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Prep for fall! Get the low-down on starting the new cheer year off right.

You’ve held try-outs, congratulated new members, practiced, gone to camp, ordered your new uniforms and warm-ups — now the school year comes into view.

As the start of the new cheer year approaches, are you prepared?

The beginning of the cheer year sets the tone for the whole season. We asked two cheer coaches what it takes to have a successful start. Check out their

tips!

Practice! Practice! Practice!

Practices before the first game day are key and Shelly Wellborn starts with a routine schedule.

Coach Shelly, 2-year coach for Nolan Middle School in Killeen, Texas said, “Teach the squad from the beginning how practices are to be run and, before you know it, they do all the work.”

However, there’s no monotony set in Coach Shelly’s routine. She said technique and enthusiasm come first.

“Just be upbeat, motivate the spirit with excitement,” she said. “Incorporate team building activities and games that are fun.”

Team building techniques, along with safety, can also increase great team character.

Lori Prestia, 13-year coach for Valley Central Youth Football and Cheerleading and three year coach for Valley Central High School in Montgomery, New York, starts practice off with basic conditioning sessions, agility exercises and teaches nutrition with proper hydration.

Coach Lori also sets time away during practice for the team to discuss the role of a cheerleader and maintaining a positive character in school, on the field and in the community.

The Game Plan

Amp up the excitement when setting the tone for the year! Set goals that will make your hard work pay off.

Coach Lori said it’s important to set action plans at the beginning of the year.

“Establish the coach and team philosophy,” she said. “Include emergency plans, practice plans and goal setting for both the team and individuals. Organize the season with schedules, bio’s on the athletes and all necessary information to coach the team at hand.”

Coach Shelly keeps the tone for the year light and fun, focusing on small accomplishments first and relates these accomplishments to bigger team goals. She said all team members are held accountable for both their individual goals and the team goals.

“I maintain the team’s enthusiasm by focusing the attention on what we want, not what or how we don’t want it,” she said. “We live in a society that focuses on results and winning, but winning comes from working the process and enjoying the ride. I teach my teams to focus on the process of the challenge instead of the number of wins or trophies.”

There you have it – get excited, plan, practice and set goals for new cheer year success!

Add your personal tips by leaving us a comment.

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