Advice to High School Cheerleaders for Football games SURVIVING the Friday night lights
Okay, tryouts have passed and you made the team. Congrats girly! Or guy! Either way,
I am so stoked for you! So what's next?! Whether this was your first time trying out or you are a veteran cheerleader, there is always new things to learn and ways that you can build and gain towards your high school experience!
Regardless, if you are looking to learn about what to expect on Friday's game, or ways to make it even more exciting and fun than the last time; then this is the perfect site for you!
So of course, the most important things to have in your mental arsenal is understanding the concept of football. The main thing is knowing when to shout out a defense and an offense cheer; this is a given and incredibly crucial! More than likely, your coach has given you preparation and a game plan for what cheers to call, what stunts to do with certain chants, etc. Of course, it is important to stick to these guidelines. If this isn’t the case per se, than it is up to the Captain and Co-Captain to prepare a list of the cheers that your team already knows and use it throughout the game. Typically these cheers can be divided by their sections–Offense, Defense, Spirit, and Specialty. Specialty cheers are meant for, you guessed it, "Special" situations such as:
You should also plan what it is you are going to do between quarters, at halftime, and when a player is injured. What our school does is take a knee and has a moment of silence until the player recovers and the football players begin to resume the game. This just shows respect for the player (regardless of if they are on your school's team or not) and is a kind gesture overall.
Plan on 7-10 cheers per quarter, depending on the length of your quarters. Practice indeed makes perfect, so practice your cheers until you can perform them with your eyes closed! Many organizations post videos of their cheers online. If most of the team is unsure of a particular cheer, take it off the list temporarily. During the game, check off each cheer as you perform it, so that you don’t repeat cheers too often.
For my school, we always have our school's Alma Mater created as well as a "Hello Cheer" for greeting the other school on the field before the game. Most likely your school's cheer coach already knows the routine for the Alma Mater since it is a tradition passed on year after year. However if your school is brand new, then it should be up to the coach or a choreographer to make one up for the team.
Tip: Make sure you communicate your game plan to your head football coach. Some football coaches are very particular about run-through’s and other events. The only way to know is to ask!
During the game, it is important to remember and follow these tips! These will maximize the energy and spirit of the crowd and the whole game!
Now a big thing that many cheerleaders, myself included, struggle with during games is keeping that high energy throughout a long 2-3 hour game. It is tough but can be done! Here are some key things to remember!
-Stay hydrated! I always bring a big full jug of water at each game, and if you run out on those especially hot days, you can always refill it in your stadiums nearest water fountain. You can always bring Gatorade or any other similar sports drink but I prefer water since it is stain proof and won't get sticky! I would personally avoid high caffeinated energy drinks because it will give me a crash and make me even more sleepy later on. Plus it really isn't good for you to be consuming it constantly.
-Eat right! I always eat a light meal with a bit of protein and carbs to give me that boost of energy that I need! It leaves me plenty satisfied! Plus I always bring a Clif or Lara bar for halftime; they are incredibly delicious and filling! My favorite is the Clif Chocolate chip one! A tasty and healthier snack like this keeps me from turning to the snack bar during half time. Don't get me wrong, I like to munch on that stuff from time to time; but it doesn't help with my performance so I try to avoid it and eat the healthier alternative!
-Dress for the weather! Ask your coach on an especially hot day if you can go without your body liner. Bring a raincoat if there is a high chance of showers that day, and always, ALWAYS bring sunscreen! It's so important!
Overall just have fun with your cheer buddies and yell with school pride! I hope you have an amazing time at your game and that your team wins it! Best of luck!
With much love,