10 Steps To Help You Take The Next Step To Cheer In College
If you’re looking to land a college scholarship for cheerleading, you almost always have to make the team first. And, in most cases, you have to make the team via a tryout. Fortunately, a college cheer tryout isn’t too much different from a high school tryout. So, to make sure you’re ready for a college tryout, relax and follow these steps:
1. Start Preparing the Night Before
It’s completely natural to be nervous the night before a tryout. But the key is to ensure the stress doesn’t interfere with your preparation. If you can, try to get on the mat to work out for a bit to get your blood pumping, release some nervous energy, and help you de-stress. Then, make sure to eat right and get to bed early so you’ll wake up on tryout day rested, relaxed, and ready to take on the world.
2. Focus On The Look
Whether it’s formal or informal, written or implied, every cheer program has its own “look.” It could be a preference for straight hair over curled hair, neutral lips versus red lipstick, or simply hair ribbons or hair bows. Study the look of the team you’re trying out for beforehand, then try to “look” like a member of the team for tryouts. It’s a small step, but already looking like a member of the team and looking game day ready can help you score points during tryouts.
3. Introduce Yourself Ahead Of Time
The best way to put yourself on a cheer coach’s radar is to introduce yourself at a clinic. If you haven’t had that opportunity, you can still make a positive impression by reaching out to a coach via email or phone to call to introduce yourself and letting that coach know that you’re excited to try out for their squad.
4. Accentuate Your Positives
A tryout isn’t the time to try a move that you’ve yet to master. Instead, focus on the skills that you’ll nail 100% of the time. Doing so will build your confidence, reduce your stress, and help you put your best foot forward during the tryout.
5. Be Calm
It’s easy to say “relax,” but taking a moment before and during the tryout to breathe deep, close your eyes, and clear your head will help keep your nerves in check. Again, it’s completely acceptable to be nervous, but any pressure you put on yourself will only create more stress. Keep your focus on your moves, but be sure to also slow down, relax, and stay calm.
6. Show Your Personality
Being timid is not a good tryout strategy. Remember that everyone at the tryout is in the same position as you are, so be outgoing and make the effort to talk to current team members and the other people trying out. Showing your personality is also a good way to help you stand out from the pack.
7. Don’t Forget The Details
Your talent and your skills will play a big role in your success at a college cheer tryout. But how you move, your body language, your attitude, and your game day look may all factor in as well. Focusing on the big picture is important, but nailing the small details will help you stand out from the crowd.
8. Do Your Homework
The key to acing a test is to study and know the material and that’s the same key needed to ace a tryout. Do your homework ahead of time and know the school’s fight song, band dances, and cheers completely, so that you have the confidence to execute them all flawlessly at tryouts. Doing so will demonstrate your desire to be a member of the team while also making you “look” like a member of the team, too.
9. Be Ready For An Interview
Though it may not be an element for every college cheer tryout, be ready for a tryout interview. Prepare for the questions ahead of time and have the answers ready. The questions may be as simple as “Why do you want to attend State U?” or as ambiguous as “What can you bring to the team?” There may even be tougher questions, but if you think things through beforehand and let your personality shine, you’ll be better prepared to confidently answer any question that gets thrown your way.
10. Be Confident
If you’ve noticed a trend above, preparation plays a big role in succeeding at a college cheer tryout. The better prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be at the tryout. And if you’re confident in your skills, your look, and your preparation, you’ll reduce your stress and perform better. So, control what you can control, don’t worry about what’s out of your hands, relax, and be confident!
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