If you're ready for the hard work and big responsibility of being a varsity cheerleader, start prepping for tryouts as soon as possible. The coach will look for a positive attitude, excellent physical fitness and ability, a team player and plenty of enthusiasm. If you think you fit the bill, following a few tips can help you lock in a spot on the varsity squad this year.
Remember that cheerleading is not punishment. Put a genuine smile on your face, not a plastered-on one, and have fun at tryouts. The judges will see through false enthusiasm. Make eye contact with the judges and coaches and be friendly and pleasant to the other hopefuls. When instructed to do something, listen carefully and hustle to comply. Be the first in line when others are showing reluctance. Don't be afraid to raise your voice and really get into the cheers.
Arrive at tryouts calm and well-rested. If you have stubborn bags under your eyes, use a soothing eye cream to diminish their appearance. If there is a dress code, follow it to the letter. If not, wear comfortable but form-fitting clothes in the school colors that display your muscular build. If you have long hair, pull it back and secure it neatly with a ribbon and rubber band. Avoid clips or scrunchies that can slide out easily. When you receive your number at tryouts, attach it on an obvious place to your clothing but check that it will not restrict your movements. Wear a small amount of natural-looking makeup. Heavy makeup can run when you start to sweat.
You're under the microscope from the time you arrive at tryouts and the judges will notice how you get on with your potential teammates. Be pleasant and open with everyone. Try to make friends and find common ground. If you find yourself milling about with the others before tryouts start, initiate a group stretching session. Encourage the other hopefuls and applaud when they perform well. Showcase your leadership ability by volunteering to demonstrate a movement or go first.
Check with the coach before tryouts to find out how cheerleaders will be scored, then spend extra practice time on what will be most important at tryouts so that you can feel and appear confident in your performance. Greet the coach and judges with a firm handshake and eye contact. Do not giggle or show emotion. Maintain an air of professional confidence at all times. Don't be afraid to pass on any tumbling in which you aren't confident. The coach will respect your concern for your body more than your willingness to risk your health.