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How to Prepare Your Child for Cheerleading Tryouts

If your child has decided to tryout for cheerleading, but you have no idea how to help them prepare, we're here to provide you with some tips along the way. We also have other great resources on our site for your child, so encourage them to take advantage of our help as well. Now let's get into it!

prepare your child for cheer tryouts

Encourage them to practice.

Cheerleading take a lot of practice and the small details are so important. You can help your child by taking videos of them cheering, dancing, jumping and doing their arm motions then go over the videos with them. Sometimes our muscles make us think we're doing things perfectly even when we're not. By analyzing the videos your cheerleader will be able to pinpoint areas that need improvement.  

Have your child ask for videos of the tryout content.

Speaking of videos... ask if the tryout material is available in video format for practice and review. Some coaches do not like to share videos because they want to see what the cheerleader will learn during the practice time given, but some will share videos so you can practice at home. It never hurts to ask and a coach is usually impressed by someone taking the initiative to work on skills at home. 

Get outside help, if you're able. 

If you know a former cheerleader, coach, or anyone else that is able to help prepare your child for tryouts, take advantage of their knowledge. If you do not know anyone with those skills, consider taking your child to a local cheer gym. Depending on the gym's schedule, some gyms allow you to pay for private lessons or a feedback session to prepare for tryouts. 

Provide them with realistic feedback or ask someone that knows.

I'm a mom myself and it's easy to put on the parent blinders, but it is important to be honest with yourself and your child about their skills. This can be a touchy subject because you do not want to discourage them or make them feel insecure. However, finding ways to be realistic about their skill level will be good for them. 

Make sure they're dressing the part.

I've been coaching long enough to see many things. Unfortunately, I've seen girls show up to cheer wearing denim shorts before. That is usually in the younger levels, but it can happen with older girls too. As I've said before, coaches pay attention to details. Do not allow your child to wear necklaces, big earrings, watches, or any other type of jewelry to cheer practice. Your child should be in comfortable athletic clothing that fits them (not too tight).

Talk with them about the possibility of not making the team and how they should react.

This goes along with being realistic with your child about their skills. Usually, not everyone is going to make the team and that's okay. It's all about how they react and what they do next that helps them build character and strength.

If they do not make the team, they will immediately look for a response from you, so be prepared. I like to compare this with something that we did with our kids when they were small. When our kids would get hurt (not hurt seriously) they would immediately turn to my husband and me for a reaction. We would quickly cheer for them and clap our hands like we were happy and thrilled. Although usually confused, they would begin to dry their tears and smile or clap their hands along with us. Very soon they forgot that they had gotten hurt. Much as our children turned to us for our reaction then, they still do that today. As parents we must think before reacting because our children are watching our every move.

Talk to your child about the proper reaction if they do not make the team. It may seem like it at the time, but not making the cheer team is not the worst thing that can happen. Talk to them about being happy for those that did make the team, having respect for themselves and taking the rejection with maturity, and using this time to work on their skills to improve for future tryouts. 

Talk with them about how to react if they DO make the team.

If your child makes the team, congratulations! However, remind them that there will likely be girls that did not make the team and they should be sensitive to that. A little kindness in this situation can go a long way. Now they're in the position to help someone else. 

No matter the outcome of cheerleading tryouts, the most important thing is to just love on your kids and let them know that you're proud of them no matter what!

how to prepare your child for cheer tryouts