So it’s over… you’ve graduated, been injured, or something else is preventing you from continuing to cheer. This can be devastating for some cheerleaders because of the large role that cheerleading has previously played in their lives. For many, cheerleading becomes a way of life, and learning to move forward without cheering can be difficult. There are many ways to ease into this transition, and the below suggestions will hopefully help your transition to be seamless.
If cheer lives inside of you and you simply can’t imagine yourself not involved in cheerleading, you have several options:
- Join a collegiate level team or an open team. Most colleges/universities offer some type of cheer or spirit squad. Find out the requirements and take the necessary steps to tryout or sign up for the team. If you are looking to fulfill the competitor within, seek out a local open team. You can usually find open teams associated with local competitive cheer programs. If you find a local cheer program that doesn’t have an open team, suggest the idea of starting one. Most programs have athletes that graduate every year, and many would be happy to continue their cheer career.
- Volunteer. There are thousands of youth cheerleading programs throughout the country, and they are in constant need of knowledgeable staff members. If you are good with children and love to cheer, volunteering may be the perfect way to combine these two skill sets. Check out local rec centers, cheer gyms, and youth programs for volunteer opportunities.
- Become a staff member for a cheer-related company. There are tons of national cheer companies that host camps and competitions annually. Each year, these programs seek staff members to help run both the competitions and camps. This forum is a great means to get in some traveling, share your cheer knowledge, and meet some great people along the way.
- Coach. Coaching requires a bit more of a commitment and skill level than volunteering, but it is a fantastic way to fulfill your cheer needs. Start with the program you have recently graduated from to see if they are looking for any coaches. Starting as an assistant coach is a great way to get your feet wet and learn the ropes. As a coach, it is important to be well-rounded in all aspects of cheerleading and to be capable of handling all the administrative responsibilities that also come along with coaching.
- Cheer wear. Some people harness their passion for cheer through exploring cheer fashions. There are hundreds of companies that specialize in creating cheer uniforms, bows, shoes, bags, etc. If you are a budding cheer fashionista, consider interning with one of these companies, such as Cheerleading.com!
- Document the cheer experience. Explore your skills at documenting the sport. There are multiple cheer magazines and web sites that seek freelance writers and photographers to help furnish content. So if you are good with words or a camera, you may want to consider this route.
Your time as a cheerleader may be over, but it clearly doesn’t have to be the end of cheerleading! There are many opportunities in which to continue being involved in cheerleading; you just have to find the one that’s right for you!