What’s the best day of the week? Game day! But even with all the excitement of Friday night lights, leading the crowd and getting them to respond to your cheers can be a tough job. The good news is that you’re not alone. Other school groups like the dance team, marching band and student section can help you elevate the game day experience. All of these groups share a common vision, so why not work together to accomplish your goals? Here are some steps to make it happen.
Make a Plan
Set a meeting with your captains, drum majors, coaches and band director to review your performances and address the needs of each group. Some things to consider:
- What size is each group? What space will they have?
- How many songs will the band play? Which songs? Are they appropriate and entertaining for the audience you are catering to?
- How can you adjust your routines to involve the other groups?
- What role will each group play?
- Is there a time to rehearse together prior to the performance?
The more you can combine forces, the more support you’ll receive from the crowd. Teach your cheers to the dance team and student section so they can help recruit fans to join in. Have the drummers add a little flair
by adding a backbeat your chants. Learn your band’s favorite songs and take them up a notch. It can be as simple as clapping it out or adding “go” or “fight” to the end of each phrase. Designate specific songs for different parts of the game, such as kickoffs and scoring plays. You can’t go wrong with your fight song after a touchdown.
Use a Game Plan Script
After you’ve decided on a plan, record all of that information and distribute it to each group. (We recommend following a Game Plan Worksheet similar to the one you see here.) Make sure there’s a copy on the sidelines to use as a guide. It’s the easiest way to keep everyone organized and prevent chaos during
Practice, Practice, Practice
If you plan on performing with the band, be sure to practice beforehand with the actual music the band will be playing. Your best bet is to schedule a rehearsal time together, but at the very least, you should
have a copy of the music to use during cheer practice. You don’t want to end up on the sidelines feeling lost because the music is faster or slower than anticipated. Practice as many times as necessary until everyone on the team feels confident.
Prepare for the Unexpected
No matter how well you prepare, there’s always the chance that something will come up and throw you for a loop. The band could play unexpectedly or play a song you’re not familiar with. Remember the sideline fillers you learned at camp? Now’s the time to use them. Always have those extra eight-counts of motions ready to perform to any music. If you’re still not comfortable, just smile and encourage the crowd to clap along.
Everyone’s there to have a great time and you’re there to lead them and entertain them with your performances. Show your personality and make the best of any situation. Together, you will find success.