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While the specifics of what each high school cheerleading coach is looking for may vary to some degree, there are certain things that they are all looking for, whether they are putting together a competitive squad or a sideline cheer team.
One of the most important qualities that coaches look for in a prospective cheerleader is a sparkly personality with a big smile. Even competition teams need these type of girls to win over the judges. Both competitive and sideline cheer coaches are also looking for big voices. At tryouts, it is important to shout out your cheer. Don't be afraid that you will be too loud. In cheerleading, there is no such thing as "too loud."
If your high school team goes to competitions, it will probably have tumbling requirements. For some teams, a girl needs to have, at the very minimum, a standing back handspring. You should make sure to acquire the necessary tumbling skills before going to tryouts.
Competition cheerleading coaches will also be looking for girls with good jumps, such as toe touches or pikes, and good motions. If you don't know what these terms are and you are planning to try out for a high school competition cheer team, then you really need to sign up for some prep classes at a local cheer gym. These classes can teach you proper form for your jumps and how to have tight motions.
These classes are also a good way to learn cheerleading terms. You don't want to go to tryouts and have the coach ask you if you are a flyer or a backspot and have no idea what he is talking about. Luckily, many cheer gyms offer high school prep classes to help out girls who want to make their school teams.
Preparation is the key to doing well at your high school cheerleading tryouts. The days of walking into a tryout with nothing more than a smile and a good attitude are, for the most part, over.
The first thing you need to do is check with either the high school cheerleading coach or the school's website as to what exactly are the requirements for making the team. Many high school teams now participate in cheerleading competitions in addition to doing sideline cheering at football games, so they may require that their members have tumbling skills, such as back handsprings or tucks. If you don't have these skills, you should definitely consider taking tumbling classes at a cheerleading gym.
It is also important to check with the school during the spring months before you actually want to try out for the high school cheerleading team because some coaches offer tumbling clinics and other gym time during the summer. These sessions are a good way for a prospective cheerleader to get to know the coaches and other students that are or will be on the team. It will also give you an idea of the skills you will need to work on, if any, to make the team.
Don't be afraid to talk to past and present cheerleaders about what they believe the coaches are looking for in a new prospect. For instance, some teams are interested in girls with tight motions. If so, use the weeks before tryouts to work on tightening up your arm motions.
The more you learn about a high school team, its coaches and its squad members, the better prepared you can be for tryout day, and the better your chances will be of making the team.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|