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How to Be a Cheerleader

Three Parts:Getting in ShapeCultivating the Right PersonalityTrying Out for the Squad

Becoming a cheerleader takes a lot of work, commitment, and a good attitude. If being a cheerleader is your dream, work on trying out for your school's squad. You will have get in shape. Cheerleading is a sport and requires a lot of physical endurance. You should also work on having the right attitude. It's a cheerleader's job to get the crowd excited for the big game, so work on being positive and energetic. When tryouts come around, do your best. Prepare and practice ahead of time. If you don't make the squad, do not get too discouraged. Remember, there's always next year.

Part 1
Getting in Shape

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    Eat a healthy diet. This will make sure your body has enough energy and strength to train. Cheerleading is a very physical sport that requires a lot of endurance. Therefore, a diet high in carbohydrates, protein, fruits, and vegetables is important.[1]
    • Make sure each meal contains healthy, complex carbohydrates. Your body needs carbs for energy, so eat things like oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and other nutrient-rich carbs.
    • Get some fruits and vegetables in with every meal. Have a side salad with lunch. Add some fruit to your morning cereal. Snack on assorted vegetables or fruits between meals.
    • Go for lean sources of protein like low-fat dairy, poultry, and fish.
    • A lot of people think cheerleaders do not eat a lot. This is not the case. If you're going to be working out in preparing for tryouts, a lot of healthy food is necessary for energy. Do not try to restrict your diet too much.
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    Build your endurance. Cheerleading requires a lot of endurance, as you'll be moving and cheering throughout each game. Focus on physical activities that strengthen endurance.[2]
    • Running or biking can help build endurance. If you have a gym membership, or if there is a gym at your school, try riding the elliptical machine, a stationary bike, a treadmill, or the stair master.
    • Strive to keep your heart rate up throughout the workout. Push yourself a little more each week to add length to your workout.
    • Remember, start slow. If you haven't worked out in awhile, you may want to stick to 15 or 20 minute sets and build up from there.
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    Be flexible. There will be a lot of bends, kicks, and stretches during your cheers. Therefore, flexibility is key. Engage in activities that help build your flexibility if you want to become a cheerleader.[3]
    • Yoga is a great way to build flexibility. You can take a yoga class at a gym, community center, or your school. You can also find yoga routines online.
    • In addition to helping you be a better cheerleader, flexibility will help prevent injury during training. Your muscles will be more bendable overall.
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    Weight train. Cheerleaders need to be strong. You'll be working long hours at practice and during games. Also, there may be cheers where you're required to lift another player. Incorporate weight training into your regular fitness regimen.[4]
    • Aim to weight train 2 to 3 times a week. Make sure not to weight train two days in a row, as this can cause strain.
    • You can use weights or a weight machine at the gym. You can also do things like push ups, sit ups, and Pilates, which use your own body as a weight.
    • If you do make the team, you will probably need to cut back on weight training during cheer season. You'll be doing a lot of weight training just during practice, and too much weight training can cause injury.
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    Develop a strong voice. You will need to be able to belt out cheers during games. Therefore, you should train your voice in addition to your body.[5]
    • Breathe correctly. Your breathing affects how your voice sounds. Do not take shallow breaths. Take big, deep breaths that fill your lungs with as much air as possible.
    • Use energy when you speak. You want to sound enthusiastic. Make sure you're using your cheek muscles as you talk, as this will affect how your voice comes out.
    • When you speak, pull away the muscles inside your throat the same way you do when you yawn. This will cause your voice to sound bigger, without sounding loud or shrill.
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    Be careful not to overtrain. You should always talk to a doctor before beginning a new training regimen. Over training can cause strain or injury. While you should work hard to become a cheerleader, do not do anything that could cause physical harm.[6]
    • Watch for signs of overtraining. You may feel a sense of heaviness, ongoing soreness in your muscles, lack of appetite, decreased concentration, and tiredness throughout the day. You may also feel an increased desire to skip workouts, as your body is warning you you're overdoing it.
    • If you've been overtraining, talk to your doctor about what you should be doing differently. You should also take a few days off of training to let your body recover.

Part 2
Cultivating the Right Personality

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    Make friends with the squad. This can help you get a sense of the culture of your school's squad. Every squad is different, and oftentimes members want to choose new cheerleaders who will fit in with the group. Try to strike up a conversation with members of the squad to get a feel for the group.[7]
    • If you have class with a member of the cheer squad, try talking to her before the bell rings. If you can choose your own seat, try sitting next to her in class so you can chat.
    • Ask to sit with the cheer squad at lunch. While you may feel awkward doing so, remember that the worst thing that can happen is they'll say no.
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    Keep a positive attitude. Cheerleaders are supposed to build up morale, so being positive is vital. Work on developing a positive mentality, as this will help you bring out enthusiasm in those around you.[8]
    • Be kind to yourself. Do not say anything to yourself that you would not say to someone else. Check yourself throughout the day to make sure you're staying confident.
    • If you screw up on a test, you may think, "You're so stupid. I can't believe you did that." Stop and correct yourself. Instead, think, "Everyone makes mistakes. I'll do better next time."
    • Surround yourself with people who are positive. Stay close to friends and family members who are encouraging of others. Try to be equally kind and enthusiastic in return.
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    Develop confidence. Confidence is contagious. Part of a cheerleader's job is to keep the team and crowd excited about victory. You should work on building up your own confidence to increase your chance of getting on the team.[9][10]
    • Work on your overall wellbeing. This will make you feel better about yourself. For example, do not watch TV all night. Instead, work on activities that make you feel good. Get your homework done, go out with friends, or work on a hobby.
    • Set goals and pursue them. This will also help bolster your confidence. For example, say you want to finish a book you're reading. Set out to read a certain number of pages each day.
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    Be energetic. Cheerleaders need to be high energy to get everyone in the stadium excited. Work on building your energy in preparation for tryouts.[11]
    • Laugh throughout the day. This can raise your heart rate, blood pressure, and mood. Watch a funny video clip online. Watch a movie you like. Hang out with a friend who makes you laugh.
    • Stretch throughout the day when you're feeling sluggish. A good stretch can help increase your energy and mood.
    • Make sure to get adequate sleep each night. A regular sleep schedule can help improve your overall energy.

Part 3
Trying Out for the Squad

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    Do some research. You want to know what the expectations are for the cheer squad. Prior to your audition, try to get a sense of what kind of cheers the team does.[12]
    • Ask other people who have auditioned. Every squad has different expectations regarding how to audition. Some squads may disapprove of you bringing in a spirit poster, while others may encourage it. You may be expected to wear school colors for some schools, while other schools may simply require you wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move around.
    • Talk to the coach or the head cheerleader. Ask him or her for tips on how to audition.
    • Go to some games. Try to memorize some of the cheers and moves. Make sure you're able to keep up with the team.
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    Practice leading up to auditions. A lot of quality practice time can help you shine. You may get nervous during auditions. You're less likely to slip up if you've practiced to the point you have a solid routine committed to memory.[13]
    • Make time to practice every day. Schedule time in your day to day schedule for practice. You could, for example, practice for an hour after dinner each night.
    • If you have friends auditioning as well, ask them to practice with you. You guys can help keep each other on track.
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    Come to the audition prepared. Make sure you have everything that's required. You may need a permission slip, for example. Ask beforehand what materials you need, and make sure to bring them with you to the audition. You do not want to look underprepared.[14]
    • Relax and do your best when you're auditioning. Remember, cheerleaders are supposed to make the game fun for everyone. If you're having fun, you're more likely to look like cheerleader material.
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    Do not get discouraged if you do not make the squad. You can always try out again next year. Many people have faced rejection at some point in life, so take this as an opportunity to try harder next time. It's not necessarily a personal reflection of you. There were probably a lot of talented people trying out that year.
    • You can always get involved with the cheer squad in some other way. You can volunteer to help out with coaching, for example, or for a position like team manager.


  • If you make a mistake during auditions, just flash the crowd a big smile and pretend that was what was supposed to happen. Don't get angry or look confused; just keep going.
  • You don't need to do everything! If you can't to a back bend, don't get frustrated. You will learn to do all the moves over time.


  • Wear no jewelry, loose clothes, or bagging clothes. Wear something that won't fly around while you're tumbling.

Article Info

Categories: Cheerleading