Starting A Cheerleading Squad

Tips on starting a cheerleading squad

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Starting a cheerleading squad takes a lot of hard work, but the rewards you can reap from being a part of a well-organized team will make the effort well worth it.

In cheerleading, your teammates will become like a second family to you and the memories you make will last you a lifetime. Squad members share the excitement of victories and the disappointment of defeats. They sweat together, laugh together, plan together and perhaps even cry together. As a squad develops, they find themselves thinking and reacting as one. There is nothing to compare to the bond between members of a cheerleading squad. That's not to say that there won't be conflicts, but if the squad is built on a strong foundation (much like a stunt), overcoming difficulties will just make the team stronger. So, where do you begin?

Ask Some Questions and Make Some Decisions

  • Name your squad.
  • Choose your squad colors.
  • Decide what team, if any you'll cheer for.
  • Decide if you'll be a competitive squad.
  • Find a place to practice. Consider the height, the floor and the times it will be accessible to you.
  • Decide on how you'll finance the squad - individuals, fundraising, sponsors.
  • Decide on the organizational structure of the squad - captains, co-captains, secretary, treasurer, etc.
  • Who will coach the squad?
  • What age groups will the squad cover.
  • How many members will you have?
  • How will you travel to and from events?
  • Check on insurance for the squad.
  • Who will handle legal and financial issues (legal agreements, medical releases, nonprofit status, fees, etc.)?

Recruit Members

  • Advertise with flyers and signs. Put them up at malls, schools, and around town.
  • Contact the local paper and radio station to see if they will run a short story or announcement.
  • Tell everyone you know about the new squad and ask them to pass on the information.


  • Have all your paperwork copied and pass it out to everyone trying out. Make sure you have the proper signatures where necessary (parents/guardians and cheerleaders).
    • Medical releases including emergency contact information and health insurance information
    • Contact information
    • Constitution
    • Practice rules
    • Financial Responsibility
    • Duties and responsibilities of members
    • Emergency plan
  • Select a time and date for tryouts.
  • Decide on how many judges you'll have.
  • Select fair people to judge and be sure they have no personal interest in the selection.
  • It's a good idea to hold a mini clinic before tryouts to give everyone a chance to learn the material.

Get Organized

  • Keep a notebook with all your paperwork (listed above) in it.
  • Keep a scrapbook.
  • Keep records of orders, such as uniforms, etc.
  • Make a list of cheers and stunts.
  • Make a calendar.
  • Delegate responsibilities and involve parents.
    • Set up a calling committee if you have a lot of members.
    • Enlist help with fundraising.
    • Arrange transportation.
    • Plan squad bonding activities.

As you can see, there's more to cheerleading than just putting on a uniform and cheering. If you're willing to make the commitment it takes to start a squad, most cheerleaders and coaches will tell you "there's nothing better than being a cheerleader!"