Skip to main content

How to Become a Cheerleader

So, you think you might want to be a cheerleader? That's fantastic! Go for it! There is no harm in trying and coaches are constantly looking for new athletes. 

Cheerleaders are not only all-around athletes, they are usually leaders within their school, positive role models and some of the biggest proponents of school spirit that you will find. If this sounds like something you're interested in then keep reading!

Before I get started with the details, as a coach I feel like I need to say that if you're serious about cheering be prepared to put in the work! Especially if you're starting cheer at an older age. It's never too late to start cheering, but you may have to make up for some lost time so be prepared to work harder than everyone else for a while. 

Now, let's get on with the helpful tips!

become a cheerleader


  • Contact the cheerleading coach. First, I suggest going straight to the source to get as much information as possible. The coach will be able to tell you what skills are required to make the team, when tryouts are held, the percentage of individuals that make the team, time commitment involved, and any other questions that you might have. 
  • Talk to current cheerleaders. Any questions that you did not get answered by the coach you can pose to other cheerleaders. Also, take the time to get to know the cheerleaders. They will be a great resource for you!


  • Learn basic arm and leg motions. Hint: Pay close attention to arm, hand, foot and even finger placement in motions. The details really do matter. Practice in front of a mirror and check out our other tips for guidance.
  • Build strength. Cheerleading skills require a lot of strength. Those jumps use more muscles than you might imagine and if the team stunts and tumbles, that is another level of power and intensity. Because cheerleading requires strength in so many muscles groups, most strength building exercises will help, but a focus on legs, core, and arms is a great start.
  • Work on flexibility. Cheer is a perfect combination of both strength and flexibility. To be a great cheerleader you to work on flexibility daily.
  • Start introducing yourself to cheer jumps, but pay close attention to technique. Most coaches would rather see your jump a little lower with better technique than higher with horrible technique.  
  • Tryouts are so important in cheerleading! Get educated on how your school operates tryouts. Some coaches hand-pick their team while others use a panel of judges. Talk to the coach to determine the type of tryouts then ask what the judges will look for. 
  • Go through tryout skills in front of friends and family members to get used to performing in front of others. 
  • Here is a list of tips to help you prepare for tryouts. 


  • Watch for summer clinics at area schools, gyms or universities. This will help you kick-start your skills as well as give you a taste of cheer life to see if you really like the sport. 
  • Go to some beginning tumbling classes or ask a friend to help you learn the basics. 
  • If you think you want to be a cheerleader, but you're still unsure or feel like you have more to learn, ask the coach about the possibility of being the mascot or a manager. This will give you a year to watch and learn from the sidelines. This could also apply if you didn't make the team, but still want to be part of it. Most coaches will take note of your willingness to still be involved even if you're not front and center. 

If you follow the steps above and still have questions, please reach out to us! We're here to help in any way possible.

You can be a cheerleader if you put your mind to it and work hard! Best of luck!

how to become a cheerleader