There is nothing more exciting for a cheerleader than filling a gym with the roaring approval of crowd chants for basketball. Because of the resonance of echoes in most gyms, getting a crowd going can literally shake the walls. But finding the right chant, and the right times to use it, is one of the skills that good cheerleaders constantly work on.
Crowd chants for basketball are sort of the direct opposites of floor cheers. The cheerleaders use their voices to teach and then join with the fans to chant for their team, which means that most of the focus is on the sounds of the words. Try to pick out chants that
- have short, monosyllabic words: "Hey!" "Go!" "Win!" "Yeah!"
- have a rhythmic pattern "Here we go! (clap) Don't ya know! (clap) Why we smile! (clap) We got style! (clap)
- have rhyming words, when possible (see the above example).
Another good idea when coming up with chants for your basketball team is to try and come up with original material, specific to your school and your team and your squad. This really gives a personal touch and a motivational spur to your cheers that the entire crowd should be able to relate to. You'll also be more likely to avoid the embarrassment of performing the same cheer as the squad from the opposing team. Besides, coming up with your own cheers and chants is very, very easy, even if you've never done it before.
Examples of Crowd Chants for Basketball
One method that is always popular is to take common words used in basketball and spell them out, interspersed with clapping or stomping. Common words used include
- Whatever your team or school name is (assuming it's not too long).
Taking any one of these and working it into your cheer is a fairly simple process, either spelling the whole word out or taking just the first letter, repeating it with claps a few times, and then shouting out the whole word:
D (clap) D (clap) DE-FENSE (clap clap)
Remembering that chants are going to be more memorable if they have rhythm and rhyme to them, finding easy words to go with the sound of the letters can work very well:
''S (clap-clap) C (clap-clap) O (clap) R (clap) E!
Score the way to Vic-to-ry!
Notice how in the latter example the last word, even though it has three syllables, is sounded out individually so that it's very easy to hear and remember. It also has hard consonants, which work better in the horrible acoustics of a gymnasium.
Not all crowd chants for basketball have to be that short. One way to get a crowd really worked up is to set up a pattern of call and response with them. The way to start this is to get their attention:
Hey Spartan fans (or whatever the school mascot is) Lemme hear you shout! Shout it out, what we're all about!
and then give them simple rhythmic phrases that they can bellow out:
Shout: Fight, Spartans, Fight!
Crowd yells FIGHT, SPARTANS, FIGHT!
Shout: Win, Spartans, Win!
Crowd yells WIN, SPARTANS, WIN!
Spend the time before the game coming up with the variations that you're going to teach the crowd, but don't hesitate to use the inspiration of the game itself to shape your cheers. If a particular team member has just scored a three pointer, for example, using his or her name instead of the team name will invigorate and encourage the team to do better. Nothing puts heart in a team like having a cheering crowd, and that's what makes the cheerleaders so vital to the sport.