What To Do Senior High School Year?

Discussion in 'College Cheerleading, NCATA, & STUNT' started by DonnaM, May 27, 2017.

  1. DonnaM

    DonnaM I shimmy daily

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    I am a mentor for a teen who wants to cheer in college, ideally on a competitive team. (Would LOVE to cheer for U Memphis or U Arkansas). She has been a top and backspot for S3 (5'4" and about 110 lbs) but cannot afford financially to cheer all star this year. She is homeschooled and will be 1/2 time at the community college in the fall. She also works part time as a lifeguard and swim instructor.

    Options for her to cheer include:

    Homeschool sideline team that does 1-2 regional competitions at an intermediate level

    Try out for the CC cheer team, which competes regionally and is non-building.

    Something else? (ideas?)

    She plans to continue tumbling and stunt classes/privates.

    Any suggestions for her? My role is mostly to help with college applications and ACT scores, but as a cheer mom, I'm one of the only adults in her life that "gets" that this is important to her. She is very down since her dad pulled the plug on cheer (particularly since she was really hoping to make it on S5 and go to Worlds this year).

     
  2. ashscott41

    ashscott41 I have my own cheer message board

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    I can't comment on Memphis, but I've had friends cheer at Arkansas and it is a very traditional program. I would suggest working gameday skills as much as possible, and thus would encourage her to do the homeschool sideline team. She will need top notch sideline skills and CLEAN partner stunting. Doesn't matter that you can do a toss double up if it isn't technically perfect. Stunting is much more important than tumbling there.

    Also, as much as we like to think size doesn't matter if you've got the skills, at the big schools it does. Arky is all about the collegiate look. Not saying she couldn't make it, but her build would put her at the larger end of the spectrum. You may also need to prepare her for that. If cheer is that important to her, encourage her to look at schools that also have all girl teams that would give her more opportunities to make a team as a versatile member who can fly/back. Biased since I'm an alum, but Mizzou may be a great option for her! I will say that the university has a drastically different culture to it than Arkansas though. I'd highly encourage visiting both. Coming from MU I was shocked at how tiny UA's campus was. Good luck!
     
  3. AndyT_T

    AndyT_T Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Arkansas is a very traditional UCA school and only has a large coed team as far as I know. I would HIGHLY suggest taking partner stunting privates somewhere. Call the local allstar gyms first since they can usually recommend someone (usually a current/ex college cheerleader who does partner stunting as a side job).
    Aside from stunting, the single most important tumbling skill any cheerleader can get is a standing tuck. If she doesn't have a one already, I would suggest she get a private/take a tumbling class to work on them. Standing tucks are one of those skills that many people can get without any prior tumbling experience if they work them hard enough (I swear the straight boys on my team got them in one day), so even if she doesn't have a handspring yet it is honestly better to skip right to standing tucks. Literally tell the coach of the tumbling class she takes that she needs it for tryouts and it's the only skill she wants to work on. If you do drills at home to build up the strength I honestly believe almost anyone could get a standing tuck in a year.

    BUT, if money is tight doing a stunting private (even just once a week) would be the most beneficial use of your money.
     
  4. ScottyB

    ScottyB There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

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    Look into Austin Peay or Morehead too. Those smaller, mid level schools have good programs and can offer serious dollars.
     
  5. RileyElizabeth99

    RileyElizabeth99 I named my pet Sir Fierce-a-lot Worlds T-Shirt Designer

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    About this time last year I was facing the same problem of how to prepare for college cheerleading. I had been taking once a week tumbling classes at an all-star gym near me and I was in a position on my high school team where I was not stunting but I was doing sideline work so I had to figure out how to be at my best for tryouts mostly on my own so this is a bit of advice I think I should share. :)

    1. Don't decide where you want to go to school based on cheer. My parents made it very clear that I would not choose a school based on cheer. The cost of tuition, distance from home and major program that you are going after should be the most important things that you look at in a school. I only considered two schools and both had cheer programs. One was four hours from home and the other is only two. At one school my 3.5 GPA and 30 ACT score wouldn't even cover half of my tuition and I would still have housing and fees to pay and at the other I was looking at basically a full ride. One competes at UCA yearly and is consistently in the top 10 and the other was more of an up and coming program based more on game day skills. I toured both campuses and even attended a three week honors program at one of the schools before making up my mind. I chose the school school that I felt more at home at even though their cheer program is not a competitive program which is something that I originally thought I wanted. Additionally, you have to consider what you are going to college to do. If you are a Pre Med student cheering at a school like U.K. where they have practices twice a day before UCA are you going to be able to handle it? College is first and foremost school after all. When choosing a school also make sure to look at all financial aide and scholarship deadlines as these deadlines are often way cheer tryouts so if for some reason you end up not making the team at a school you wanted to attend only to cheer, you are now faced with the problem of losing out on scholarship money, a good dorm and even more.

    2. Contact the coach about the program or if possible attend a game to see the program in action! I emailed the cheer coach of my college around fall break and expressed my interest in the program along with a brief synopsis of my cheer experience and skills and she invited me to come to a game as a recruit. There, she answered my questions and I was able to get a better feel for the skill set of the team and what to expect come tryouts. Contacting the coach was also how I got information about clinics and tryout requirements/ information that would have I otherwise would not have been able to get access to early enough to really prepare for tryouts.. For me, I feel as if this got my foot in the door and gave me a better idea of what I was getting in to.

    3. Keep in shape and continue working on skills. Of course this means taking tumbling classes but being physically fit is also HUGE. I began going to the gym once or twice a week in addition to my tumbling and stunt class and that made a world of difference for me. A huge part of any college is game day skills so if you have never done that a good way to work on those skills would be to contact a local high school coach and maybe see if he/she would be able to evaluate those skills for you and give advice on how to improve. Tumbling and stunting are a big part of cheer but you can have the best tumbling in the world but if you are without game day skills you might not make a team. However, gameday skills are not hard to learn especially if you have cheered at a high all star level, it just takes a bit of practice.

    Best of luck to her! I am super lucky that I was able to find a perfect fit that included cheer and I am sure that she can too! If you have any questions or need any more advice you can PM me for more specific details of things I did!
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2017
  6. retiredl5cheer

    retiredl5cheer Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    This is fantastic advice. I second all of this.
     
  7. dhubbz

    dhubbz Cheer Stalker

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    Whoa whoa whoa If you look into Austin Peay, look into the University of Central Arkansas.
     
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  8. ScottyB

    ScottyB There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

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    Also valid!
     
  9. DonnaM

    DonnaM I shimmy daily

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    Anyone know anything about cheer at MTSU? They have some nice scholarships on top of the HOPE...
     
  10. AndyT_T

    AndyT_T Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Morehead is mid level?! :eek:
     
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  11. quitthedrama

    quitthedrama I buy my Insta followers

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    Everything @RileyElizabeth99 said!! Also to keep in mind, some programs that were good 2-3 years ago can go downhill quickly, become ground-bound or be prohibited from competing, and/or injuries unfortunately happen, so if you are just picking a school based on the cheer program, you could be extremely disappointed any time during those 4+ years.
    Some level 6 (or even open 4 or 5) teams at all star gyms have open practices, especially during the summer. Inquire at every available gym in your area. It could be a great way to get experience and conditioning without a big expense.
     
  12. ScottyB

    ScottyB There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

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    Mid level in the grand scheme of College Athletics lol
     
  13. cheerisloving

    cheerisloving I'm an announcer on CBS for Worlds (or should be)

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    The more competitive a school is academically, the harder it can be to field a top caliber team. If the average GPA of an admitted student is a 3.0, then the next year it's a 3.5, you're losing out on some athletes for sure. Let's face it, every Susie isn't an AP scholar. That's why I can not stress how important it is to still be a well-rounded student.