Whether it’s your first or your tenth time trying out, it can be a nerve-racking experience. But that bundle of nerves in your stomach is completely normal, and it can even be a good thing! Use that energy to fuel your performance and keep your nerves in check with these tips:
Preparation is key. Don’t wait until the week of tryouts to start working on your skills and getting in shape. Cheerleading is a physically demanding sport that requires strength, endurance and flexibility, so start training at least a month in advance.
Attend any practices or clinics the team is holding. Practice your cheers and dances in front of a mirror to make sure your motions are clean and sharp. Now isn’t the time to master new and difficult skills; you could get injured. Instead, perfect the skills you already have. A cleanly executed Back Handspring will earn more points than a sloppy Back Tuck.
Ask questions, and don’t be afraid to talk to the coach! The coach knows exactly what he/she is looking for and can tell you what will be required at tryouts and as a potential member of the squad. Talk to other cheerleaders about what you should expect and buddy up with someone. You can critique and motivate each other, plus you won’t have to stress about not knowing anyone.
Presentation is huge in making a good first impression. Take the time to look the part of a cheerleader. This means looking neat and polished, and of course coming in with energy, enthusiasm and a positive attitude!
Make sure your clothing is appropriate. Find out if the team requires a specific outfit. Wear clothes that are clean (no wrinkles!) and fitted. You don’t want anything too big or too tight; it may distract from your performance.
Wear your hair neat and pulled back from your face and keep your makeup fresh-faced and natural. Avoid heavy eye makeup and never wear jewelry or chew gum. Get plenty of sleep the week of tryouts so you don’t look tired.
Performance time! Plan to arrive at least 20 minutes early to sign in and warm up. While you’re waiting, stay calm by visualizing your perfect tryout. When you’re called, walk into the room with spirit and confidence, like you were born for this!
Take the tryout one step at a time; don’t rush yourself. Maintain eye contact with the judges, and speak loudly and clearly. If you make a mistake, don’t panic. Judges will want to see how you respond, so take a deep breath and keep going.
Leave with a smile on your face and be proud of what you just did. Tryouts can be stressful, but being prepared and having the right mindset will go a long way in making your day a successful one!