How to Make the Middle School Cheer Squad

Five Methods:JumpingCommunicatingPerfecting the movesTumblingTryouts

Cheerleading in middle school is really fun and a good experience for high school. Although not as tough as high school, it is still pretty challenging. If you want to make the cheerleading squad read these tips and you just might.

Method 1
Jumping

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    Learn how to jump correctly. Practice your toe touch and Herkie every day so that your jumps gradually improve. Keep your back straight and your toes pointed.
    • Try to improve your height daily, as a hyper-extended high jump is best.
    • You can improve your jumps by doing 10 straddle leg lifts on your right and left leg each and doing pike leg lifts.
    • Do squat jumps, toe raises, squats, and hop around to add some height to your jump.
    • Stretch a lot.
    • Try to build leg muscle, flexibility, and extension to have wonderful jumps.

Method 2
Communicating

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    Work on being loud. Practice speaking loud and clear. Try to say your cheers on your stomach with a loud and proud cheer voice. Make sure at tryouts you have one of the loudest, clearest, and nicest voice out of all the girls so you stand out more.

Method 3
Perfecting the moves

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    Keep your motions stiff. Make sure your arms are stiff, and tense up your muscles. Keep them straight, unless the motion calls for a bend of the arms. Basic motions include: Bow and Arrow, Daggers, Go or Punch, Hands on Hips, T, Broken T, Right L, Left L, Right K, Left K, Right Diagonal, Left Diagonal, Touchdown, Low Touchdown, High V, Low V, and many others. Just make sure that your arms are super tight and locked in place. Make sure that your fists are placed correctly and your arms are slightly in front of you.
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    Be flexible. Stretch twice a day everyday by doing a pike, straddle, wall straddle, butterfly, pigeon stretch, floor lunge, straightening the front leg in a floor lunge, doing splits, doing a shoulder stretch, triceps stretch, bicep stretch, hamstring stretch, etc, until you feel nice and limber. Middle school cheerleaders need to be in a split, bridge, and hopefully an oversplit.
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    Know your role. If you are tall and skinny, start lifting weights and build up arm and leg strength. You will be catching between 60 and 100 pounds, depending on the size of the girl. You may not always have to catch the girl, only if the stunt goes wrong. You will be watching to make sure everything goes perfectly and making sure that everybody is safe by catching the girl if the stunt goes wrong. If anyone hits the ground, it should be you.
    • If you are bulky, you may want to aim for the base. Lift weights, since you will usually be catching the girls in the stunts. You should be one of the stronger girls. Make sure you can toss and catch girls.
    • If you are petite, be really flexible. You will most likely be the flyer, the most sought after position. You should also be really tight and stiff, so it is easier for the girls to catch you. You should be at a healthy weight, if not it will make it harder for the girls to catch you. However, don't let this discourage you; getting roles usually depends on what the coach wants you to do, and there are plenty of heavier flyers.
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    Work for your role! For all roles, you need to have a good toe touch, cartwheel, round off, handstand, split, stiff movements, Flyers should get in a routine of body weight training, stretching, practicing stunt positions on the floor, balancing, and endurance running. Spotters should get in a routine of weightlifting, body weightlifting, stretching, throwing and catching dolls and balls, and endurance running. Bases should follow the same routine as spotters, with more emphasis on weightlifting and throwing and catching.
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    Pursue a great diet. Eat your food pyramid and drink 8 glasses of water. Get plenty of sleep and be hygienic. Exercise everyday. Other sports to do to prepare for cheer are swimming, gymnastics, track, and dance. Swimming because it builds arm and back muscles, gymnastics because it builds flexibility and tumbling, track because it builds speed, endurance, and leg power, and dance because it builds flexibility, dancing ability, and helps you with cheer.

Method 4
Tumbling

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    Take a class on tumbling to help you. Learn the basics like a cartwheel, roundoff, and handstand. You can teach yourself those by yourself.
    • To do a cartwheel, start with one leg in front and keep it straight and pointed. Lift your arms above your head. Put one arm down at a time, placing the arm on the same side as the front leg down first and the other one second, while swinging your back leg up and then your front leg. Land with your legs straight and rotate backwards from the way you went into it. Keep your arms and legs stiff and your toes pointed when doing them.
    • To do a roundoff, do the same thing you would in a cartwheel, except put your hands in a T position, with the first hand on the ground vertical and the other one horizontal. You will land facing the opposite direction.
    • To do a handstand, start out in a lunge position with your hands above your head. Lean forward while simultaneously lifting up the back leg and bounce onto your hands while bringing the other hand up. Practice each move at least ten times a day to master it. Make sure to keep your legs and toes straight and pointed while doing these moves. When exiting a handstand, exit in the same lunge position. You can also teach yourself a backbend, but don't go trying to do a back handspring by yourself.

Method 5
Tryouts

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    Know what to expect at the tryouts. Most middle schools consist of 2-3 days of cheer tryouts:
    • Day 1: The first day is where they teach you a cheer, dance, or chant. On that day, you start with a warm up and stretching routine, followed by some free time to practice cheer moves, while they separate girls and have them perform in groups the cheer, a toe touch, and optional tumbling. This is why being in a toe touch is important. Plus, they watch you at all times, so in the free time practice handstands, cartwheels, round offs, splits, and the cheer they taught you. Talk to previous cheerleaders and stretch with them. They get rid of 15-20 girls on this day.
    • Day 2: On the second day, they have you practice the cheer again, do all kinds of jumps, like the Herkie, tuck, pike, and toe touch, and have you do more tumbling, and they may even have you do certain stunts, since this is the day the coach decides the position certain girls may be good for. If you are tall and strong you can be a spotter. If you are medium sized, strong, and on the bulkier side you can be a base. If you are petite and extremely flexible you can be a flyer. This is the day most middle schools choose all of their cheerleaders.
    • Day 3: If your school has a third day, the third day will most likely be spiriting. They will be seeing which girls have the most school spirit, attitude, exuberance, peppiness, and are outgoing.
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    Stand out at tryouts. So many girls try out for cheerleading and so many fail because they don't have that extra oomph. Sometimes, a girl with tons of potential won't make it because she lacks difference and just blends in with the others. To stand out:
    • Wear a school club shirt or sport shirt, dance shorts, white cheer shoes, white ankle socks, have your hair in a ponytail with layers braided then pinned back, and have a small tattoo on your cheek or hand.
    • Put on light makeup like concealer, waterproof or clear mascara, eyeshadow, sparkly lip gloss, and bronzer.
    • Have a tan, as it makes you look nicer, and it can hide your flaws and make you look slimmer.
    • Make sure your hair is nice and shiny while having clear skin.
    • Keep your legs and pits shaved and hairless.
    • Make sure your appearance is clean, neat, and hygienic.
    • Have white teeth so you can proudly show off a smile the whole time.
    • When cheering, have on a smile and at other times keep your lips in a slight upturn.
    • Keep your toes pointed and legs straight when airborne, even if you can't do a toe touch completely, as toe touches can be worked on.
    • Be in all perfect splits, and have a good bridge.
    • Try to do different jump drills and stretches during break times.
    • Talk to lots of girls and have a wonderful personality.
    • Participate in tumbling, and even if you aren't the best at a cartwheel and round off, do them anyway, along with a handstand.
    • Be able to do a back bend if all else fails and you know that you cannot do a cartwheel or round off.
    • Make sure your Herkies are nice and tight, and know that tucks are the easiest jump. Pikes are the hardest, and you are not expected to be able to do one.
    Once you have been called up to perform and the judges are deciding who is good enough, they will look up, so have a handstand competition, against the wall if you aren't great, do cartwheels across the room, give people advice about different things, ask good questions, not questions like "Would I be a good flyer?", and practice a few other jumps with your friends. Practice with people who are worse than you, so you will seem better.
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    If you make the team, keep up your routines on days in which you don't have practice. If you don't make it, sign up for gymnastics, dance, and/or track and do swimming as a hobby. Sign up for the track team that year instead so you will be in shape and have endurance and leg power, plus jumping height if you do hurdles. Do this if you had problems with stamina and jumping. Or, do jazz, hip hop and modern dance, as these are the dances most related to cheer, if you were having problems with your dance, motions, slight problems with jumps, and flexibility. Sign up for gymnastics if your problems were with flexibility and tumbling.

Tips

  • Find out when the cheerleading tryouts are so that you have time to prepare.
  • Stretch a lot.
  • Have a great attitude even if you don't make it. This will be remembered should anything go wrong and they need new members or it'll set you in great stead for the following year. In the meantime, concentrate hard on your studies and critical thinking skills.
  • Keep your head high, never look down, stretch, dress nice,and last but not least smile and be confident in your self.
  • Try to give it all, act like it's your only chance to make the cheer squad, this will get you pumped up to make the team.
  • To keep your body fit, stretch and be sure to eat healthy foods.
  • Keep your head up high, even if you don't make it.
  • Take plenty of water and a snack for afterwards.

Warnings

  • Cheerleading is a very dangerous sport. You may get injured. Get a physical so you know you will be in shape. Your school might have them as mandatory but even if they don't, get one anyway.

Things You'll Need

  • A cheer practice t-shirt every day
  • Soffe/dance shorts
  • Comfortable shoes, like cheer shoes or dance shoes
  • A sports bra
  • A tightly-pulled back ponytail, braid, half-up, bun, etc.

Article Info

Categories: Cheerleading