School Cheer Tryouts (or Muzzling my Inner Cheer Coach)

Y’all. I don’t know how to accurately explain the last month & a half. School cheer here is another animal. The competition is insanely fierce; amazing allstar cheerleaders *don’t make it* every.single.year. We all know head-scratching, heart-breaking cases - and I know several more after this Saturday.

Saturday was FINALLY the culmination of one of the most stressful parenting weeks I’ve ever felt. I acknowledge that it sounds slightly pathetic to be that “dramatic” about school cheer tryouts, but I’m also in a different boat: I coached this style of cheer for *8 YEARS* and have run our area’s ONLY youth cheer program for sideline cheer! It was my life for so long; the enemy absolutely tried to bait me, whispering “How embarrassing would it be if the president of the youth cheer league’s daughter doesn’t make it???”

All week, I prayed those lies down ad nauseam. This was *her* journey, not mine. The outcome was not a reflection on me - it was all her, and I refused to insert myself into it. Of course, I would have LOOOOOVED to drill the tryout cheer, chant, & dance with her every night until she passed out :-D but I was NOT going to be a helicopter parent, (even when I *do* know what I’m doing & talking about in this particular arena!) I kept my mouth shut & only helped when she came to me first. Do y’all have any idea how HARD this was for me?!?!?! I deserve a non-meddling medal! :-D

It made the experience better for her, b/c it truly *was* hers ...but I was DYYYYYING inside the whole week: no part of 2 hours of clinics after school each day, extra coaching tips & review daily with a good friend (I coached *her* daughter several years; she’s a local junior high/high school tryout guru, so she returned the favor!) mock tryouts Friday, and finally the real deal Saturday. I thought I was going to EXPLODE with the internal stress I was desperately trying to pray down. Trying to be low-key supportive on the outside & turning off my inner dictator-cheer coach was a nonstop battle.

We arrived Saturday morning at 10 AM; the girls went back at 10:45:
I escaped to do a friend’s fitness class at my little gym close by (no parents allowed inside tryouts, anyway) and they were done at 12:20. All 15 junior highs in our district (yes! 15!!! all with ~2,000 kids!!!) held tryouts this same morning, at the same high school. I kept hearing results from friends & former cheerleaders from my youth program (proud!!!) as they were announced...

...Ours was *THE LAST* to post!!! Annelise had said she did well - not upset, but not über certain. She said everyone was good, no one was awful. No callbacks, so they knew exactly who they wanted. She said she did the dance right, but twice ended up one count off. As long as she didn’t let her face show she was wrong, though, that wouldn’t matter, b/c they don’t do it all together - the judges (professional UIL judges brought in - not judged by teachers, coaches, or other girls!) absolutely wouldn’t notice.

Results were supposed to go up by 4 PM. All other schools knew by 1:15. Torture. Constant website refreshing...

We found out about 2:30...

She. Made. It.

It was alllll her. We cried happy together!!! They only took 10 girls, instead of the district max 12. :-O Even prouder.

I felt like I just finished an emotional marathon...

So now she has uniform fitting this week, and practices begin May 2. She’ll go to UCA Cheer Camp in July, and yes - she’s definitely still doing allstar competition cheer, too! (They’re two separate things: it’s like tap & ballet - they’re both dance with some similar skills, but they look, sound, & work completely different. For the school cheer tryout: no tumbling or stunting = her two best allstar aspects.)

Speaking of allstar cheer, she ALSO had her tryout for next season (the new team she’ll make after Summit) on Saturday, too!!! :-D It was purposely set for *after* school cheer results. :-P Let me tell you, this girl was on FIRE! Something has clicked for her with her back tucks, and she has become so strong - she nailed every tumbling pass & stuck every landing! She wrote out what she did:

•Standing front walkover round off back handspring back tuck
•Running round off tuck
•Punch front pause power hurdle round off back handspring back tuck
•Toe touch three back handsprings
•Jumps: pike, right hurdler, left hurdler, toe touch
•Flyer air skills: front stretch to bow, scorpion to scale
•Back handspring step out round off back handspring back tuck
•Running round off back handspring back tuck

I don’t know if it was the school cheer momentum or what, but it was the best allstar tryout ever! #cheerlife


  1. Oh my word, I was so stressed out reading through the first part of this post!! :) God definitely blessed you with self-control last week! I've been in similar situations - not necessarily cheer related - but times where I just needed to let "their thing" be "their thing" and not insert my knowledge or advice into the situation.

    SO excited for all of you that she made the squad!!! Look forward to hearing about and seeing pictures from this different side of cheer, too!

    1. YEEESSSSSS: “their thing” 👍

      Thank you SOOO MUCH for praying us through this journey!!!


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