Cheerleading is an amazing sport that takes a lot of skill, determination and dedication. If you decide that you want to cheer know that it can be one of the most fun and exciting years of your life. There is so much potential to better yourself in cheer not only in physical skills but in personal skills.
I cheered practically my entire life and the lessons I learned through cheer and the people I met through the years have brought me some of my most rewarding memories. 10 years later I still talk with my friends I cheered with. They are not only in my life occasionally but they are even some of the biggest role models my two girls look up to now.
So if you want to make life long friends, cheer is a great way to find them. So you’ve decided, you want to cheer but have no clue where to start. Well I’m going to share with you all my knowledge of cheer in a series of blog posts and videos. Be sure to look back often and always feel free to ask questions! So let’s get at it. Here are the different teams you can cheer for:
If you are just starting out and are want to start with short seasons your school team might be for you. Depending on your school, they may have just sideline cheer or they are competitively cheering. They typically break up the seasons to a fall and winter. The fall cheerleaders are usually cheering on the football team And/or will compete at a few competitions. If you want to cheer on the team in the fall season don’t wait until school! Many of these teams have meet ups towards the end of the summer and possibly go to camp together. You’d want to contact your school to find out what the dates are for your school team.
Winter cheerleading teams are usually cheering on a basketball team if your school has one. This season typically starts as soon as the fall one ends so be sure to look out for tryouts!
Pop warner or AYC cheerleading
These are two large organizations for cheerleading and football. These teams are made up of local cheerleaders. They are broken up by town and within the town they will have different age levels of teams. To find out if your town has these teams simple google AYC cheerleading and/or Pop warner cheerleading. They will have all the states/towns listed that have teams available. These seasons start in late summer time so don’t wait until September to start! Much like school cheer the team might be going to summer camps together.
The cheerleaders in these organizations not only cheer on the towns football team but they also compete against each other at many competitions. There are large competitions you can go to as well as smaller scale competitions. Many teams have a goal for the year to be able go and compete at nationals in Disney at the end of the season! So be prepared to do some traveling with these teams!
Half Year Teams
If you cheer for pop warner or AYC and haven’t had enough after the season ends in December you may want to look into half year teams or if your local team has a spring cheer team. The half year teams just compete. Look forward to two, sometimes three practices a week for this season.
All Star Cheerleading
This type of cheerleading is by far the most competitive and time consuming! This runs practically all year round. Tryouts are typically in April and many teams require you to practice through the summer and go to summer camps. Be very prepared to spend hours at the gym and on the road if you want to cheer all-star. These teams usually have team practices and tumbling practices separately, and you can have 2-3 practices a week.
These teams can be made up of local (or not!) team mates. I personally started out with a team that was only a town away from me. Which closed down and then me and a few others from our team traveled over an hour a way (each way!) for our next team. And what I’ve heard this is not out of the blue and it’s becoming more of a norm to travel for cheer.
Depending on what you want out of cheer, be sure to look carefully for your team. All star cheerleaders also travel numerous times throughout the year. It was typical that we would go to Baltimore, Atlantic City, South Carolina, Florida and even Texas in a year. That doesn’t count all the local competitions we went to! So hints on choosing an all star team I’ll get into further on another post but I can say these quick tips.
Go on their website or even ask around to other cheerleaders you may know of to ask their opinion on the team you possibly want to cheer for. Many of these gyms also have open tumbling and/or clinics you can go and check them out. I highly encourage you go to these before signing up. They are a perfect opportunity to get a feel for the gym and their coaches. Also, many of these coaches hold privates so don’t be afraid to take them if you are serious about cheer.
So these are basically the teams you can cheer for. I tried going into detail on all of them and there is certainly more ways to cheer beyond these organizations. I personally am most familiar with all star as I have done that most of my cheer life.
But there is definitely one thing in common between all of them. If you want to cheer be sure to be all in. It takes a team to cheer and all these teams have routines. If you aren’t willing to put in the time and effort, just don’t cheer. You don’t want to let your team down by not showing up for practices. So be dedicated, be happy and most important have fun in it! This time will go by WAY too fast and in a blink of an eye it will be gone. These can be the most exciting time of your life, so make the most of it!