The big day: cheerleading tryouts. You’ve been training for this for months, and then bam! It’s been put on hold.  School has been shut down, sports and activities have been canceled, and now you have been confined to your home.  How’s that daily checklist going?

Wake up…..eventually.


E-Learning….easy or hard, it’s gotta be done.



….when things get back to normal again, I’ll get back into my usual routine.

We don’t know how long this is going to take, weeks or months.  The longer we wait, the more out of shape and practice we will get in.  Have you ever recovered from an injury or taken several months off from a sport?  It’s not easy getting back into shape, and our skills back to what they used to be.  You’ve had a week or two, so let’s get back to work! 


Whatever you have available or not, there are tons of exercises you can do to keep in shape:  pushups, situps, burpees, lunges, running, riding a bike…they all will work.  Pick a time of day and stick to it. If you are not a pushup kinda girl, start simple and work your way up. When I was a sophomore in high school, I built up to 500 situps and 250 pushups a day. I didn’t just wake up and hit 500, I worked my way up to it gradually. The more you exercise, the more you feel good about yourself.


Come on, you know what is good for you and what is not.  Do I really need to go into this?  Pay attention to what you eat and how much you eat, and you are already on the right track.  Quit snacking because you are bored also.  Have some fruit!  You’ll be amazed at how much eating right can feel good about yourself also.


Stretching is just as important as working out!  They should go hand in hand!  One of my former students is on a mission to get all three of her splits, and she started posting daily social media videos. Is she showing off or is she looking for encouragement?  I think she is looking for support as well as putting her goal out there for everyone to see, which makes her want to stick to her guns! 


Jumps and tumbling are the most physical parts of cheer, with the exception of stunts, but that’s a little difficult to do and still stay 6 feet apart!  Most schools don’t require stunting anyway, because it’s too hard to judge the individuals!  Whatever your current tumbling skills are, don’t lose them.  New skills should be supervised by a professional coach, but you can keep the current ones sharp.  Get out in the yard and throw a few every day.  You are supposed to be trying out on a basketball court or maybe a dead mat, but the grass isn’t that different. Please make sure that you check for holes, sprinklers and dog poop before you start!

Jumps can be done just about anywhere.  If you have space in front of a mirror, use it.  If not, you can use a phone or tablet to record yourself and playback.  Focus on the technique first; proper arm position, straight legs, point your toes, land with your feet together.


There are tons of YouTube videos of tryout material that you could learn and practice to; cheers, chants, and dances.  Find some that you like, that look like they would be fun to learn. Heck, you can teach them to your new team in a few months to use on the sidelines!


In no time, the big day will come, whether it be virtual or in person.  You are going to be provided with material.  They will give you roughly a week to learn it.  Pay attention!  If you don’t know the material, it will be hard to sell it.  If you get a video of the material, make sure you learn the version where the girl’s back is to you and not facing you.  If she’s facing you, then you are going to learn it backward.  Awkward!!!

When learning the material, don’t just press play and try to keep up with the whole thing over and over.  Learn it four counts at a time.  Don’t move to the next four counts till you have it down perfectly.  When you get the dance, try performing it to a slower song.  Gradually build up to faster songs until you can perform it to the tryout music.  Take your time!  Pay attention to the small details.  Don’t rush to get to the end.

When the big day comes, you’ll be ready!  Own it!

Craig Callaway