It’s officially tryout season which means it’s time to perfect your motions and learn those routines! Are you feeling a little nervous about your tryout? Our expert cheer coach and Team F.I.E.R.C.E. ambassador Laura Severding shares her top tips for those wanting to tryout for their school’s cheer team.
Champion Teamwear: How should a candidate prepare for their tryouts?
Laura Severding: Brush up on skills, condition/exercise/strength training, practice with others, a good diet and adequate sleep.
CT: Why should individuals wanting to tryout prepare this way and when should they start?
LS: By conditioning early, your body will be prepared for tryouts and you won’t be as sore. Eating right and plenty of sleep will keep you healthy. [Candidates should do this] as soon as they know they are trying out.
CT: What should candidates bring and wear to tryouts?
LS: Positive attitude, hair in full ponytail, black or navy shorts, and tennis shoes. [Our] school provides numbered shirts. This information is in the cheer tryout packet.
CT: What qualities and/or skills do you look for in a candidate?
LS: I look for SPIRIT first, second is jumps, third is motion technique and last tumbling. Spirit is hard to teach, everything else can be taught.
CT: What are common mistakes candidates make during tryouts?
LS: They don’t smile, are nervous [and have a] soft voice.
CT: How can they avoid this?
LS: Practice looking at yourself in the mirror or in front of a friend.
CT: What can help a candidate increase their scores?
LS: Have personality in routine, smile, be sharp, go slow, and show spirit and be confident.
CT: What advice do you have for anyone preparing for tryouts?
LS: Don’t wait to the last minute to start conditioning or get in shape, keep your head up and make eye contact with judges. Don’t worry if you mess up, just keep going. Pick up where you left off as judges want to see how you handle mistakes.
Laura Severding has been a cheerleading coach for nearly 20 years. Severding is currently the head varsity coach of the Centennial High School cheer team in Frisco, TX.