Camp is here and it’s time to get to work. You might be worried about impressing your coaches at camp, but we’re there to help you reach your goals! Executing the hardest stunt or taking home the biggest award isn’t what’s most important. Here are the top six things I want to see from my cheerleaders at camp:

1. Unity

I love seeing my team come together during camp. Besides spending a lot of practice time together, we also do fun things during camp. The varsity girls have secret sisters with the JV squad, and each day at camp they get a secret gift from them. The third night, we reveal the secret sisters, and then they become their go-to cheerleader for the year if they need any advice. The team bonding that happens at camp is truly life changing for some!

2. Improvement

It’s important that I see improvement from my cheerleaders. Whether they come back with a 360 to Extension or go from having soft motions to being super sharp – that’s a huge success for me! My team learns by watching what their instructors do and by setting realistic goals for each individual.

3. Challenge

Being challenged is healthy for everyone. Whether they are having a hard time with the hip hop dance or are struggling to hit a stunt, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It teaches my team the value of hard work an d proves that cheerleading is tough! If you put your mind and heart into it, you can overcome any challenge that presents itself.

4. Game Day Cheering

This is huge for me! I love Friday night lights and the spirit raising aspect of cheerleading. Camp teaches my squad how to respond to different game situations and how to create excitement from the crowd. In preparation for this part of camp, I get signs pre-made with basic words for our team to use in the cheers they learn. I also have my team practice their game situations ahead of time (injured player, touchdown, free throw, etc.) so that they are better prepared.

5. Competition

A little competition is another healthy way to get my team motivated. Some compete against themselves to be named All-American or push themselves a little harder during Xtreme Routine Private Coaching. Finding out what motivates each athlete and instilling that in a healthy environment is a great way to help my squad succeed.

6. Fun

Camp is FUN! I love seeing my cheerleaders thoroughly enjoy what they are doing and the smiles that light up their faces! As a coach, I like to get in on the fun by participating in theme days, adding team activities at night and keeping a positive attitude throughout camp. It is important to remember that as coaches, we are the examples we need to set for our cheerleaders.

by: Lisa Keys
Lisa is the UCA West Coast Staffing and Event Director and Region Assistant. She has coached at UC San Diego, San Diego Mesa College and UC Berkeley. Currently, she is the head competition coach for the national championship squad at Mira Mesa High School.