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Get Try-out Ready: Ten Steps to maximize your time from now until try-outs.

Cheerleading tryouts can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, but with proper preparation, you can showcase your skills to the best of your ability. If you have one month until tryouts, here are ten steps you can take to get ready:

1. Determine the requirements and expectations of the team: Knowing what the team is looking for in a cheerleader will help you to better focus your efforts during your preparation. Reach out to the coach or captains for more information about what will be expected of you. Coaches LOVE this because you are demonstrating to the them that you are accountable and truly understand the needs to the team.

2. Improve your jumps: Jumps are a fundamental skill in cheerleading, so it is essential to work on them daily. Practice your toe touch, herkie, pike, and hurdler jumps. If you are a beginner, start with the basics and work your way up to more advanced skills. Most teams will require a jump sequence combination during tryouts, so be sure to work these sequences into your preparation. Here are a few key pointers to all jumps:

  • Point your toes: This seems like a non-brainer but you would be really surprised how easily it is have loose ankles.

  • Leg Extension: Keep your legs straight in your skills. Extension makes your jump look higher and cleaner.

  • Do not sacrifice form for height.

  • MOST IMPORTANT POINT THAT EVERYONE FORGETS: the jump starts and ends with the prep and clean count. Be sure to work on this also.

3. Work on your tumbling: Tumbling is a key component of cheerleading, and most teams require a certain level of proficiency. Work on perfecting your round-off, back handspring, front and back tucks, layouts, and fulls. If you are a beginner, start with basic tumbling drills such as cartwheels and handstands. Just like jumps, the counts before and after the skill are equally as important

4. Practice your stunts: Stunts require strength, balance, and coordination. Practice your stunts, tosses, and pyramids with a partner or coach to improve your technique and build confidence. Most of often that not, the team may have stunt clinics. Take every opportunity you have available to you to train. If you are a beginner, focus on simpler stunts like preps and prep level skills.

5. Improve your flexibility: Flexibility is important in cheerleading, as it helps prevent injury and allows for better performance. Stretch daily to improve your range of motion, focusing on areas like your hamstrings, hip flexors, and back. My favorite trick is stretch immediately after the shower or long bath as your body is still very warm.

6. Work on your dance skills: Cheerleading routines often incorporate dance moves, so it's important to practice motion technique, placement, and stylized movements to improve your skills and overall performance. Here are some of my favorite tips:

  • Start slow and look in the mirror. Ensure that each movement is placed properly.

  • Once your placement is correct, work on hitting each movement with strength and intention. Once you master strong and correct placement, add 1/2 counts and speed up the movement. I you find that your placement and/or sharpness is compromised, then go back to full counts. Teeter back and forth until 1/2 counts are performed correctly.

7. Build your endurance: Cheerleading requires a lot of energy and stamina, so it's important to work on building your endurance. Incorporate cardio exercises such as running, pushups, and burpees into your routine.

8. Get in shape: Cheerleading is a physically demanding sport, so it's important to be in good physical shape. Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated to ensure you have the energy you need to perform your best.

9. Take care of your mental health: Preparing for cheerleading tryouts can be stressful, so make sure to take care of your mental health. Incorporate stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or journaling into your routine.

10. Practice, practice, practice: Consistent practice is essential to your success at tryouts. Record yourself to identify areas that need improvement and work on them consistently. If possible, practice with a coach or experienced cheerleader who can provide feedback and help you improve.

In conclusion, preparing for cheerleading tryouts one month away requires dedication and hard work. Follow these ten steps to ensure you are ready to showcase your skills and impress the judges. Remember to stay positive, believe in yourself, and have fun!

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