Cheer News and Stories

Cheerleading Blog

Omni Cheer Blog

Cheerleading Blog is a leading source for cheerleaders, coaches, parents, industry leaders, and the cheerleading community to find tips, news and answers for everything cheer.

Crochet a Cheer Bow Headband in 12 Easy Steps

Crochet a Cheer Bow Headband in 12 Easy Steps - September 20, 2017

Fall is upon us, which means it’s that time of year when cheerleaders and coaches are thinking about preparations for the season ahead. To kick off team bonding with the new squad—and to personalize your warmup uniform—plan a day for your team to get together and crochet team cheer bow headbands! This cute and cozy accessory is easy to make and fun for the whole squad.

This project takes one ball or skein to make. These are terms for different ways yarn is packaged, but they are roughly the same amount. If you go to your local craft store, any package of yarn will do. Be sure to get size 5, or bulky, yarn for this pattern. If you are new to crochet, I would recommend using a light or bright color yarn so that it’s easier to see your work.


This headband is a great project to bring your team together and keep your ears warm on the sidelines as the fall season gets underway. Happy crocheting, cheerleaders!

Difficulty level: very easy
Time: under 2 hours
Supplies:

  • Crochet hook, size J/10 (6 mm) 
  • Yarn needle 
  • Scissors 
  • 1 package of yarn, 5/bulky weight 

I’m a visual learner myself, so if you find that you’re able to learn better from watching someone crochet rather than reading instructions, that is totally fair! You can find videos and step-by-step illustrations on websites for craft stores and brands. Here are a few resources for visual learners:

 

Instructions:

1. Create a slipknot around your crochet hook and pull it snug. You should have a tail of about 3-5 inches of yarn on one end of the slipknot, and the yarn strand on the other side is attached to the ball. I’ll call these the ‘tail’ and the ‘yarn’ to keep it from being confusing.
  
2. Chain 9. Chains are the starting point of any crochet project. To chain, keep the tail off to the side and hold your work and the yarn in place. Dip your hook under the yarn and then twist the hook so it goes up and over the yarn. This is called yarning over. Catch the yarn under the hook and gently pull it through your slipknot, and you’ll have your first chain. As you make more, you’ll notice how the loops resemble chain links. Make sure that you pull the chains tight enough to hold their shape, but still a little loose to keep the headband stretchy.

3. Turn your work, which means you turn your work around so that the last chain you made is now your first chain.

For this project, we are going to be working with double crochets, which sound like they’re double trouble, but they’re not as intimidating as they sound. For double crochets, each stitch we make will be two chains tall. Pinch your chain gently between your fingers to hold it in place while you work. It helps to keep your fingers one or two chains below where you are crocheting. Use your other fingers to hold the yarn steady.

4. To make your first double crochet, yarn over, but instead of pulling the yarn through to make a chain, keep it on your hook. You should have two loops of yarn on your hook.

5. Insert your hook through the top two loops of the third chain. This term is a little tricky, because it actually means the third chain from your hook. Count backwards: the loop on your hook is zero, the chain next to your hook (the ninth chain you crocheted) is now your first chain, followed by your second and third chains. You want to insert your hook into what was originally your seventh chain.

When we start crocheting, the first two chains that we skipped will be pulled up to form the end of the row, kind of like a bookend. They’ll help to keep the height of our row of double crochets even.

6. Once your hook is through the third chain, use it to grab the yarn and pull it through the chain. You should now have three loops of yarn wrapped around your hook.

7. Yarn over again, and pull it through the first two loops on your hook. You should now have two loops on your hook. Yarn over one more time and pull it through the two remaining loops. You should now have one loop on your hook. Congratulations, you have completed your first double crochet!

From this point, it’s rinse and repeat. But since there’s a lot of bulky text up there, here is the simple version of how to double crochet: yarn over so that you have two loops on your hook and put your hook through the chain. Grab the yarn and pull it through so that you have three loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull it through the first two loops, then yarn over again and pull it through the next two loops. You will have one loop left.

8. Double crochet your way across the row. You will have seven double crochets when you finish. Chain 2 and turn your work. Notice that what you just crocheted forms a new row of chains along the top. Yarn over and double crochet into your first chain. The two extra chains at the beginning of the row work the same way the two skipped chains from Step 5 worked, to keep the row even.

9. We are crocheting our headband around instead of up, which makes it easier to customize for the size of each person’s head. Repeat Step 8 as many times as necessary. Be sure to count your double crochets so that there are 7 in each row. Test out the length by wrapping your work around your head as you go. Because yarn is soft and will stretch out more with wear, you do want it to fit snugly: the ends of your work should just barely meet around your head. Once you reach this point, it’s time to turn this long strip of double crochets into a headband.

10. Once you’ve made your final double crochet, keep your hook in that loop. Cut the yarn, leaving about 8 inches (like a new tail), and use your hook to draw this remaining yarn through the last loop. Remove your hook and tug the yarn tightly to close up your work. This is called fastening off.

If you accidentally start unraveling your work, don’t worry! Just put your hook back into the most recent chain, re-crochet your way to the end, and try again.

11. Take your yarn needle and use the leftover yarn to stitch the two ends together and make the wrap shape. It’s okay if the stitches are uneven or crooked—we’re going to cover them up in a minute—but make sure that the ends are tightly stitched together. Once it’s all been stitched, use the needle or your fingers to tie a knot in the yarn as one last fastener. Using your yarn needle, weave in the original tail as well (not the new one you used to make the seam). When you reach the end of the tail, make a knot and cut off the extra.

The headband part is complete, but to complete the cheer bow look, we need to make the 'knot'. This part is nice and easy!

12. The side where you made your stitches is the inside of the headband. Turn your headband right-side-out. You should have 5-6 inches or so left of your second tail hanging down from the bottom of the seam you stitched. With your hand, pull the tail up through the headband and wrap it over to the front. Keep wrapping the tail up and over the seam and pull snugly. This will cinch the headband, giving it a bow-like appearance, and will also hide the seam. When you have a few inches left, loop the tail through the 'knot' on the inside of the headband where it’s hidden. Make a couple of knots, then use your needle to weave in the last of the yarn.

Your headband is complete! Now all that’s left is to test it out on the sidelines.

Let us see your cheer bow wraps in the comments

5 Gifts to Show Your Cheer ‘Big’ Love

5 Gifts to Show Your Cheer ‘Big’ Love - September 19, 2017

Congratulations, you just made the team! Joining a new cheer team or even joining cheerleading for the first time can be intimidating and bit nerve wrecking. Don’t fret! Your ‘Big’ is here to save the day! Your Big is the best! Bigs, or senior cheerleaders on any given cheer squad, help younger cheerleaders such as yourself learn the ropes and make you feel welcome onto your new team. Your Big is special to you–the mentor, friend, or even sister you never had. So, what is a Little to do to show your Big just how much they mean to you? Here are some spirit bag ideas for the Big in your life.

1. Something practical. 
I have seen decorative hangers online for a wedding, but I have seen it pop up more and more for cheerleaders. What a great idea! Just like a wedding dress, your cheer uniform can be expensive and something you want to cherish. Having a spirit hanger designed and made for you Big is something fun and cute they can use all the time. This idea is simple, fun, and you can be as creative as you want to be.

[Source: Pinterest]

2. Something to eat... or something sweet! I have said it before and I will say it again: food is always a crowd pleaser and, hey, we all have to eat! Get a cute bag or container and fill it with your Big’s favorite goodies. Nothing is better after a long day of practice than munching down on your favorite snacks! This is a perfect simple and cost-effective way to show your Big that you care.

[Source: Pinterest]

3. Something sentimental. Is your Big a senior and graduating this year? Maybe your Big is moving on to another team next year or just hanging up her pom poms for good soon. Why not get your Big something sweet and sentimental to show how much you care? I have seen some really cute ideas using shadow boxes. You can frame a team bow signed by all the cheerleaders as a farewell gift to your Big. Shadow boxes are a great gift idea because they can be as big or small as you want. If you Big is retiring from cheer, you can frame their old uniforms, or make a collage of pictures of you and your Big. They will love it, and it is something they can cherish for years to come.

[Source: Pinterest]

4. Something to share. Show your Big just how much you like being their Little by getting matching T-shirts! Depending on if you’re balling on a budget or have some extra cash, you can buy pre-made shirts or make your own. I have found some iron-on pre-made stencils available online at Etsy that are really cute, and not very expensive. This is my favorite gift idea… because who doesn’t love clothes?

[Source: Pinterest]

5. Something for the cheer family. Your cheer squad is your second family, and your Big was a Little once upon and time. Depending on your team, your Big’s Big may still be on the team. So, why not share the love and get matching shirts for you the Little, Big, and Grand Big! Cheerleaders are close and have a tight bond with each other. Plus, we love to be loud and proud, so why not show how much we love our cheer family by getting matching shirts and letting everyone know just how proud you are to be part of that family?!

[Source: Pinterest]

What are other cheer gift ideas for your cheer Big? Share your spirit ideas with us in the comments!

3 Spirit Bag Themes for Your Cheer Little

3 Spirit Bag Themes for Your Cheer Little - September 8, 2017



As seasons start back up again, new cheerleaders are adjusting to the world of cheer and, as a veteran, you are chosen to mentor a ‘Little’ on your team. Or, perhaps your squad pairs up with a Pee Wee or Pop Warner team who are literally LITTLE! Either way, it is your job to help your Little feel welcome, and to show them the ropes of their new team. It is a lot of responsibility to be a ‘Big’: you want your new Little to feel like they are welcome and part of the team, yet you also want to set them up for success by showing them the ropes. You’re now the person they should feel comfortable going to if they have questions. It is always a little scary being new, but by being their Big, it makes the transition onto a new team much easier. Here are some gift ideas to welcome your Little to the team.

1. Something sweet.
Sweet treats, drinks, and food are always a hit when it comes to a gift bag. Who doesn’t like food? As someone who has a slight addiction to Dr. Pepper and gold fish crackers, I too have received gifts involving both of those foods–and it is the BEST! You cannot go wrong creating a simple care package with your Little’s favorite treats and snacks. It can be difficult to find the perfect gift for someone you don’t really know very well though, so a gift basket filled with a bunch of goodies is simple and a perfect welcome gift that is not only inexpensive, but will be a big hit.



2. Bow crazy.
One thing you do know for sure about your Little is that the love of cheer brought them here. We also know that cheerleaders love bows! Why not get a Bow Pro® for your Little to help them organize all their bows? To personally customize a bow just for your Little, buy a basic bow and bedazzle it with your Little’s name or create matching ‘Little’ and ‘Big’ bows. There are tons of pre-made iron-ons available online for purchase, or–if you are creative enough–make a screen-print of your own. To complete the gift, you can get mini bow keychains, since everyone knows that cheerleaders are not complete without their bows!



3. Loud and proud.
Many Littles and Bigs become really good friends. You form a bond with your Little, so what better way to show it than with ‘Big’ and ‘Little’ matching t-shirts? You can buy Little and Big shirts, or make your own. The options are endless: you can make personalized Little and Big water bottles, hair bows, necklaces, keychains–and they are all so cute and fun! I have even seen some really cute personalized picture frames, too.


Gifts for your Little does not have to be expensive or super extravagant. Remember being a Big is not about the gift; it is about being a good mentor and friend to the new member of your squad. Even if your gift is making a sign or decorating your Little’s locker, your Little will feel special and welcome–which is what being a Big all is about! Whatever you decide to do will publicly show everyone that your Little is now part of the squad and a cheer family. To all those brand new Littles out there, welcome to the team! 

What did you gift your Little? Show or tell us in the comments!

4 Tips for Personalizing Your Sideline Cheer Box

4 Tips for Personalizing Your Sideline Cheer Box - August 24, 2017

One key element of holding down the sidelines over the fall football season is adding your own personal flair to how you cheer while under the Friday night lights. Although you may be practically twinsies with your cheer bestie, no cheerleader is 100% alike. Plus, upping your effort to stand out is always in a cheerleader’s best interest. A step in the right direction is literally what you step on–your cheer box! Besides your name, your cheer box expresses unspoken spirit to the sitting spectators in the stands! If decorated correctly, your cheer box can up your sideline career to new heights, so here are four things you should consider when you sitting down to bling your box out.

1. School colors. Don’t stray from those. Period. It seems like a given, but getting down to painting and decorating could lead you into an artistic direction including all kinds of colors, like painting palm trees or hearts or rainbows. Adding shapes and animals to your box is one thing; accidentally promoting another school’s colors along with your own can be detrimental. And, unforgivable. If you have odd school colors that need a boost, sticking to black or white filler colors is always a neutral solution.

2. Sparkle never hurts. A cheerleader’s best friend is glitter. And, hairspray. But, mostly glitter. Mix it with glue, and you’ve got yourself a decorating dream! You can draw glittery shapes and squiggles, or get artsy with it and add glitter to make your design really shine. Outline your name with sparkly glitter glue to really make it pop for the announcer to call. “Hey [insert sparkly name on cheer box here], how do you feel??”

3. Keep it simple. It might seem contradictory to the mission at hand, but decorating your cheer box too much will actually defeat the purpose. This is because the point of a cheer box is for the audience to see… and your football audience sits quite a way’s away! So, intricate little details will either go completely unnoticed or will seem like a bunch of noisy, indecipherable, cryptic messages to your fans. In order to get the crowd the most pumped, the best method is to keep it simple.

4. You do you, boo boo. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your cheer box is an extension of your personality–so express yourself! Is your style adventurous, charismatic, and loud? Stick to bold designs and glue on some jewel stones or streamers. Adding a third dimension to your box never hurts, as long as nothing drags or falls off when you move it around the track. Is your persona more reserved, elegant, and traditional? Lace around the edges of your box sends a tasteful message. Between construction paper, streamers, and all kinds of blingy things, try to make your cheer box your own as much as you do your school locker. Just don’t forget to incorporate your school’s mascot somewhere!

What else should cheerleaders keep in mind when decorating their cheer box? Show us yours in the comments!

Parent's Guide to Balancing Sideline Cheer with Family & Social Obligations

Parent's Guide to Balancing Sideline Cheer with Family & Social Obligations - August 15, 2017

When you first find out you are going to become a parent, you are told a landslide of unsolicited advice on how to be a good one and what ‘being a parent’ means. Then, you actually become a parent and 90% of what people told you is total crap! You want to slowly go insane? Become a parent! It can be the worst thing in the world when you are going through it, because you are exhausted all the time. But, at the same time, it is the most amazing thing you can ever go through in your life. As a new parent, you sometimes get nervous and actually listen to the advice people give you, and one of the worst pieces of advice I ever received was, “Once you become a parent, it is no longer about you.”

Being a parent is a huge responsibility. Truth be told, as parents, all we are really hoping for is that we do not completely screw up our kids. Parents do the best they can with what they have, and most of time, we are just winging it. Yes, once you become a parent, you become less self-involved because you have this person who cannot take care of themself. However, that does not mean you no longer are a person. You are someone who has a kid or kids, but you are also someone, period, and that someone needs to take care of themself, too. Just because you have a child does not mean your dreams, goals, or social circles cease to exist.

So, how does this apply to your cheerleader? We all know cheerleading is a big commitment. Of course, you want to go to every game, every competition, and be at your cheerleader’s practices. However, for most of us, that it is not ideal or even something we can attempt to do. Parents are busy–things happen and we cannot always be there for our kids! But, beyond that, we need to take care of ourselves, too. So, how do we balance cheerleading, our family, and our social life? I am going to blow your mind right now: super parents out there, you cannot do it all. No one can, and that is okay! Your child is not going to hate you for missing one or two games. Believe me, your kids care less if you did not pick them up from practice, and they had to carpool with friends home just once or twice a week.

If your kids have a game every Friday this month, let them know you cannot make it to all of them. Decide which games you might need them to carpool to, or let them know you’re going to miss the away games. If you have a kid like mine, they probably will say something like, “MOM! Don’t come to any games, you’re so embarrassing!” Figure out which games are must-go-to games. You cannot miss Homecoming or the big rivalry game, but that one game a month that is just another run-of-the-mill game, let your kid know up front you cannot make it. You need to stay home, and get some work done so you can relax over the weekend. Your kid will understand, and when you do make it to games, it will make them special.

As a parent, we feel like we have to be there for everything our kids do–and we honestly want to be! But, that is just too unrealistic. It isn’t about the amount of time we spend with our kids; it is about the quality of time we spend together. If you are not talking care of yourself, you are not going to be able to take care of anyone else. It is not selfish or being a bad parent when you miss one game. Don’t feel like you need to be super parent all the time–it is okay to take a break. A break only makes you happier, more energized and a better parent for your family. So, give yourself a break!

What are your tips for cheer parents to balance cheerleading with their family and social life? Let us know in the comments!

4 Things to Know About Making Game Day & Competition Signs

4 Things to Know About Making Game Day & Competition Signs - August 9, 2017

As someone who has personally never cheered, I never put much thought into making game day signs. In preparation for this article, I created a competition between Omni Sales team members to see which team could make the best game day sign. Our Sales Team is a very dedicated and competitive bunch, and they brought it with these game day signs!  If you have not seen CheerLiving® Episode 40: Cheer Moms Problems, go watch it now, I’ll wait. Not only is it hilarious, but there is a special appearance of one the game day signs we made.

Here are some things I learned while making a game day sign:

1. It required more time than I thought.

[Source: Giphy]

I gave the teams two weeks to make these signs; I was not expecting that it would actually take two weeks to make these signs. I was thinking my team can kick this out in a day or two–no problem-o. Well, Houston, we have a problem… I was very wrong. First off, it was hard to coordinate a time to get together. Then, we had to locate supplies, divide up the workload, and then actually make the sign. There is so much more prep work than I thought before we could even start making the sign! Plus, you always forget to add in this pesky thing called ‘time’. You already have a crazy schedule; simply adding another task to your already busy day can be overwhelming.

2. Split tasks according to strengths and weaknesses.

[Source: Giphy]

I am an idea lady, and am really good at coming up with new ideas–innovation is my JAM! Taking an idea and creatively putting it on paper? Not so much. At our first team meeting, we brought ideas to the table, and divided up the tasks by skill set. Luckily, we have some creative people on the team. One teammate is an amazing drawer who, I am not kidding you, drew a freaking dragon by hand… I mean, come on?!? Who can do that? Another girl on our team is well known around the office for being a creative genius. So, of course, she was in charge of decorating. She found supplies and gave us less creative types direction on where and what to glue. Finding out who was good at what really helped out our team get this sign done, and done on time. Working as a team can be difficult because sometimes everyone wants to be in charge. By separating everyone by our strengths and weaknesses, it allowed everyone to have ownership of a particular section–no one felt left out, and no one’s feelings got hurt. I think the teamwork showed in our end design.

3. Check your grammar and spelling.

[Source: Giphy]

We have all seen the memes and tattoo fails all over the Internet. There is nothing worse than spelling something wrong, or using incorrect grammar. Cheerleaders already have a stereotype against them for being ditzy, and there is nothing worse than perpetuating that stereotype by incorrectly spelling something because you are rushing to complete a sign. Don’t just double, TRIPLE-CHECK that your spelling and grammar are correct before posting your sign around campus or hanging it at the big game. Also, make sure your signs are in the correct order. You intend to say ‘WIN’, but instead, your letters are in the wrong order and you accidentally spell ‘NIW’.  Mistakes happen, but if you take the extra time to double-check your work, you will be KO… I mean, OK!

[Source: Pinterest]

4. When all else fails, cover it in glitter.

[Source: Giphy]

Glitter is the miracle worker when it comes to crafts. No matter if you missed a spot, ran out of time, or you misspelled something, just put some glitter on or over that section, and no one will be the wiser. Glitter can only make a sign better, anyway! Used too much glue, and now one part of your sign looks wet or messed up? Glitter! You are running out of time, and half of your sign is incomplete? Glitter! You did not let the marker dry before you touched it and now you’re stuck with smeared ink? GLITTER.

Below is an image of our game day sign, among all the other contest entries. I think we personally rocked it! Game day signs are a lot of fun to make, and I know our teams really enjoyed getting creative with it. Just remember: give yourself enough time, be a team player, check your spelling and grammar, and, of course, last by not least, remember glitter is the Wite-Out® of crafts. Happy crafting!

Which of our signs are your favorite? Tell us in the comments (and show us images of your game day signs)!

A Cheer Enthusiast's Guide to Going Glitter

A Cheer Enthusiast's Guide to Going Glitter - August 4, 2017

A cheerleader without glitter is like a cheerleader without pom poms. IT JUST DOES NOT WORK! From one glitter lover to another, here are some fun and interesting ways you can incorporate more glitter into your life. We are all diamonds–why not shine like some! So, pull out some Mod Podge, and let’s get ready to glitter some stuff up!

[Source: Giphy]

Crafting:

Add some life to your old cheer bows, old purses or bags, or even old pairs of sneakers you might have lying around. All you need is glue, painter or masking tape, a paintbrush and, of course, A LOT of glitter! When picking up glue, Mod Podge is the best for crafting. It comes in two options: matte and gloss finish. If you are glittering something, go for gloss every time; you want that glitter to really sparkle and if you use a matte finish, that sparkly will not be as bright.

[Source: Giphy]

Using masking tape, create the design you like. If you are new to crafting, creating a bold line pattern is a good place to start. You can use two different techniques depending on how messy you want to get. You can mix the glitter into the glue and then paint the glitter glue onto your item, OR you can add glue to your item and then sprinkle glitter onto the pre-glued item. The second one is A LOT messier, but you do have more control of how much glitter you are using and can reuse the loose glitter that did not stick to your item afterwards. Both options work basically the same, and you typically want to add more glue on top to make sure the glitter does not flake off. You can also use a fabric waterproofing spray that will not only help hold the glitter, but comes with the added bonus of making your items waterproof!

[Source: Giphy]

Once everything is glittered, don’t touch the item until it’s completely dry! That is always the hard part!  Once the item is dried thoroughly, you can remove the tape and it’s ready to wear. If you did the first method of adding glitter to the glue and now have a bunch of glitter-glue left over, you can literally use this on anything! Glitter up your phone case, any containers or vases you have around the house, your bedside lamp shade… the possibilities are endless.

Beauty:

We all love a little shimmer and sparkle to our eye shadow… but why stop there?

[Source: Giphy] 

Add some glitter to your roots. If Starbucks can make a unicorn drink, we can all look like majestic creatures. By adding a little glitter in a contrasting or complimentary color to your hair, you can really bring something new and fun to the table. Changing your hair to some funky color is a lot of fun, especially if it’s summer and you have festivals to go to! So, spice up that hair color with some sparkle.

[Source: Giphy]

Why stop at the roots?! Add some glitter to your full head of hair. Rick James did it in 1981, and the 80’s are making a comeback. Let’s bring this trend back too!

Why stop there? Using glitter as lipstick is a staple at cheer competitions. Why not use glitter all over? There are some great tutorials online, like JCharlesBeauty or simply search for glitter festival makeup. You will find some inspiration to add some much needed extra sparkle to spice up your normally glitter-tastic routine. Normally with makeup, they say less if more; with glitter, I fully disagree.

Just because...

[Source: Giphy]

...here is a GIF of Sam Winchester covered in glitter. You’re welcome. Happy glittering!

How else can you go glitter? Show us pics of your glittery ways in the comments!

The Fictional Backstory of the Team Mascot

The Fictional Backstory of the Team Mascot - July 31, 2017

A quick Google search of the word ‘mascot’ brings up how baseball might’ve been the first sport to officiate a mascot back in the 1880s. The actual lineage of the mascot is most likely riddled with rich factoids and tidbits throughout the 20th Century to make the mascot represent what it is today–what’s a sporting event without one? But, we’re not going to talk about that. No, let’s talk about the fictional story of the mascot… the one that never, ever happened. Here’s the untold, extremely untrue story of the team mascot and how mascots have evolved into the celebrity-like status they are today.

When our ancestors sailed across the Atlantic to colonize this great United States of America, they knew that a new era was literally on the horizon. An unknown land with unlimited possibilities laid ahead, one to be established in the name of liberty and the pursuit of happiness! The founding fathers knew there had to be a symbol to represent this newfound freedom for all, choosing the turkey originally as the first proverbial ‘mascot’ of the United States. That quickly got vetoed for the bald eagle (this is actually the true part of the story, fun fact). Word spread of the bald eagle’s majesty, and the whole country soon caught mascot fever. What is this bold allegiance we feel when we associate animals with symbols? Soon, every business, every state, and even everyday citizens claimed a mascot to associate with. Advertising was never the same.

This mascot mania quickly spiraled out of control. It got to the point where a person couldn’t walk down the street without at least one mascot waving a store coupon in their face. Mayors started cracking down on mascot-ing across the country, placing a moratorium on all mascot-related marketing for the sake of everyone’s sanity and the country at large. Around this time, organized sporting events began to emerge, with an emphasis on athleticism, patriotism, and community involvement. Ticket sales were booming until moving pictures came along, and Hollywood stole the hearts of the American public. Sporting events suddenly seemed so passé. What could possibly bring back the good ‘ol days of sports entertainment? Cue, the team mascot. As if overnight, sporting events were more popular than ever, packed to capacity, with spectators scaling the stands to get a glimpse of what the zany new team mascots were going to do next. Soon, mascots filtered down into the American school system, starting at universities and trickling down further to grade schools far and wide. It was established: if there is a team, there is an accompanying mascot.

The glory of the mascot grew exponentially ever since, dazzling crowds with flips, cheers, and chants at baseball games, football games, basketball games and even the most mundane city-planning events! Mascots and cheerleaders, both working crowds at the same angle, realized that they should work together rather than against each other, resulting in an official signed partnership back in ’77. The days of the mascot are far from over, with unique mascots gaining steam in modern day society more and more. Who knows? Maybe one day the mascot will have its own modern art museum, celebratory day on the calendar, and the ability to run for president. Time will only tell.

What’s your favorite mascot? Tell us in the comments!

A Look Back on Pop Warner Cheer Memories

A Look Back on Pop Warner Cheer Memories - July 26, 2017

Here at Omni Cheer, we love our pop warner teams! I have said it before and will say it again: Pop Warner is great way to introduce your child to cheerleading. As you get older, you often feel nostalgic about you started in cheerleading. Here are some memories you might have from back in your Pop Warner cheer days:

It is where it all began. For many cheerleaders, Pop Warner is where it all started. Pop Warner is how many cheerleaders learned their very first cheer, how to stomp, learned basic arm movements, and how to shake those pom poms. It is also the first time you pulled on that cheerleading uniform and heard the crowd cheer. Much like a werewolf, once you get bit by cheerleading, you are changed for life! For many of you, this is when you knew in your heart you would be a lifelong cheerleader.

You made friends. You started cheering before you even started attending school! Cheerleading is where you made some of your first friends, and probably the first time you were part of a team. Cheerleading is a community all in itself, and you most likely continued to cheer with some of your Pop Warner friends after your first season. You may have even found your lifelong BFF in Pop Warner. Looking back, it is nice to remember a simpler time. Perhaps you should look up some of your fellow teammates that you have lost touch with over the years to see what they are up to, and possibly even reconnect!

You experienced your first competitions. Pop Warner is not just sideline cheer; it can also be really competitive. There is often a misconception that Pop Warner is not as competitive as an All Star team, and that is just untrue. Pop Warner teams have major cheerleading competitions, and can be very elite! It is easy to feel nostalgic about those competitions. Even if you never won, it is fun to reminisce at how hard you worked, how nervous you may have been, and how you felt completely awesome nailing that stunt back in the day. You may even still have those trophies or medals around the house as a memory of your old cheerleading days.

Even decades later, Pop Warner never really ends. Now that you are older, you may have hung up your pom poms for good. Well, dust off those old poms and give it a go! Sometimes, it can just be fun to practice an old routine, or get some of the other cheerleaders back together to cheer on your kids’ little league game. You are never too old to be a cheerleader, and those were the good ol’ days–so, why not do a little cheer in your living room? Hey, if your partner can play flag football with their friends on the weekend, why can’t you bring along the cheer squad?

Once you are a cheerleader, you are one for life. It can be hard to let go of the past, and you have many fond memories that can last you a lifetime. You should never live completely in the past, but it is okay to have a little fun with your memories from time to time. Maybe you cannot do a scorpion or a toe touch anymore, but just because you’re getting old doesn’t mean you don’t know how to shake it!

What are your Pop Warner memories? Share you story in the comments!

Cheer Parents: Summer Expectations Versus Reality

Cheer Parents: Summer Expectations Versus Reality - July 19, 2017

Summer is here, and we all know what that means: the kids are out of school, and driving us parents crazy. We want to think summertime is all about vacations and relaxation, but in reality, it is not quite that way. Here are a few summertime expectations versus reality, from a parent’s perspective:

Expectation: Relaxing.

[Source: Giphy]

It is summer–time to get your tan on! The kids are finally out of school; you are not in rush to get up in the morning to make sure your kids are up and ready. It is time to relax, maybe go to the pool, and get a nice tan, park your butt in a pool chair or just wade around in the pool awhile to relax.

Reality: Why are there so many people?

[Source: Giphy]

Unless you are lucky enough to own your own pool, the community pool is your only option. It is hot, and you and the entire world had the same idea. Hopefully, you got there early enough, or there a no pool chairs left. Your kids are running around freaking out, because there are too many people in the pool. Your relaxing day just flew right out the widow… or got crushed by some kid who just jumped on you in the pool.

Expectation: Vacation.

[Source: Giphy]

Summer means vacation. I know, we all dream of going somewhere tropical like the Bahamas… white sandy beaches, clear blue water, maybe a hotel babysitter, and an open bar… Wouldn’t that be nice?

Reality: Visiting the family.

[Source: Giphy]

Once you wake up from that dream vacation, you pick up your bags, load up the car, and head out to someplace like Albuquerque, New Mexico to visit your in-laws for two weeks. Even with the best in-laws in the world, it is still family, and it can become very stressful very fast. Where is that open bar when you really need it?

Expectation: Not having parental responsibilities.

[Source: Giphy]

Can we just look at this picture for another moment? How am I so envious of a cartoon drawing? Summertime makes you think you finally might have time. Period. Just have time to do whatever you want. To actually have time for a hot cup of coffee in the morning, have time to sit and read a book… that sounds so nice.

Reality: Mom… Mom? MOM!!!

[Source: Giphy]

WHY?! Why do kids need you every second of every day? When you first have kids and they say “Mom” for the first time, your hear melts. Now that your kids are older, you have completely tuned out the word “Mom”.  It no longer exists to you. Your kid needs your help, needs to tell you something, or even ask you something every hour of every day. I do not know how many times I have said, “Go ask your father” while I am trying to use the bathroom in peace, then the door busts open, and a little voice starts asking me a million questions about why he can’t have fur like the dog. We love our kids… but, mom needs a break. 

Expectation: Not having plans.

[Source: Giphy]

The best thing about summer is not having to drive here, there, and everywhere to get your kids to practice and school on time.

Reality: TAXI!

[Source: Giphy]

Cheer is typically a year-round sport, so unfortunately, you are still carting your child back and forth to practice. Plus, if your child does not drive, you are driving your kids to friends’ houses, to the mall, to a concert, to the fair, and to the moon and back. You’re the summer taxi service… great.

Expectation: One-on-one bonding time with your kid.

[Source: Giphy]

The best part of summer is being able to spend quality time with your kid. This is the perfect time to have a date day with your kid. You have the time, it really does help your child feel special, and brings you closer together.

Reality: GET ME OUT OF HERE!

[Source: Giphy]

You made a rookie move, and took your kid to a Chuck E. Cheese type of environment. These places are horrible! Kids are screaming all over the place, herds of children practically run you over, and you find yourself being a babysitter to someone else’s kid. You want to be a good parent for your kid, so you brought them to a place you knew they would enjoy. Your kid is having a blast, but inside, you are screaming.

These realities sound familiar? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!