Cheerleading Competitions

1-2-3 Compete! 

Cheerleading competitions are an excellent way to take it to the next level beyond pumping up the crowd for sports games.  In the past two decades, cheerleading has emerged as a sport of its own with a number of competitions springing up around the country, including the USASF World Championships which are held annually at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Before deciding whether a cheerleading competition is right for your squad, a coach has many things to consider such as distance, costs, dates, and the level of competition compared with the level of the squad.  One common error some beginning coaches make when entering cheerleading competitions is a failure to complete paperwork and hand it in on time.  Always keep track of competition deadlines, because by not submitting forms on time you are jeopardizing your squad’s chances before the competition even begins!  

Congratulations… you’re accepted!  Now what??

Once you’re accepted to a cheerleading competition, have each cheerleader make a checklist of the things they need to bring.  Coaches must prepare separate check lists for the items required by the whole squad, such as uniforms and equipment.  If the competition is out of town you’ll require additional parental supervision for the team.  Ask the parents for volunteers to take pictures and video of the competition for later analysis.  You can also ask for volunteers to act as team secretary who keeps up with competition by taking notes on the team’s scores and comments on each performance.     Cheerleading Competitions

Before leaving for cheerleading competitions, it is crucial to obtain each cheerleader’s emergency information including medical releases and person to contact in case of an emergency.  Also, check your team’s first aid kit and replace any items that are missing or have expired.  Discuss the emergency procedures with the squad prior to leaving.  Assign each squad member a buddy for the trip to ensure no one is left behind or gets lost. 

Stay Calm and Have Fun 

Once you’ve arrived, take a lengthy tour of the facilities so everyone knows where to find everything.  Cheerleading competitions can be overwhelming at first, especially for first time attendees, so remind everyone to stay as calm and focused as possible amid the stressful atmosphere.  Many great squads fall apart and crumble under the pressures of competing.  

Divide the squad into three or four teams and choose a team captain who is responsible for making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be at the proper times.  There’s nothing worse than losing a competition because members of your squad don’t show up for your routine.  Always watch your competitors closely for tips on how to improve your squad’s performance.  

Above all else, bring a positive attitude to cheerleading competitions.  You are acting as representatives of your school and community and as such have a responsibility to be polite and courteous of your opponents and the hosts of the competition.  

After you return from the competition, hold a squad meeting to discuss the team’s performance.  Screen videos from the competition, pointing out strengths and areas to improve on for next time.    



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