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Cheerleading Skills Clinic: How To Plan a Successful Clinic

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Recently we held our first skills clinic and we were pretty pleased with how it went! I have several
articles about the clinic so be sure to read through everything for more detailed information. 

Not sure what a skills clinic is? Start with our article describing what it is and how your team may benefit from it. Then you can come back to this article to start diving into the details. 

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Select a date: Dates are so important! Pay attention to your school's calendar to see when is the best time to hold your clinic and consider when your special guests might have availability. We chose the end of February for a couple of reasons. 1. It is about a month before our tryouts 2. We were able to squeeze it in at the end of the winter season before spring sports officially kick-off.

How long will your skills clinic last: We decided to do two Saturdays in a row from 8 a.m. to noon each of those days. To be honest, we could have done three sessions (or two sessions with the mock tryouts being on a third day), but for our first year I was very happy with two and how much information we were able to share.

Reserve the gym: Pretty self explanatory. Be sure you have a location before you advertise!

Decide on a form of registration: We created a google form and required the parents to complete the form. We asked for basic information such as name, grade, contact information, parent/guardian information, emergency contact information, and required the parents to type their name as their authorization for their child to participate at their own risk and hold harmless the program and coaches. (I'm not an attorney so if you're worried about this part, you may want to contact one.) TIP: Provide a dropdown list for grade level instead of an open text field. This will prevent girls from registering that do not qualify based on grade level.

Create a flyer and advertise: Put together an athletic-looking flyer to advertise your event. The first flyer does not have to have any special guests listed, just the basic information of who is hosting the clinic (list your program and coaches involved), a brief description of what the clinic is for, where it will be held, when it will be held, how much it will cost, how to register. TIP: Use Canva for a quick and easy guide.

Book any special guests: This part was very exciting for us! A lot of the girls that attended the clinic have cheered before (We did get three new ones!) so they are bored with us used to us. So, booking special guests brought a fresh atmosphere and excitement. 

We had one special guest each day. 

The first Saturday we had the football team's athletic trainer. He has over 30 years of experience being a personal and athletic trainer. He spent time talking to the athletes about drive, respect, nutrition, and striving to succeed. He also talked to them about the importance of their core and walked them through some core exercises before having a short Q & A. Fantastic!

The second Saturday our special guest focused on flexibility. Who better to teach flexibility than the director of a ballet company and former professional ballet dancer?! He taught the athletes some basic anatomy and science behind flexibility, walked them through some flexibility exercises, and answered many questions along the way. TIP: If you bring someone in to focus on flexibility make sure the athletes are warmed up and ready for static stretching. We brought our flexibility expert in at the end of the second day. 

TIP: Create separate flyers to announce your specials guests, but format them the same as your original flyer so it's easy to tie everything together visually. The guest's flyer should include their photo, title, and a short bio.

Determine your agenda and be prepared: Take the time to put together a thorough agenda to cover as many aspects of cheer and as many skills as possible. You want to make the clinic well worth their time and offer golden nuggets of information that really help the athletes. Check out our post of everything we covered at our clinic and continue to check back for more information about the actual exercises, drills, tips, and tricks we featured along the way. 

Have fun! Take the time to bond with the athletes and let them know that you truly care about them and their success. Sometimes that’s all that’s standing between a good athlete becoming great.

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