Cheerleading is a sport that is literally impossible to do without the help of a team. You can’t be a flyer without a base, you can’t do a pyramid without stunt groups, and you can’t throw a basket with just one person. Because of this, it is crucial to be a good teammate. A good teammate is someone that puts the success of the team before their own success.
How To Be A Good Cheer Teammate
The first thing to remember is that the team is only as strong as its “weakest” member. Not everyone on the team is going to be perfect at everything. Whether it be on a specific skill or a hard section of the routine, everyone will have their struggles. These are the times when you need to support them the most. Instead of becoming frustrated at someone for their shortcomings, lift them up and help them believe that they can succeed.
Your Attitude Can Affect The Mood Of The Whole Team
There is a saying that states, “You can either be cancer or a cure.” If you are acting like a “cancer,” your attitude will spread to the rest of your team, and then nobody is having fun. Practice can go from good to bad in an instant if you have a bad attitude. The reverse is also true. If one of your teammates is having a bad attitude, try to make their practice a little better by being a “cure”. Don’t buy into their bad attitude. If you are going through something challenging that is affecting your mood, make sure to try and leave it off the mat, and communicate to your teammates about it.
It Is Okay To Lean On Others For Support
An example of this is to help remove negative talk from the mat. If you hear anyone talking negatively- whether it be about themselves, a skill, someone else, or even your coach- try to change the narrative. Don’t buy into negative talk. Be the cure. Try to steer the conversation in a positive direction. Hold yourself accountable to only talking positively as well.
Remember that your teammates rely on you as much as you rely on them. Everyone has a role to play in the big picture of the routine. Whether your center stunt or you stand behind the stunt and cheer your teammates on, you should do that role to the best of your ability. If you are expecting the best out of your teammates, then they are expecting the best out of you.
Remember that your cheer teammates are not your enemies. Friendly competition can be used as motivation between teammates as long as it is not negative. If someone on your team is better at a skill than you are, use them as motivation to get better. You can always ask them for help and advice on the skill as well. The same goes for if you are better than someone else on your team. Help to bring their skills up to your level. These things will help your team become the strongest it can be.
Although cheerleading is not an individual sport, you can work on all of these things as an individual to better your team. If you practice all of these things within yourself, you will be helping your team succeed beyond just the skills on the mat.