3 Questions to Reboot Your Cheer Coach Mindset

Back to School reinvigorates your cheerleading squad – why? Because it’s show time.

Not only are your cheerleaders’ skills on display at athletic events, cheering, dancing, stunting and tumbling, but cheerleaders are also in the spotlight among their peers as representatives of the student body. As cheerleaders, we have a responsibility to represent our school with good behavior and good performance in the classroom, often meeting or exceeding other student athlete requirements. It’s a task not to be taken lightly, and while everything is new, fresh and buzzing with back to school excitement, it’s a great time to reflect on the past few months of training and practice, to put yourself and your cheerleaders in the right mindset for good behavior and success this school year.

As a coach, it’s important to mentally prep yourself for back to school, so you’re equipped and ready when situational issues arise during school. Ask yourself these 3 questions to re-boot your mindset for coaching:

  1. What do I believe? Note your personal beliefs, and how they shape your day to day direction. Do you believe in equality? acceptance? leading by example? Does your faith play the main role, or take a back seat in your coaching philosophy?
  2. Who do I befriend? Keep good company. Do you confide in close friends, a sibling, a spouse, other coaches? Or are you confiding in cheer parents that have their own interests at heart and only want the gossip? It’s important to be able to talk through your coaching decisions, but also to be cognizant of who you’re sharing your time and details with. If you can name someone of bad influence in your circle, decrease the amount of time you’re giving to them.
  3. How do I behave? Generalize and list the types of behavior you expect of yourself. What behavior do you value? Are you courteous, honest, forgiving, respectful, thoughtful, sincere, forthright? If you’re being completely thorough, write down any undesirable behaviors on a separate sheet of paper. When your list is done, take the sheet of paper, wad them up and throw them out. It’s therapeutic to recognize the behaviors and physically destroy them. Carry and keep only your positive ones.

Keep your answers on notecards for reference, or just clip a page into the front of your coaching binder for a quick moment of clarity when the pressure gets turned up this season.

Now it’s your squad’s turn. At your next practice, take 20 minutes to have the girls individually answer each of the 3 questions, and keep it in their cheerleading binders for reference. They don’t need to share their answers, as a matter of fact, it should be a sheet for their personal reference only. It’ll be a helpful tool for you and your cheerleaders when situations arise during the season.

Have a great week! When doing this exercise GCITDOYD – CL4L!





What does GCITDOYD-CL4L mean? Get in The Cheer Huddle to find out…

Routine Breakdown Ep2 – Pro Style Cheerleading Dance

Who’s ready for some footbaaaaaallll? Here’s Episode 2 of Routine Breakdown, featuring a pro-style dance routine from some of AFL’s best dancers.

This is a super cute time-out dance routine, for when you need something quick and cute in between plays. These 8-counts also work well as a “freestyle” dance idea, if you’re thinking of auditioning for professional cheerelading and dance teams. As always, feel free to share it with your squad to practice and perform together!

** Thanks for checking out my Free Routine Breakdown video series! I made the first 3 episodes public, and you can see more step by step videos like this and get all the latest episodes, when you subscribe to the Cheer Huddle email newsletter! It’s free & it’s full of weekly cheer-awesomeness.

Get started learning:

Now that you know it, here is the routine in action – follow along with the AZ Rattlers Sidewinders Dancers!

Do you have a cute routine that you want to learn? Send me the youtube link (or any video link) and I will break it down step by step for you!

Remember, GCITDOYD – CL4L!



Cheerleading Tryouts: Rookie Mistake #1

Don’t be the one. Stand out the right way by avoiding this mistake!

As a judge, I see it all the time at cheerleading tryouts – No matter whether it’s professional cheerleader auditions for the NFL and NBA, high school cheer tryouts, all-star or youth – There’s always a few in every group that commit Rookie Mistake #1Not practicing full out. When the pressure is on, it’s obvious who is confident and who is not.

One of the keys to looking like a veteran at cheerleading tryouts is confidence. It’s not something anyone will teach you at clinics and workshops. You have to know how to strengthen your confidence by yourself.

One of the keys to having a strong, confident cheerleading tryout is to know the routines backward and forward, like you can do them in your sleep. Most high school cheerleading tryouts teach the routines ahead of time, so take as much extra practice time as you need to really perfect all the material.

But what if you don’t get to learn the routines ahead of time? In most professional cheerleading and dance auditions, there simply isn’t time to learn the routine by heart, because you’ll only have an hour to learn it and perform it for the judges. The key here is to have PRACTICED putting yourself in that situation, so you know what works best for you to focus and calm your nerves. You may not know the exact motions ahead of time, but you’ll have the invaluable knowledge of how to digest the information and ultimately put your best foot forward in front of the judges.

For high school cheerleading tryouts

To avoid Rookie Mistake #1, prepare for tryouts by attending ALL available clinics and workshops prior to tryouts. Be careful not to rely on others to teach you the steps after the clinic is over, if you have a question while you’re learning the routine, raise your hand and ask for clarification. Chances are, someone else has the same question, too. It’s important not to get “stuck” on a part that you didn’t really “get” – or worse, to practice it wrong all week before tryouts. Most importantly, practice your routine FULL OUT in front of people. Veteran cheerleaders always practice full out, with full voice, full motions, full tumbling and jumps – everything. Grab your mom, dad, neighbors, your pet – anyone that will take 5 minutes to watch you do the cheer and dance. Try not to start over, or make excuses like, “I just learned this.” Practice smiling, projecting your voice, and really putting on a show. You’ll be a natural in front of the judges when it really counts.

For Pro cheer auditions

Go to prep classes and clinics that are run similar to tryouts. Ideally, classes where you learn a routine and immediately perform it afterward for the group. It takes practice to feel confident when you literally just learned the steps – but it can separate the rookies from the veterans. Use each opportunity to perform in front of others as your chance to go full out. On the day of tryouts, the butterflies will still be there, but you’ll know how to focus and concentrate on a great performance in front of the judges.






What does GCITDOYD-CL4L mean? Get in The Cheer Huddle to find out…

Cheerleaders – So You Think You Can Dance?

Melanie Moore was crowned America’s Favorite Dancer in last night’s SYTYCD finale. I LOVE this show and the original choreography that comes out of the talented group of choreographers that continue to push the dancers to become versatile in all styles of dance. In cheerleading, stiff motions and precise movements are key to squad uniformity, but I am a BIG advocate of being versatile. Cheerleaders definitely benefit from versatility too!

SYTYCD Top 6 Finalist Ricky Jaime is a perfect example. Did you know he was an All-star cheerleader on Brandon All-stars Senior team before gracing the SYTYCD stage? He’s an all-around athlete, an amazing gymnast, cheerleader AND dancer – Rock on, Ricky!

Cheerleaders, Here’s Your Challenge

If you didn’t catch this already, you should definitely put down your poms for a minute and try out these hip hop moves taught by NappyTabs themselves – Master choreographers, Tabitha and Napoleon. They break it down into 8-counts to learn. Try to copy their “swag”, really bend your knees and use your levels to get that grounded hip-hop style. Don’t be afraid to step out of your cheer-comfort zone every once in a while. It will make you an all-around better athlete and cheerleader!

Dance Day 2011 Routine – Dizzy Feet Foundation

Cheerleaders and Hip-Hoppers unite! GCITDOYD – CL4L!





What does GCITDOYD-CL4L mean? Get in The Cheer Huddle to find out…

500 Cheerleading Cheers and Chants

I created the total cheerleading cheers and chants solution for cheerleaders and coaches, so you can quit wasting time searching and move on to the fun part – learning and performing them. The time to access them is almost here – 500 Cheers and Chants videos are close to completion!

Learn More about 500 Cheers and Chants – click here

Right now, I’m offering a Limited Time Pre-Sale for the first 50 people to sign up for 500 Cheers and Chants at Cheerleadingcheersandchants.com. If you’re on the list, there’s no need to pay today. I will send you notification when 500 Cheers and Chants is available, and you can choose to use your 82% discount at that time (or choose to pass it along to the next person in line). Interested? Then sign-up and save your spot.

The 500 Cheers and Chant solution details are here, but here’s a brief run-down of the huge value you’ll get:

  • Videos – Tutorials for ALL 500 cheers and chants. I’m talking over 1200 minutes of video here. Learn them all, or only the ones you’ll use. It’s up to you if you want to go into turbo-cheer mode!
  • Audio – A lot of people dig having the words to cheers and chants on their ipod, computer, etc…so I’m including over 2.5 hours of audio files for you to download and use for practice and “refreshing” your memory once you’ve learned them all! 🙂
  • Notes – What good coach doesn’t need word to hand out to her team? I have all 500 (+30 BONUS!) in printable format for you to download and keep.

I’m teaching every type of cheer and chant you can imagine:

  • 216 General Chants
  • 70+ Cheers and Chants for Youth/Beginners
  • 75 Defense Chants
  • 90 Offense Chants
  • 62 Chants for Football
  • 53 Chants for Basketball
  • 16 Chants for Volleyball and Wrestling
  • 100 Cheers for Halftimes, “Hello Cheers”, Floor Cheers, and Competition Cheers

PLUS 30 BONUS Old Skool Cheers for fun! (It’s actually MORE than 500 Cheers if you add them up!) But 500 Cheers and Chants has a nice ring to it 🙂

Get in my Top 50 – Sign-up today!

I’m nearly done…the videos are in their final editing stages, getting ready for release at the end of August! Can’t wait to share.

As always, GCITDOYD – CL4L!




What does GCITDOYD-CL4L mean? Get in The Cheer Huddle to find out…

Routine Breakdown – Episode 1 Cheer Dance

It’s finally here. I’m excited to release Episode 1 of Routine Breakdown!

This is a super cute cheer dance routine -perfect for cheerleading tryouts, games and performances with your squad. The original video is popular on youtube so I broke it down step by step for you to learn. Take it at your own pace, and when you’re comfortable with Part A, go on to Part B. Feel free to share it with your squad to practice and perform together!

** Thanks for checking out my Free Routine Breakdown video series! I made the first 3 episodes public here on my blog. To see more step by step videos like this and get new routines each week, subscribe to my Cheer Huddle email newsletter! It’s free & it’s chock full of weekly cheer-awesomeness. Get in the Huddle!

Let’s get it started! Start with Part A

Now go on to Part B…

Do you have a cute routine that you want to learn? Send me the youtube link (or any video link) and I will break it down step by step for you!
Remember, GCITDOYD – CL4L!




New Cheerleading Video Series – Routine Breakdown

I’m pleased to announce the launch of my new video series: Routine Breakdown!

Have you ever watched a cute cheerleading or dance routine and thought, “I want to learn that!”?  Now you can!

I take popular videos of cheerleading and dance routines and break them down to teach it to you step by step. I’m posting a new cheer or dance routine breakdown video each week.

Have you seen a cute routine on youtube that you’d like to learn? Send me the link!

I’ll be taking your suggestions for which routines to teach, and doing my best to get to them all. Get in touch with as many links as you’d like 🙂

Check back to my blog for all the public Routine Breakdown videos, and subscribe to the Cheer Huddle to get access to ALL the latest routines delivered to your inbox each week.

Remember, GCITDOYD – CL4L!

Neeley’s Cheerleading Music Playlist for Back to School

Here are some hand-picked cheerleading songs, perfect for pumping up your crowd at your back to school pep rallies and cutting into cheer mixes. These are sure to get your crowd on their feet and partying with you!

Check out what’s on my ipod right now…(click on any song to listen on itunes)

  1. I Wanna Go – Britney Spears
  2. Run the World – Beyonce
  3. Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
  4. Tonight Tonight – Hot Chelle Rae
  5. Give Me Everything – Pitbull
  6. You Make Me Feel…- Cobra Starship
  7. I like to Dance – Hot Chelle Rae (Mattrad Remix)
  8. Super Bass (Clean) – Nicki Minaj


When you’re prepping for performances, don’t forget to GCITDOYD – CL4L!




What does GCITDOYD-CL4L mean? Get in The Cheer Huddle to find out…

Quick Tip: Double Up on Cheers and Chants

Double the number of cheers you have in your repertoire by doing this easy shortcut:  Try the same motions, with different words that fit the chant rhythm.

For example:

Touchdown x Touchdown x We Want 6!


Basket x Basket x We Want 2!

Try it with offense, defense and general chants to spice up your set of cheers and chants!

Don’t forget to GCITDOYD – CL4L!




What does GCITDOYD-CL4L mean? Get in The Cheer Huddle to find out…

Get a Pro Cheerleader Tan 24/7 – NOT Jersey Shore

Get a Natural Looking Tan Without Turning Jersey Shore Orange!

Ok, so it’s no secret that Pro Cheerleaders have to maintain a healthy looking tan to look fab in uniform. With my skin naturally on the pale end of the spectrum , it’s something I have to work at constantly. Fortunately, I found a couple of tricks along the way.

I’m not advocating going overboard with indoor tanning, as you do accept some health risks in using UV tanning. I choose to limit my indoor tanning by using a mixture of both tanning beds and sunless tanning solutions. Since 2008, I no longer tan indoors. There are too many long-term health consequences and there are so many great sunless products now available. Forget the beds – Stay healthy. Here are some of my tricks for a quick sunless tan:

  • L’Oreal Sublime Bronze sunless tan towelettes  – a good glow develops in a few hours, and just a slight twinge of that weird tanning lotion smell. It’s a good quick fix if you have a last minute appearance.
  • Victoria’s Secret Body Bronzer – They discontinued my favorite, ulta-dark lotion, but the existing lines not only smell nice with the garden fragrances, but also do the quick fix trick. The shimmer gives a great look on stage under the lights, but beware, the lotion can get on your outfit and certainly on your undergarments, so don’t wear your Sunday best.
  • Spray Tan (I prefer the Mystic Tan brand) – This is every Pro Cheerleader’s reliable stand-by for an instant tan. I’ve had mine last for an average of 5 days, with it completely scrubbed off by day 7. The only downside is that you have to let the spray soak-in to your skin for 4 hours (so wear loose clothes) and I usually have that mystic-smell for a good 24 hours, even after I shower. My husband no-likey, but those are the sacrifices we make for game-day!
  • Benefit Hoola Bronzer – For my face, I can always get a shade darker by applying the Hoola Bronzer on top of my regular make-up powder application. Applied strategically under the cheekbones, along the jaw line, and near your temples, it can accentuate your facial features from farther away, so it’s always part of my game-day bronzing regime. It’s a great shade that nearly everyone can wear.

For a comprehensive list of sunless tanning product reviews, click here.

Pro cheerleaders always GCITDOYD – CL4L!




What does GCITDOYD-CL4L mean? Get in The Cheer Huddle to find out…

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