Starting a Cheerleading Squad

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?

Steps to Start a Cheerleading Squad

  1. Name your squad.
  2. Choose your squad colors.
  3. Decide what team, if any you'll cheer for.
  4. Decide if you'll be a competitive squad.
  5. Find a place to practice. Consider the height, the floor and the times it will be accessible to you.
  6. Decide on how you'll finance the squad—individuals, fundraising, sponsors.
  7. Decide on the organizational structure of the squad—captains, co-captains, secretary, treasurer, etc.
  8. Who will coach the squad?
  9. What age groups will the squad cover.
  10. How many members will you have?
  11. How will you travel to and from events?
  12. Check on insurance for the squad.
  13. 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.

Tryouts

  • 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!"