before tryouts. 1. Ask as many questions as possible. Talk to your new coach and find out as much as you possibly can about your potential new team. It is especially important to discuss the practice schedule and the responsibilities of each team member. For example, some teams require their members to attend extra tumbling sessions or community service events throughout the year. You want to be fully aware of the expected time commitment so that you can properly assess whether you will be able to commit to the team. Seek out current cheerleaders and see if they can offer you any meaningful tips or pieces of advice that can help you through the audition process. 2. Eat healthily in the weeks leading up to tryouts. Food is the fuel of the body, so you will want to make sure you are providing your body with the best possible energy sources to help keep you alert during tryouts. Stay away from junk food and try to add protein-rich foods into your diet leading up to auditions. Fruits and veggies won’t hurt either! 3. Begin your fitness regimen early. Do not wait until the last minute to begin physically preparing for tryouts. The best results take time, and you will need to start putting in work weeks before auditions in order to do your best when the time comes. 4. Practice full out every single time! Pretend that you are performing in front of your future coaches each and every time you practice at home. This will help you be confident and prepared when you are expected to perform on audition day. 5. Be professional. Arrive on time and ready to perform. Your hair should be pulled back into a ponytail and you should arrive dressed in your audition attire. Be courteous to the other attendees (after all, they may be your new teammates!). Most importantly, listen to instructions and be ready to begin work as soon as the coach advises to do so. 6. Don’t panic. Try to stay as calm as possible even if you mess up on a routine. Coaches want to know that you will be able to hold your composure even when you make mistakes during a competition. In the unfortunate event that you mess up, take a deep breath and try to pick up where you left off. 7. Dress to impress. Pick out your audition attire a couple weeks before tryouts. You’ll want to make sure you are dressed comfortably as you will most likely be cheering, tumbling, and stunting throughout the day. You also don’t want to be stressed trying to figure out what to wear on the morning of auditions. 8. Build a support system. Having the support of your family and close friends will make this entire process easier. Listen to their advice and believe them when they say you can achieve it! Sometimes, our families and friends can see our true potential long before we realize it within ourselves. 9. Believe in the power of positive affirmations. Positive affirmations can help to instill a sense of positivity in your life. Repeating small quotes such as “I can do this” or “I will perform well” can drastically increase your overall sense of confidence during tryouts. Now, say it with me: “I will make the team!” 10. Most importantly, HAVE CONFIDENCE! The hardest part of auditioning is working up the confidence to try! Believe in yourself and do not let your nerves hold you back from having an awesome audition.