9 Tips for a Successful Practice:
Consistency is key. Assign one or two students to be in charge of practice every day. These students will run warm-ups and stretching, teach any cheers or dances, and keep practice organized.
Structure creates security. Always start and end your practices the same way. We recommend that you start with a quick warm-up routine and stretching and end with a game.
Safety first. If you decide to stunt with your new teammates, keep the stunts very basic. Start with simple thigh-stands, and slowly work your way up to preps with at least two spotters, depending on the size of your flyer and the skill of your base. Always use mats.
Games on the go. To keep practice running smoothly, create games for restroom and drink breaks.
Watch your language. Refrain from using words like “retarded" during practices. It is rude, demeaning, and can upset your new teammates and anger their parents. Also refrain from using any profanity at practice. You may be used to hearing profanity at school, but your new teammates can find profane language very upsetting.
Repetition reaps rewards. After learning a new cheer or dance routine, make sure you go over it at every practice for at least two weeks. Even if you only run through it once or twice, reviewing it will help your new cheerleaders remember it before games.
Prompts propel progress. Feel free to give prompts if someone is having trouble remembering what to do. Just whisper the words and model the actions. You will be able to fade the prompts over time.
Partner with parents. If a new teammate is having behavioral problems at practice, let his/her parents know. Remember, parents know their children better than anyone and can work with you to resolve the issue. Parents will love watching you work with their children and will be able to offer the best advice on how to better interact with their child.
Focus on fun! While skill-building is gratifying, friendship, acceptance and fun are the most important things you offer to your new teammates. Stay positive and patient during the process and the skill-building will occur naturally.