There are a couple of months left before cheer camp and eons
before football season kicks off. So now’s the time to start your training.
Keep on reading for some cheer-tastic tips. Your coach is definitely gonna
notice your over-the-top improvements!
Improve your outlook
Whether you’re a rookie or the team captain, put last year
behind you. Take time to get to know this year’s squad—there might be lotsa
fresh faces—and to practice some new skills—the latest routines, cheers and
chants. “Be open to change,” says Misty Hodges, a coach for the 2012 USA
All-Girl Team. “It takes time to learn the ropes.”
Show off better facials
Cheering is all about getting the crowd pumped, whether
you’re rooting on your school’s basketball team or competing in regionals. So,
um, you’ve got to look like you’re having a blast. But between all the mental
gymnastics (5, 6, 7, 8…where the heck am I supposed to be now?) and the
super-physical stunting, it can be tough to look like you’re genuinely stoked.
So rehearse your game face in the mirror before brushing your teeth. Your smile
will be bigger, and you’ll perfect that ’tude-filled head toss. Wink!
Get higher jumps
“Flexibility will allow one to improve the height of her
jumps,” Coach Hodges clues us in. Make some time in your schedule for a stretch
sesh. Feeling crunched for time? We won’t tell anyone if you limber up in front
of the tube. When asked how she gets her jumps sky-high, Samantha, 14, whose
rec squad won major competitions last year, says, “I stretch every day to stay
flexible, which really helps. Leg lifts help, too.”
Make your motions knife-sharp
If your coach has told ya once, she’s hollered it 100 times:
Keep those arms rigid! It’s time to grab a pair of free weights for curls, or
drop and do some push-ups. The more toned your arms are, the easier it’ll be to
make those high V’s sharp. Make it a point to really practice them—don’t just
mock the motions when you’re rehearsing a cheer. Going full-out will help you
be more prepared come competition time.
Roll with it
If you really want to impress the masses, kick your tumbling
skills up a few notches. Your round-off might have cut it in the past, but now
the team is attempting to stick back handsprings. “Always learn the proper
technique before moving on to more difficult skills,” Coach Hodges reminds us.
Adds Kate, 18, who has been cheerleading since she was just
7 and is now a squad trainer, “During the summer, I practice my tumbling on the
trampoline, which helps a lot for when the season starts up again.” No more
throwing those tucks…and hoping to land safely, especially on the hard floors
of the gymnasium. So let’s hear it out loud: Three cheers for soft landings!
BY KATIE ABBONDANZA ON 5/12/2012 12:00:00 AM
POSTED IN cheerleading, cheerleading workouts, make the team this year, sport, Rock try-outs