Your 1st Practice of the Season

Your first official practice with your new cheer team is the practice that will set the tone for the rest of the season. Be sure to have your first practice within a few weeks of tryouts.

Make your Practice, a Practice

When you are starting out the new cheer year, you have a multitude of responsibilities from uniform fittings, camp planning, and introduction meetings. For your first official practice, make it an actual practice. Don’t combine practice as a uniform fitting and goal setting meeting. The reason for this is that you want your new team to learn immediately what they can expect at practice. Be sure to schedule at a different time a goal setting meeting and other necessary meetings, but make sure your practice is a practice!

Plan your Practice

Structure your practice the same way you would during the middle of the season. Sure, you will spend more time on a routine for an upcoming game or competition during the season, but be sure to have a general plan.

I always make the first 15 minutes of practice the same, so if I am caught up with an issue at the school or with the administration, I know my captains know exactly what to do and how to lead the team.

Sample Agenda

A time frame is not put on these because during certain times in the season you will spend more time on one element over the other. You can keep this format throughout the entire season; just insert into the sections the routine you may be working on. Be sure to add water breaks throughout.

Warm up – Bring up heart rate and then stretch.

Jumps – Jump conditioning, kicks, and 5 of each jump, jump combos, and the jump sequence in their upcoming routine.

Tumbling – Warm up tumbling.

Quick Announcements – Remember this is not a meeting practice. Only announce what is necessary.

Stunts – For the first few weeks of practice, work on basic stunts. Practice the same timing, the same way you load and dismount. Drill the stunts to get them synchronized.

Routine – Clean your tryout dance and cheer. I never teach something at tryouts that they won’t use again during the school year. Work on the tryout dance, put them in a formation and add a pyramid at the end. Do the same for the tryout cheer and incorporate a stunt, poms and signs in the cheer. Get it ready for a half-time performance.

Condition – Leave time for conditioning and make it something that will be challenging to them. You can incorporate a team building activity within your conditioning.

Enforce the Guidelines

At tryouts you likely put some expectations and guidelines in place and many already exist for cheerleading anyway. If a cheerleader shows up with jewelry on, make her take it off. If athletes forget their water bottles, if they do not have the proper attire on, if they are late, enforce the consequences you have set into place. At the very beginning, you are going to be tested by some cheerleaders to see if you really will stand by the rules set. They will want to see what they can get by with. By no means do you need to be a drill sergeant. You can be nice about how you enforce the rules. Just remember it is always easier to let up a little bit rather than trying to crack the whip in the middle of the season.

Go into the first practice with the right mindset. Be confident.

Your 1st Practice of the Season Video



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