Most high school varsity cheer teams hold pre-try-out practices for several weeks before tryouts, but you may not realize how beneficial additional personal or group training could be to successful cheerleader tryouts. If you have never been a cheerleader, you would be surprised at the level of athleticism that is required for cheerleaders. When the school holds the pre-try-out practices, they are primarily working on the required cheers, yells, dances and routines. But if you are serious about winning, a bit of supplementary coaching and training can really give you an edge. If you are a veteran cheerleader, you know the competition becomes fiercer every year. Having a private coach will help you continue to increase your skill.

By enrolling with a private trainer, or in strength and/or flexibility classes, you will see benefits in several areas. Below are a few ideas for additional pre training to give you a ‘leg-up’, so to speak:

Strength Training: Strength Training is important to a cheerleader because of the high impact of the movements required in most cheers. Strength training helps keep your muscles strong and prevent injury during regular cheering sessions or cheer competitions. You also have an advantage of being able to lift team members in formation, or catch flying jumps. Your strength will give you confidence as well as give your teammate’s confidence in you.

Dance/Yoga: Cheerleaders know that flexibility and balance are important. Any kind of dance will assist in these areas. It also helps you stay on top of rhythm and movement. Yoga and dance both are great for increasing flexibility. Yoga will also help you learn to control movements, making it easier to be precise in various positions.

Aerobic Training: Anyone who has been a cheerleader, or watched cheerleaders knows that there is a massive amount of stamina required just to get through one dance. All of cheering is high energy, requiring not just constant movement, but strong voices as well. Aerobic training will build stamina and endurance.

Private Training: If it is possible, consider enlisting a private coach or trainer before cheer competitions. Look for someone who has experience in both cheering and coaching. If you can find a coach who has been involved in cheer competitions, it would be even more advantageous. A coach will help you train correctly, not allow you to become sloppy in any of your movements, and give you encouragement to continue to improve your skill. A coach who has been active in competition can give you a heads up about what judges and evaluators are looking for. You will have an inside scoop on the requirements of standard competition, and know what to work on.

If you are planning to compete in cheerleading tryouts or competition, why not consider the idea of additional training to supplement the practices offered at your school or for your team. It might just give you the leading edge you need to win!