By Jeanne Ehn
The following ideas are tips for cheer coaches and their cheerleaders to keep crowds going in a positive way at games.
- Be professional. Chewing gum, talking and laughing with each other, ignoring your job (cheering & leading the crowd) will turn a crowd off. They will decide you don’t care enough, so they won’t follow.
- Be approachable to the crowd. Be at the game early to warm up and be prepared. Take time to talk to them or explain a new chant before the game begins. Tell the crowd when they’ve done well and followed you.
- Use strong voices & make eye contact with the crowd. This shows confidence. If the crowd can’t hear the cheerleaders, they have no reason to follow. The same goes for eye contact. Look at everyone in the crowd. Not just a small group of people such as a group of friends. The crowd will feel ignored if you just cheer to a certain few.
- Repeat each chant at least 3-4 times. It takes that many times for the crowd to catch on to what you are doing. Once they start chanting with the cheerleaders, continue 2-3 more times.
- Chant while the team is in the huddle during football. Starting a simple chant like “Go, Go, Go…” when the down is fourth and one and the team is in the huddle will have a lot more impact than during the play itself.
- Cheer often: at least every other play. This will not only keep you mentally in the game, but your crowd is more likely to follow. You should cheer between EVERY play when the game is very close or momentum is starting to switch.
- Let anyone start chants when necessary. During a game many of the chants are probably started by a captain or someone with more experience, but when the game is at a pivotal point, the most important thing is keeping the chanting going so anyone should be able to start a chant: even if you repeat chants. Practicing/Rehearsing this in practice will help everyone be ready for game situations.
- Urge the Crowd by talking to them. “Yell with us!” “Louder!” “I can’t hear you!” And then remember to praise the crowd when they follow your lead – thumbs up, clapping above your head, “Good job, Comet fans!” (use your mascot)