Tryout season is around the corner and you’re excited for a) your first year of cheerleading tryouts or b) you’ve had your taste of being a cheerleader and are ready for seconds. Either way, you are well aware that the competition to win a spot on a team with limited availability is an obstacle you face. Not to fear! We’re sharing everything we know to help you prep for the day of cheerleading tryouts! Fitness The day of tryouts requires both mental and physical energy. You’ll have to concentrate on learning the choreography and cheers plus physically performing these dance and tumbling moves in front of the judges. You want to make sure that you have a good breakfast in the morning to start your day off right. Complex carbs and protein will give you good energy with no crashes by the afternoon. An English muffin with peanut butter with an egg on the side and a little bit of fruit is the perfect filling breakfast. Hydrate yourself by drinking water throughout the day. Stay away from donuts, coffee and energy drinks as this will result in an energy crash. For lunch, eat a healthy sandwich and snack on fruits, veggies and peanut butter and crackers later in the day. Bring a Gatorade or Power Aid to practice with you to hydrate and restock on electrolytes. Stay away from anything with high sugar contents such as candy and sodas. Look the Part Judges at cheerleading tryouts are not only looking for someone who can perform the choreography. Most cheerleaders double as the school ambassadors so the judges are looking for someone that has a good attitude and leadership qualities, and will support the rest of the team. Encourage the other girls that you tryout with, be personable with future teammates and keep a smile on your face to showcase your positive attitude. Make sure you dress the part as well. Grab practice clothes in your team colors to show off your team spirit! Make sure that your practice clothes aren’t baggy so your dances, cheers and tumbling don’t get lost. Wear a t-shirt or tank top and practice shorts. Check out Campus Teamwear’s Practice Knit Shorts or Soffe Cheer Shorts to find any color you can think of. Pull your hair into a ponytail, cleanly away from your face, and wear minimal make up. You don’t want to look like your trying out for Miss America. Remember to remove fake nails and jewelry, as these will just serve as a distraction. Sound Off Another important factor when trying out for the team is to project your voice from your diaphragm, not your chest. Make sure you don’t scream and shriek! A loud, clear voice exudes confidence and is a characteristic of a cheerleader. Also be sure to clearly annunciate your words while cheering so you don’t sound like you are slurring. Remember that when you actually make the team, you’ll be on a football field where there is a lot of background noise. The judges are thinking about this when making their final decision! Calm Down! If you’re like most cheerleaders that are trying out for a team, chances are your stomach is in nervous knots. Afraid you’ll forget everything you are going to learn at the cheer tryouts? Bring a note pad with you so you can jot down the cheers and positions. Don’t tank up on caffeine! It will just make you more jittery than you already are. Most importantly, don’t worry about forgetting the words or a dance move. If you forget something just smile and keep going! Chances are, nobody will notice! Even if the judges do notice, they’ll see that you can handle yourself under pressure. Making a big deal about your mistakes will just draw attention to yourself in a bad way. In conclusion, here’s everything you need to know to have successful tryouts. Remember, that at the end of the day, it’s about having fun and bonding with other people who have the same passion. If you make this year’s team, congratulations! If you don’t, keep a good attitude and continue prepping because there is always next year. Chances are you’ll nail it!