How Do You Tryout For College Cheerleading

How Do You Tryout For College Cheerleading

You watch the cheer squad on the sidelines supporting your favorite team at every college game. The excitement of leading your team to victory and the rush of being in front of thousands of people who all want to cheer with you, whether you’re coed or all-girls, is an experience that’s unmatched in cheerleading.

College gameday traditions include crowd leadership, tumbling, and the intensity of the game. So you’d like to cheer at college? What steps do you take to fulfill your dream?

How Do You Tryout for College Cheerleading

You will need to get in touch with the coach and go to college clinics once you have narrowed down your options. If you are serious about joining the team, you should get in touch with the coach. The majority of collegiate programs offer information regarding clinics and visits on their websites.

In contrast to spirit programs in high schools, college cheer coaches are in charge of selecting each member of the squad. They must have access to as much information as feasible regarding your aptitude and skill set. Athlete questionnaires are available in certain programs, enabling you to inform the coach about your skills.

Attend Clinics and Learn the Traditions

Another way to see and learn about the expectations of the program is to attend college tryout clinics. Clinics are held in the fall and the spring and interested juniors and seniors are strongly encouraged to attend. Most colleges and Universities provide an opportunity for you to learn about the expectations, traditions, and skills needed for college tryouts. Each school is different. Do not assume that all schools require the same elements or appearance with tryouts and game day cheer.

“To know what each college is looking for you need to attend their clinics”.  At the clinics, traditions such as the school’s Fight Song, Chants, and pre-game activities will be covered. You will need to know and perform the school’s Fight Song for tryouts. This is a tradition and legacy with motions, movements, and sometimes words that date back for generations.

The Fight Song is something that identifies the School and it’s a moment of pride for the Alumni. The cheer team is responsible for leading and performing the Fight Song at games and appearances for the college and athletic departments. Other requirements such as tumbling and stunting will be covered at the clinics. Since you will be working with members of the team, waivers and other paperwork may be required.

It is important to know in advance what paperwork is needed, completed and returned to register and attend the clinics. “Realize that all skills must be cleanly executed and performed on a non-spring floor and/or basketball court” reminds Laron-Pickett. This is a big difference between all-star cheer and collegiate cheer. Due to the public appearances and interaction with the crowd as well as media promotions, each school will have specific gameday appearance guidelines.

“It is important to look the part, make sure to research and ask specific questions about the team’s appearance and look”, states Moses, “Teams require certain practice and game day attire and appearance it is important that you look the part at tryouts. This information is given at tryout clinics.” If you can, attend more than one tryout clinic at the schools you intend to apply and tryout for in the spring.

Clean Skills Executed Strongly

To get fans excited about the game, college gameday cheer is a very tidy form that is performed in front of the audience. The pyramids and feats must be able to be completed in the limited area on the sidelines to captivate the audience and not detract from the action. To guide the audience in their applause and chanting, the athletes must be able to stunt and lead them with signs and poms in synchrony. While not necessary, prior crowd leadership experience is quite helpful throughout the tryout process.

Timeline and Important Items

Fall marks the beginning of college cheer squad tryout workshops in addition to football season. You still have time to enroll in classes to improve your talents and meet the requirements for tryouts if you lack the necessary abilities in the fall. There are typically clinics held during basketball season or before the real tryout process if you are unable to attend the fall trial clinics. Make sure you visit admissions and take a tour of the campus while you’re on campus for the tryout clinics. You must be admitted to the college before trying out. It is crucial to be aware of all the dates that are relevant to both the audition and admissions processes.

College Cheerleading Tryout Checklist

Research your favorite College Teams

  • What teams do they cheer for?
  • How long are the seasons?
  • How many practices per week?
  • What is the time commitment?
  • Do they compete?
  • Personally email the coach with background information and any questions

When are Fall and Spring Tryout Clinics

  • What do I need to where/practice appearance?
  • What paperwork do I need to submit or bring with me?
  • How do I register?
  • How much does it cost?

While at the Clinic

  • When and how do I learn the Fight Song?
  • What are the running and standing tumbling requirements?
  • What stunts do I need to perform?
  • What are the practice, game day and appearance requirements?
  • When are tryouts?

Typical Items Needed For College Tryouts

  • Fight Song
  • Sidelines
  • Stand Tumble
  • Run Tumble
  • Application/information form
  • Admission letter
  • Physical

Tips To Help You Through College Cheerleading Tryouts

1. Prepare Well The Night Before

It’s normal for you to feel a little anxious the night before the tryouts. you ensure that you feel fantastic the following morning, and make sure you fuel your body in a healthy way the day before you take the mat. “You’ll look good if you feel good!” To avoid rushing to get ready the next day, lay out your clothes. You want to be as relaxed as you can be!

2. Study The Team ‘Look’

Every program has a certain “look” that it portrays and is unique. It’s crucial to look exactly like a team member, whether that means wearing straight or curly hair, red or neutral lips, or bows instead of curlers. I think it’s better to look like you’re ready for the big game because that’s how many college recruiters desire you to appear!

3. Reach Out & Introduce Yourself

Before tryouts start, make sure to introduce yourself to the coaches if you haven’t attended a clinic before. Simply say hi and express your excitement to the coaches if you have attended a clinic! This shows them that you’re prepared and helps you make a good impression.

4. Set Yourself Up For Success

You have worked very hard and invested a lot of time up to this point, so make sure you prepare yourself for success during the tryouts. Continue honing whatever skills you have been working on but haven’t perfected; tryouts aren’t the place to rush things. This is simply going to cause you anxiety and needless tension during your interview. Pitches that you know you can hit ten out of ten times. When you’re at your most relaxed, that’s when you’ll shine!

5. Relax

Confidence comes from having calm nerves. Before beginning each talent, take a few deep breaths, unwind, and do your skill as best you can! My freshman year, I was a worried wreck, and I’ve since discovered that being rigid just makes your abilities more difficult to perform. Because you won’t get this moment back, please relax, relax!

6. Let Your Personality Shine

Talk to the current team members who are there during tryouts by being personable. Ask them for advice, if possible. Be the one who puts themselves out there by stepping beyond their comfort zone during the nervousness that permeates everyone at tryouts!

7. Pay Attention To The Little Things

Although skill is a major factor in college cheerleading, it is not the sole factor. Aside from physical attributes, other important factors include gestures, looks on game day, demeanor, and overall impression. Happiness is the best policy. Get your broken wrist fixed and savor the moment! Your uniqueness will come through in the tiny things.

8. Know The Material

The fight song is one thing that you should be well familiar with. Should you arrive at the tryouts having learned the battle song by heart, you will perform it with assurance! Studying the team’s cheers and band dances may also help you win. More is always better!

9. Interviewing

Although interviews are not required for all programs, you should be ready for them if they are. Most of the time, the coaches or judges are interested in your personality. They may ask you a few questions, such as “What makes you a good teammate?” or “Why do you want to attend this school?” When faced with a challenging question, try your best to answer it with a smile!

10. Confidence Is Key

My key advice for tryouts is this. I reminded myself of this every time I took the mat during the tryout process. Have faith in yourself! You will almost certainly do your skills more well if you perform with confidence, even if you are anxious about throwing a skill or anxious in general.


In summary, auditions are held in the spring semester in April and May. High school seniors have a hectic schedule during this time of year, and college trials typically take two days. When it comes to a “live” tryout, most larger universities demand that athletes be present; however, smaller colleges might permit videotape tryouts.

Inquiring and getting clarification on these matters is crucial both in the clinics and when speaking with the coach. Before you arrive at the tryouts, make sure you have finished all the paperwork.


1. How hard is it to get into college cheerleading?

  • This answer depends on how competitive the cheerleading program is. Cheer coaches at colleges that place at the NCA or UCA championships are extremely selective in their recruiting. They look for cheerleaders who align with or outperform the current talent on the team and add consistency to their program.

2. How do you stand out at cheer tryouts?

  • Research skill requirements as far in advance as possible
  •  Turn all paperwork in on time or early
  •  Practice the tryout material at home
  • Brush up on your basics
  • Remember your performance during clinics is also important

3. What do they ask you in cheer tryouts?

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