Joining a cheerleading team is a HUGE commitment and fitting in can be a big fear. Whether you’re brand new to the game or simply switching levels, it’s important to make a good impression on your new coaches and teammates to start your season strong. Follow these tips and you’ll feel adjusted in no time.

  1. Be Confident
    Walking into practice with a new team can be pretty nerve-racking. The best way to put those uneasy thoughts to rest is to show your new team all of the wonderful qualities you bring to the table. Focus on the skills where you shine and execute them with confidence and power. Still feeling nervous? Just putting on a smile can go a long way.
  2. Be Friendly
    Take a chance and get to know each member of your team. Familiarize their faces and names as quickly as you can. People will appreciate the added effort and it will make a great first impression. Take time to learn an interesting fact or two about each one of them that can help you connect on a personal level and you’ll have a brand-new group of besties before you know it!
  3. Break Barriers
    As the new girl, it’s easy to get caught up in existing social cliques in and outside of practice. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat and reach out to everyone! You’ll make more friends with honey than you will with vinegar and it’s always nice to be involved in more than one group. Who knows, maybe you can even be the piece that brings the team closer together.
  4. Take on a Challenge
    Be careful not to fall into the pit of comparison. Just because you were the last pass, in a specific jump position or worked with the best stunt group on your last team, doesn’t mean that you fit there with your new crew. Step up and offer to do any position needed. This will go a long way with your coaches and show you teammates that you are versatile and valuable.
  5. Listening is Key
    Take time to listen to both your teammates and coaches. This will help you better understand your team’s communication style and overall goals for the season. Whether it is directions from your coach or simple advice from a teammate, listening will make everyone see that you are engaged and invested in the process.
  6. Study Up
    Pay attention to your team’s system – from practice to competitions. Take notes of how practice is structured and tailor your outside training to fit those needs. If you know that you run your stunts full out on a specific day, try to arrange time before that with your group to make sure you are hitting and prepared. Being one-step ahead early on can help you stay ahead of the competition this season.
  7. Be a Positive Pauly
    An enthusiastic athlete always draws attention. If you are positive, your teammates will find you more interesting and fun to be with. When times get tough, offer an encouraging word to a friend on the mat or pump up the whole group, both will go a long way in establishing your presence on the team.
  8. Stay in Touch
    If you are moving from an old team to a new one, it’s okay to miss your friends and former teammates. Staying in touch with your old buddies can help make the adjustment easier and build comradery between the two. Visit often, share advice and keep the bond strong as you move on – you never know when your old teammates might become your new ones again.