Putting together your cheerleading competition cheers is easy. The trick is to know in advance what the judges are looking for. The type of cheer you do is also dependent on which type of event you're entering.
Cheerleading Competition Events
While there are any number of types of cheerleading competitions, in general, they can be put into three categories:
- Dance events for the whole squad that often require a cheering element
- Cheer events that get back to the route of cheerleading
- Individual events for the "best cheerleader"
Each type of event has different rules; therefore, you must put your cheer together differently. When you cheer for games, you often put your cheerleading cheers together around a certain part of the game such as the defensive play, an offensive play or a position. However, with cheerleading competition cheers, you're going to put your cheer together around specific elements that the judges are looking for. Therefore, getting that sample scoring sheet before you start working on your cheer is crucial.
Dance Competitions with a Cheerleading Element
Before you assume that you have to have a cheering element in a dance competition, double check first. So much of All Star cheerleading is now routines that include tumbling, stunting and pyramids. However, if you are required to add a cheer element, you should build it around a stunt. Your cheer should be short and sweet.
We are the Spartans
And we're here to say
(Use this time to build the base of your stunt and get into position. Your stunt will be more impressive if you do a pyramid element and have tumblers do a standing tumbling trick such as a back tuck or handspring.)
We are going
To see victory
(At this point, the stunt should be set with the flyers in their positions.)
T to the O to the D-A-Y, TODAY!
Do arm motions while you're spelling. On "today", the flyers should dismount. Immediately after the flyers dismount, have your tumblers do a back tuck or handspring together. The rippled effect is highly engaging and visually appealing to watch.''
These types of cheers are usually put right at the beginning of a routine, or right at the end.
Competition Cheers for Squad Cheering
Some competitions are getting back to the basics and including an event for simply cheering (as opposed to a dancing, stunting and tumbling routine.) What your squad is required to do can vary greatly depending on your competition. Generally speaking though, you'll want to do a cheer that shows off your squad's stunting abilities. This would include:
- Standing tumbling such as tucks, back handsprings, walk overs, etc.
- Jumping: herkies, toe touches, and tuck jumps.
Your cheer should be built around showing off your squad's abilities, and it's often built around a cheer that introduces how great your team is. These types of cheers are going to be longer partly because you don't need to accommodate the changing conditions of a game and partly because the goal is to show off your skills.
We are the Warriors (substitute your team name) and we're number one
(Immediately after the word "one", the squad can do a standing tuck landing with arms in a Victory V position.)
When we're on the court
(Make sure that your motions are sharp and quick. Each line gives you time to set up into your next stunt.)
Our foes run
(Do a walk in to a shoulder sit.)
We will rock
They will run
(Use these two lines to dismount from the shoulder sit and regain squad formation.)
And when it's done
We'll still be number one!
(Do something that will leave the judges with a lasting impression such as a toe touch into a hand spring ending in splits.)
Notice how in this cheer each line serves the purpose of getting into another stunt or standing tumble. Check with the regulations of your competition to see how long your cheer should be and if there are any specifically required elements. Some competitions offer non-tumbling and non-stunting cheerleading divisions as well.
Cheerleading Competition Cheers for Individual Cheering
Individual cheerleading competitions are a relatively new development in the sport of cheerleading, but they allow one cheerleader to show her stuff. Not all individual cheer events require a spoken cheer. Some actually require both a cheer and a routine, in which case you'll want to make sure that your cheer is original and short. Other competitions only require dance and tumbling.
For individual cheer competitions where you are required to cheer, your cheer should again show your jumping and tumbling ability. If you have to do a cheer in your dance routine, the best place to put it is at the beginning to "hype up the crowd" before you perform. The nice thing about individual competitions is that you can simply use something that your squad already does. Choose the most original and creative cheer that your squad does. The advantage to doing this is that anytime your squad performs this cheer, they're practicing. Squads generally do not use routines that they regularly perform at games because the stunting required in a competition is too dangerous to do at a game on a hard floor.
Preparing for the Competition
Remember, the goal of a cheer at competition is to show off your stunting ability, enthusiasm, and great cheering skills. Make sure your words are loud and your voice is deep, your movements are sharp and crisp and that you have that ever present smile that cheerleaders are known for.