Serving as captain of the cheerleading squad is a big responsibility. Most captains spend years perfecting their craft and developing the leadership skills necessary to be a role model for the other cheerleaders under her.
How to Achieve Captain
If becoming captain of the cheerleading squad is your goal, you'll want to show leadership skills to your coach and the other girls on the squad to be considered for this position. Some of the character traits and abilities that will help include:
- Be on time or a bit early for all practices
- Help other girls on the squad
- Encourage the other cheerleaders to try their best
- Praise any improvement in others
- Be willing to take constructive criticism yourself
- Look your best at all times
- Wear school colors, if trying to achieve captain at your school
- Smile and exude school spirit and pep
- Interact with the fans by shouting "C'mon!" and "Let's go!"
- Develop excellent cheerleading and tumbling skills
- Let the coach and other girls know you are interested in serving as captain
- Put in your time - most captains are chosen from the senior girls on the squad
Once you achieve the role of captain of the cheerleading squad, there are some specific responsibilities you'll be in charge of. Keep in mind that the captain serves as a leader both on the cheering floor and off.
- Know the routines inside and out
- Know the rules of cheerleading and competitions, such as no jewelry, and follow them to the letter
- Set a good example for the other cheerleaders by staying out of trouble
- Show respect to your coach and teachers
- Set specific goals for your team for both competitions and school games
- Put in extra effort for fundraising or spirit week
- Utilize the abilities of others on the squad. If one girl is the best jumper, have her share tips on how she perfected her jumps
- Come up with new routines and choreography
- Encourage the other cheerleaders to obey squad rules, and if they don't give them demerits or make them sit out of a game
- Mediate between coaches and cheerleaders
- Deliver information from the coaching staff to the squad
- Treat everyone equally
Depending upon how involved the coaching staff is in practices, you may also have responsibilities such as setting practice times, warming up cheerleaders at the start of a practice, leading others in cheers and solving conflicts. Once you make cheerleading captain or co-captain, talk to the coaches about what your specific responsibilities are.
Tips on Being a Good Leader
In addition to some of the elements mentioned above, such as following rules and showing respect, there are some other traits you can work on that will help you be the best leader possible. First, put in more time than anyone else on the squad. This will show the other girls that you are serious about your duties as a leader and willing to put in the extra effort. When other squads visit your school, become a spokesperson for the group. Greet the other team captain and show good sportsmanship.
It's important to be confident in your abilities but not seem conceited. A confident leader knows what stunts she does best and which ones others do best. Don't be afraid to delegate to those who excel as cheerleaders in various areas. One of the qualities of an excellent leader is finding those who are skilled and training them to become the next generation of captains on the squad.