How to Have Spirit in Cheerleading

Spirit is the main thing in cheerleading. If you go to tryouts and don't have spirit, don't plan on making the squad.


  1. 1
    Assess your spirit level. Many people tend to think that cheerleaders absolutely love the school and the team, but that is not always true. If you dislike your school (but love cheering), then the first step to having more pep and spirit in cheerleading is to love your school. And how exactly do you do that? Here are some examples;
    • Make a list of about 20 (or more) things you love about not only your high/middle school, but about being in high school in general. It can be little things, like how you love the full sized lockers versus the smaller, half lockers you had in middle school. Or how you love the size of the school, because everyone is so close, its like a second (rather 3rd if you consider your squad second!) family. Make a mental note of the list or bring it with you to practices and games, and read it when ever you feel down, or dreading the event. Just simply liking your school can raise pep levels to new heights.
      Image titled Have Spirit in Cheerleading Step 1Bullet1
    • If you do already enjoy not only attending your school, but also school in general, but the fault is with the teams you cheer, make a list of the reasons why you don't like the team. You may find that your reasons for disliking the team are not because of the team as a whole. Maybe you got into an argument with one of the players, or one of the players is an old ex, and because of your dislike of them, you penalize the whole team, when really its just that one person. If you find that this is the case, remind yourself every time you start dreading going to a game that it's just one person, and the whole team isn't like that.
  2. Image titled Have Spirit in Cheerleading Step 2
    If the teams you cheer for (usually basketball and football) outright suck, you need to understand that not everyone can be on top of their game all the time. If the losing streak seems to be a running tradition at your school, you can talk to the coach of teams about how its definitely discouraging the cheerleaders. Cheerleaders are meant to cheer on the team, no matter how they're doing, but constantly yelling "Defense!" and encouraging a consistently losing team is tiring.
  3. Image titled Have Spirit in Cheerleading Step 3
    To be more peppy for games, and energetic for practices, make sure you eat a good breakfast. It's a myth that loading up on carbs right before any game will make you preform better, because actually, it just gives you more energy for a short while. But what happens when that energetic high runs out? You crash and do a lot worse, and being lethargic and lazy are two things that do not equate to being spirited for cheerleading.
    • Some suggest eating complex carbs the night before a big game, or competition. Complex carbs include spaghetti, potato dishes, and other starches- in other words, most grains.
    • From personal experience, some coaches suggest "hydro-loading"- the healthy, albeit long, practice of drinking water until the urine is clear. Obviously, do not drink gallons upon gallons of water, and hold your pee, but do make sure to drink a lot of water during the day. Many say 6-8 cups, but actually you need to drink about half of your body weight.
    • 1 hour or less before competition/game:
      Image titled Have Spirit in Cheerleading Step 4
      • fruit or vegetable juice such as orange, tomato, or V-8
      • fresh fruit such as apples, watermelon, peaches, grapes, bananas, or oranges
      • Energy gels
      • up to 1 1/2 cups of a sports drink.
      • Stretches
    • 2 to 3 hours before competition/game:
      • fresh fruit
      • fruit or vegetable juices
      • bread, bagels
      • low-fat yogurt
      • sports drink
    • 3 to 4 hours before competition/game:
      • fresh fruit
      • fruit or vegetable juices
      • bread, bagels
      • pasta with tomato sauce
      • baked potatoes
      • energy bar
      • cereal with low-fat milk
      • low-fat yogurt
      • toast/bread with limited peanut butter, lean meat, or low-fat cheese
      • 30 oz of a sports drink
  4. Image titled Have Spirit in Cheerleading Step 7
    Practice! If you don't show much spirit in cheerleading because you are not confident in your skills, practice, practice, practice! If you think your heel-stretches/scales are not as high as they could be, stretch! If you think your motions need to be sharper and tighter, practice in front of a mirror. If your having trouble with the dance, download the song off of iTunes or burn it to a CD, and dance until you can do it (flawlessly) in your sleep. If you don't think you can do it, or you're not good at it, attending games and cheering will be dreadful for you, and because your wishing you where else where, not much spirit and enthusiasm will come from you.
  5. Image titled Have Spirit in Cheerleading Step 8
    Overact Many girls do not show much pep because they are afraid of looking dumb. While it may feel unnatural and ultimately humiliating to make the ever famed facials (sticking out your tongue, winking,raising your brows, etc...), do them with confidence and enthusiasm. It's better to be known as the hyper, peppy girl rather than the worst cheerleader- someone who is supposed to transfer happiness and spirit to the team and crowd- ever.
    • Motions should be tight, and sharp. It may feel unnatural, but they are not supposed to be loose and floppy. The dancing portion of cheerleading is the less restrictive, more loose portion.
      Image titled Have Spirit in Cheerleading Step 8Bullet1
  6. Image titled Have Spirit in Cheerleading Step 9
    During games, yell chants and cheers. Do motions and dances along with them. Adding in some theatrical moments would make it humorous to watch for the crowd, and fun for you and the team to do. Yell with your chest voice, not your high pitch, screaming "OMG, a spider!" voice.


  • Don't be nervous for tryouts! You will probably never see the judges again so just try your hardest and have fun!
  • Smile!
  • Have fun. If you're not having fun everyone will be able to tell.
  • Be confident, not shy.
  • Don't argue with your teammates or the coach. It will ruin the spirit that you have been building up.
  • Be extremely sharp in your motions.
  • Act like you really want to be there.
  • Don't act nervous... you'll never see those judges again.
  • Don't scream but yell clearly and so loud that the room echoes.
  • Put Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly on your teeth to help you maintain a smile.
  • Don't yell "Woo!!!" because it sometimes sounds like "Boo!!!" Plus, at many schools, the cheerleaders are not even allowed to say "Woooo!!!" because it is generic and not very peppy!

Article Info

Categories: Cheerleading