As our 2011-2012 cheer and dance season nears the end, it’s time to get excited for another great season already! Competitive cheerleading rarely has a break, as tryouts for the 2012-2013 season come up only a few short weeks after the last competition. During that time, most gyms offer pre-tryout clinics and skills classes, but it’s a great idea to get a leg up on the competition- start practicing some new skills for tryouts now!
Consistent improvement is the basis of keeping happy, enthusiastic cheerleaders, so coaches, let the team live a little! At one of your next few practices, let your squad try something that’s a level higher than the level they are competing at. Start small, but every little progression will give the team a fresh new challenge, motivate them for tryouts, and prepare them for a higher level of competition next year!
Here are some level progressions that are a good start for building your athletes’ skills for tryouts and higher level teams:
For Level 1 teams (Progress to level 2):
-Bump ‘n go Prep to Extensions, Cradles from Extensions
-Half up Load-In to Prep/Extension
-Prep Level Libs
-Backhandsprings, Cartwheel Backhandsprings
-Extended Level One-Legged Pyramid (Middle group extended, braced by 2 prep-level side groups)
Level 2 (Progress to Level 3):
-Extended One-legged Stunts
-Half Up Load-In to Lib
-Single Twist Dismount from Prep or Extension
-Full Up to Sponge
-Standing 2 Backhandsprings, T-jumps or Jumps to Backhandsprings
Level 3 (Progress to Level 4):
– Full Up Load-In to Lib
-Double Twist Cradle from Prep
-One-legged Single Twist Cradle
-Double-Braced Front or Back Flips to Sponge/ Cradle
-Punch Front Connected to a Running Tumbling Pass
Level 4 (progess to Level 5):
-Full Up or Double Up Load In to One-Legged Stunt
-Double Twist Cradles from Extended One-legged Stunts
– Tick-Tocks in Extended One-Legged Stunts
-Downward Inversions From Extended One-legged Stunt to Cradle
-T-Jumps or Jumps to Tucks
-Single-Braced Front or Back Flips to Sponge/Cradle
Make it SAFE by only allowing 1 or 2 groups to go at a time for the first few tries, while everyone else spots. Make it FUN by having a contest- see which group can hit the most new skills, or reward individuals for trying a tumbling skill just slightly harder than they’re allowed to do at their level!
Check out www.theepicbrands.com to find complete rules and divisions information so you can create your own challenging stunts for your teams to progress with!