As 8th grade cheerleaders, young girls are able to begin learning more advanced cheers, tumbling and stunts. There are many perks to being a cheerleader and a leader in your school during your final year before you enter high school. Most middle schools and junior highs have two squads, and the 8th grade squad is generally the more advanced of the two.
Tryouts for 8th Grade Cheerleaders
If you've already cheered on 7th grade squad, trying out for the 8th grade squad should be a fairly simple process. After all, you've already experienced tryouts before. You know what the coaches expect and the level of performance they want to see. Those judging the tryouts, usually the coaches, already know how you can perform as a cheerleader. This should reduce the stress of trying out because even if you accidentally forget part of the routine, the coaches will know you are just having an off day or a case of nerves.
Still, it is always best to give the performance of your life to make extra sure that you make the squad. Be sure to do the following before the 8th grade cheerleaders try out:
- Show up to all the practice and training sessions, and learn the routine thoroughly.
- Listen to the coaches about how to perform the moves. If there is anything you don't understand, be sure to stay after or come early, and ask the coach to explain in more detail until you understand the move.
- Practice the routine at home until you can perform it without thinking about your next move.
- Ask a fellow cheerleader or friend to watch you perform the routine and point out any flaws or areas where you might improve. Accept their criticism with a smile. Remember, you asked for it. Also, it is only through this type of feedback that you can improve your performance as a cheerleader.
- Once you have the routine down cold, practice making your moves sharper, your yells louder and your jumps higher.
- The night before tryouts, make sure you get plenty of rest.
Representing Your School
Once you've made cheerleading as an 8th grader, remember that you are a role model for many other students in the school. When you go to away games or cheer competitions, you are representing your school not only as a member of the sports team, but also as one of the oldest students in the school.
Remember when you were a sixth or seventh grader? Did you look up to the older kids in eighth grade and wish you could be like them? The younger kids coming into the school feel the same way about you now that you're an 8th grader. Besides cheering loud and getting the school pepped up at rallies and games, you'll want to watch the following as a role model in your school:
- Dress appropriately.
- Watch your language and attitude; be positive.
- Don't talk bad about other cheerleaders on the squad or gossip about others.
- Be kind to everyone, even those that don't run in the same social circle as you do. Remember that others are watching how you act and may base their behavior on this.
- Keep your uniform clean and wrinkle free.
- Smile and try to encourage others to have a good day.
If you can remember to do these things, your role as an 8th grade cheerleader will extend to far more than simply performing cheers, chants and stunts. As a cheerleader, you'll become a highly visible part of the school, and you'll have an impact on some of the attitudes within the walls. You'll also be preparing yourself for high school cheerleading next year. Remember that this is your final year before high school, so make the most of it and cheer your heart out!