How to Be a Better Cheerleader

Two Methods:Performance and PhysicalityAttitude and Appearance

What do you think when you think of a good cheerleader? Tight with motions? Can hold a stunt? Well, it's not just that. You need to be fit in 3 categories: mental/emotional health, social health, and physical health. Cheerleading isn't just all fun and games. If you're reading this article, you're here because you want to become a better cheerleader, because you're bored and have nothing else to do, or because you're not fit in all three categories. This article will help you become the best cheerleader you can be!

Method 1
Performance and Physicality

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    Stretch! Whatever stretches your coach has you do at the beginning of practice, do at home 1-2 times per day (splits, etc..) If you are a flyer, stretch your scorpion and heel stretch/bow and arrow. Over time, you will see a huge improvement!
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    Improve your basics! Handstands, bridges, back handsprings, and back bends will help you with more difficult tumbling. It's true!
    • Learn how to fall the right way. Believe it or not, there is a right way of falling! If you're falling backwards, don't just freak out or twist; just do a safety roll, which is just almost doing a backwards roll, but not rolling and just stopping with your hands above your head. If you're falling forwards, tuck your chin in, extend your arms above your head, and roll.
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    Improve your jumps. Remember to keep tight and squeeze your body the whole time. If you're sloppy, you can get hurt. A good way to improve your jumps is to practice the position of the jump you want to become better at when you're just sitting down watching TV or on the computer.
    • For further improvement, buy a pair of ankle weights (about 1 to 2 pounds each is good). While wearing them, do "leg lifts" - sit in a straddle, put your hands in front of you, and lift your right leg 10 times without letting it touch the ground in between each lift. Do the same with your left leg, and then with both legs at the same time. It's important that you keep your hands in front of you and don't let your legs touch the ground in between each lift. Do this every day and your jumps will be much much better!
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    Take tumbling. Tumbling is extremely beneficial to an aspiring cheerleader. A couple of benefits of tumbling are learning how to have better tumbling passes, helping with jumps, and needed exercise.
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    Work on your arm motions. When cheering, your motions should be sharp, not wild and uncontrolled. Shoot your arm motions, and make sure your arms aren't sloppy. Squeeze your arms at all times.
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    Work out every day! Being strong will help your tumbling, jumps, stunts, and everything else.
    • Practice makes permanent, so even when you practice, fix every possible mistake.
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    Buy equipment to practice at home (don't do anything too dangerous, though). If you're working on back handsprings, barrels will really help.

Method 2
Attitude and Appearance

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    Pay attention to your appearance. If you don't take yourself seriously and look like a mess, why should other people take you seriously? Wear clothes that fit you, not ones that are too tight or too baggy. The best choice for cheer clothes are soft shorts and a T-shirt or tank top.
    • Wear your hair up - ponytails are ideal. Not only does it look pretty, but it also keeps the hair out of your face while cheering.
    • Never wear jewelry! It can get caught, snagged or ripped, and that hurts.
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    Be loud! Don't be afraid to yell! However, don't start screaming. You will stand out to the coach if they can hear you over everyone else. Remember to shout loudly and say the words clearly.
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    Have confidence. If you don't make it the first time, keep practicing and trying. If you do make it, then don't think, "Gee, I'm the best." Obviously you have skill if you've made the team, but no one (including the coaches) will want to deal with that kind of attitude, and it can affect you next tryout season.
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    Be Positive! Always have a positive attitude! Always believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, you will succeed!
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    Don't let your personal life interfere.
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    Never, ever give up!
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    If you want to work on one specific skill, take private lessons.
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    Try your best, even at your practice. You perform what you practice, and if you practice not trying, or saying it's too hard, you won't perform as well. As as long as you can say "I gave 100%," your coach will be happy.
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    Be kind. This step is another important one. When you watch movies, you may see cheerleaders being stuck up and rude but in reality, that's not how a cheerleader should be. If you're an awesome cheerleader, you will have respect for yourself and others. Don't pick on the new guy or people lower than you. That`s not cool even though your friends do it. A cheerleader is nice to everyone, and being nice means being nice to your team members too
    • Ask questions, ask your coach for things they are looking for also ask for previous routines and tapes.
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    Befriend a former cheerleader. Ask someone who's been on the team in previous years, preferably Varsity cheerleaders with more experience.


  • If you get hurt during practice, don't start breaking down at practice crying blaming people. State what you did wrong, fix it, and go right back and try it again with out saying a word. Coaches eat that up!
  • Stretch, workout and keep a healthy diet.
  • If you're in a competition and make a mistake, pretend that was supposed to happen.
  • Always be cooperative with your team. Even if they have a really bad idea just smile and go with it or say politely say "that's a good idea, want to hear my idea?"
  • It's okay to mess up. Everybody does it. If you do, just smile and act like it never happened. Coaches and judges like it when you can be honest and make mistakes. You can fix them later.Then practice outside for 7 days.
  • Simple improvements to make to your everyday performance:
    • Always lock your arms in your roundoff back handspring, it will not only look better, it will prevent you from falling on your head.
    • Squeeze all the time, if a stunt fails go clean. Basses and backstops, boost. When doing an elevator to cradle, boost as high as you can as its safer as you have more reaction time, and it looks good.
    • Don't lean when you do jumps.
    • Bases: before you go from half to full, look at your other base (just for a second so you know when to push your flyer up) and then look straight up at your flyer! Otherwise they will fall on your head and it will hurt.
    • When doing a "Basket Toss" stunt DO NOT move in to catch your flyer! If you and the other base can touch you will catch your flyer just right! With other stunts, move in enough to catch her.
    • Jump squats can be done by standing straight with your feet a little apart. Jump with your toes pointed, feet still together, and hands straight above your head. Land in a squatting position with your hands touching the floor.
    • When you are doing a stunt and a flyer is in the air always look up at them, because in competitions judges will take points off if you do not.
  • Never give up, be yourself, and always do your best. Even if the skill is really hard, keep trying. Conditioning often is ideal, and will make you stronger.
  • If you are working on a specific skill, take private lessons or ask a friend who is good at that skill to help you.
    • If you are an all-star cheerleader, take private tumbling lessons or group tumbling classes in addition to tumbling at practice with your team. It is the quickest way to gain more tumbling skills!
  • While cheering always be smiling and look like you want attention, don't be desperate, but don't be screaming about it either. Try to draw their attention to you. Your coach will love to see that you really like cheering and want to be recognized for it.
  • Don't wear to much makeup,otherwise when you sweat it would run down your face while cheering.
  • If you can't afford tumbling privates or lessons, find a cheerleader at a local high school (Varsity member preferably) and pay them around $10 an hour to teach you skills.


  • Don't lie about missing a practice. Tell the truth about everything to your coaches, and if they are good people, they will understand!
  • Acting like a snob can cause you to be very unpopular among the rest of the school. Just remember that being on the cheerleading team doesn't make you better than everyone else, it just means you're good at cheering.
  • Don't spread any rumours about any other teammate during cheer-leading! Its just a major don't! People, even if they don't like the person you are talking about, will hate you, and its just not a good thing to do!
  • Don't attempt any tumbling moves or advanced stunts unless you have a coach and mat or you have experience at them. Trying things before you are ready for them is what gets people hurt, and gives cheerleading a bad rep.
  • Don't work your muscles too much because that can cause injury and you won't be able to cheer.
  • Stay in time with the rest of your teammates. Keep counting in your else, and use your peripherals to see what part everyone else is on.
  • Don't be mean to other people in the school that aren't as popular as you, because these are the real people who vote you homecoming or prom queen and attend sporting events.
  • When you do exercises, and your muscles start to burn, rest a little bit then go back to exercising.

Things You'll Need

  • Smiles
  • A team
  • The basics

Article Info

Categories: Cheerleading