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How to Never Fight with Your Teammates, Ever

How to Never Fight with Your Teammates, Ever - April 17, 2018

Wouldn’t it be nice if you never had to worry about disagreeing with your teammates? Unfortunately, there is no way to completely avoid conflict with your teammates. Anyone who spends hours and hours together are bound to disagree at some point. Combine that with the fact you are pushing each other to your physical limits, it's no wonder your team will get on each other’s nerves at some point. Knowing a quarrel is inevitable can actually be a good thing, though! Understanding it is normal to not get along 100% of the time can put a fight in its proper perspective: it's not the end of the world.

Show Empathy
Have you ever had one of THOSE days? You wake up and everything goes wrong, every word rubs you the wrong way and by 10 a.m. you're ready to just take a mulligan and fast forward to tomorrow. We all have those days, and it's not always obvious when someone else is having one. People are much more likely to know the reason behind their own mistakes. "I didn't mean to snap at her but I only got 3 hours of sleep last night!" However, when it comes to attributing reason to other peoples' behavior, we're quick to assume they're just a natural-born jerk. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, and we only get better at something when it's hard to do.  

Nip Conflicts in the Bud
Use emotional intelligence to notice when conflicts are brewing. Notice if someone's energy levels are low, if they are just crabby or when they actually seem to be upset by something. Intervene early; don't let it fester and turn into a bigger problem. The longer you let a conflict linger, the more likely it is that it will turn nothing into something. Be transparent with your thoughts and feelings.

Speak Your Mind…Respectfully
Speaking of speaking your mind...sometimes conflicts are the result of someone being unable to express something that was difficult. Certain topics are too uncomfortable to bring up, but during an argument, well, it can't get much worse, right? Encourage your team to speak their mind, respectfully. A respectful tone is the most simple team hack to try in your life. It might not always be so easy when you're annoyed, but it's easier than getting into a conflict.

Stay Positive
This is the panacea of teamwork! A sincere compliment on something your teammate does well is appreciated and builds trust. An upbeat attitude is infectious. On the flip side, negativity can be almost physically draining. Complaining rarely inspires others to give it their all. Hurtful comment adds up and can't be undone, eventually create a toxic environment.

Don’t Expect Others to Read Your Thoughts
Another cause of conflicts are simple misunderstandings. None of us are mind readers, and it's easy to interpret things incorrectly, taking them personally. To avoid these types of conflict, be as clear as you can, right from the get-go. Ain't nobody got time for a tiff because you asked to practice a new move one more time, worried about your own form, but a teammate thought you were picking on her specifically.

Know When to Walk Away
What do you do if you find yourself in a conflict? First, check-in with yourself. Are you ready to stop being mad? To not be ready is totally normal and human! Adrenaline takes some time to leave your system. If you feel yourself getting heated, walk away. Remember: you can't unsay words. Maybe now would be a good time to run some laps. Cardio is always a good idea, but don't spend the time away re-hashing the fight. While it might seem like you need to relive the argument to understand it better, ruminating on the thing that made you mad will only keep you angry. Take a break from the situation not just physically away from your teammate, but mentally away from yourself. I promise it will still be there later to deal with but for just a while, take a break.

Simply Listen
Once you've calmed down, do your best to listen first. Try to imagine it from their point of view; build those empathy muscles with good, hard work. When you state your case, try to keep your statements about you and your feelings.

When it comes to minor tiffs, you have to ask yourself: would you rather be right or happy? In the moment, it might feel like proving your point is the most important thing in the world. But two months from now, will you even remember this spat?

Even if eventually resolved, a fight can leave lasting scars. It damages relationships and it takes time and trust to mend that damage. Avoid quarreling when you can; remember--we're all on the same team.

Decorating a Spirit Stick for Cheer Camp

Decorating a Spirit Stick for Cheer Camp - April 12, 2018

Cheerleaders are expert decorators. Whether it’s decorating a locker for a pep rally or decorating our eyes with glitter for competition, cheerleaders know the power of sparkle.

Which brings us to the spirit stick. A long-time symbol of sportsmanship in the cheer world, spirit sticks may be awarded at competitions and cheer camps, passed down from captain to captain, or gifted to graduating seniors. In true cheer fashion, the spirit stick is all about the glitz, and the decorative possibilities are endless. Here are some ideas to get you started!

Sound: If you want your spirit stick to add a little percussion to your cheer, start with a hollow tube, like the cardboard tube at the center of a roll of paper towels or wrapping paper. Tape or glue a square of construction paper or cardboard to one end of the tube. You can even use a bathroom cup if you adhere it tightly (and you may need to crush the cup a little bit to keep it tight around the end). Fill the tube anywhere from ½ to ¾ with beads. Fewer beads will make more noise when you shake, and more will make the stick heavier. You can test the sound by putting your palm over the opening and giving it a shake. Once you like the sound, cover the open end the same way you did the first one. For extra support, wrap the whole tube and both ends in duct tape and decorate over that layer.

Shape: Cardboard or styrofoam tubes are classic bases for a spirit stick, but if you want to do something a little more unique, consider using a different shape base. Styrofoam vases for flower arranging are cone-shaped, making them perfect for a megaphone design; or, consider fashioning a spirit wreath out of a styrofoam or wire ring.

  • For a megaphone, cover the foam form with construction paper, wrapping paper, washi tape, ribbon, or even fabric. Add peel-and-stick letters to spell out your school mascot or name. A strip of construction paper or ribbon makes for a great “handle,” and tulle or flowers can be used to decorate the top of the form.

  • For a wreath, grab spools of ribbons in your school colors. Wide, opaque ribbons taped or glued tightly around the foam shape make for a great base layer, while glittery, semitransparent and decorative ribbon can be great for volume. Start by gluing a wide, solid, opaque ribbon tightly around the whole wreath to cover the styrofoam. Then, take two or more decorative colors (medium to wide) and cut them into equal length short pieces, enough to tie around the form and still have “tails.” Tie the ribbons around the entire ring and fluff out the tails to create the wreath. A cheer bow is the perfect finishing touch.

Decorating Tools: The great thing about spirit sticks is that there’s no right or wrong way to make one. You can buy supplies at a craft store, or you can create from items found easily around your home or classroom. Here are some possible decorating tools!

Duct Tape: Regular tape is good, but for extra insurance, clear duct tape is a great way to protect your spirit stick and keep decoration in place.

Tacky Glue or Styrofoam Adhesive: Hot glue can melt or burn styrofoam or cardboard, and regular glue can quickly become a sticky mess, so these safer and cleaner alternatives are great choices for homemade spirit sticks. They can be found in most craft stores.

Washi Tape: Courtesy of the bullet journal trend, this cute decorative tape can be found in craft stores and office product stores. For extra insurance, consider wrapping clear duct tape around the finished product.

Sequin Trim: This can be bought by yardage or by the spool in fabric shops. Sequin trim can give a spirit stick bling without the mess of individual beads and glue. Affordable trims run under $5 a yard, more than enough for this project, and can be attached with tacky glue or styrofoam adhesive. 

Construction Paper: It’s an art room classic for a reason! Construction paper can be used to wrap around the stick for a solid-color base, or can be cut into shapes and letters to decorate. Affordable and available all over, and a great pick for first-time spirit stick architects to hone their decorating skills.

Scissors: Many decorations will need scissors to get the right shape or length. Regular scissors work on most decorations, but fabric scissors or foam cutters may be needed for special items. For younger cheerleaders, be sure to let an adult help you use sharp tools!

Foam Cutters: Available at craft stores, foam cutters can be used for adjusting the size of your spirit stick, changing its shape, or maybe even carving design into the base.

Peel-and-Stick Foam Letters: Perfect for spelling out your school’s initials, team mascot, or a cheerleader’s name!

Tulle, Feathers, Curly Ribbon, and Poms: Decorate the ends of your spirit stick, too! Bunched-up tulle or feathers create a fluffy, whimsical look, while a peel-and-stick curly ribbon (the kind you use to top a birthday present) is an explosion of color. Tinsel and tissue poms capture the cheer spirit. 

Beads: Craft beads may make nice exterior decoration with a little tacky glue, but they’re especially great for adding a little volume to your creation. Filling a hollow spirit stick base with beads turns a decorative baton into a musical instrument. If you can’t get to a craft store for beads, half a cup of elbow pasta will do the trick, too! Just be sure to cover both ends of the spirit stick securely.

What are your favorite crafty decorations? Do you have any tricks and tips for decorating a spirit stick? Be sure to share your favorites!

Prevent Ordering the Wrong Cheerleading Items

Prevent Ordering the Wrong Cheerleading Items - April 2, 2018

Nothing is worse than patiently waiting for your package to arrive, then you open the box and realize, “OH MAN! I ordered the wrong thing.” We have all been there at one point or another-accidentally selecting the wrong color or only ordering one instead of four. It happens to the best of us. Here are some helpful tips on how to prevent ordering incorrectly.

Get organized: Before you place your order, get organized. Have the items numbers, sizes and colors grouped together when you are ready to order. Many times coaches have the sizes listed per girl and are trying to count sizes while speaking to a representative. This can cause miscounts when entering the sizes because you counted the skirts sizes instead of top sizes-it can get confusing. You do not want to accidentally order too many larges when you meant to order a medium and then be forced to do exchanges or buy additional pieces because you missed a cheerleader. The best option is to have all your information together so no miscounts happen.

Ordering as a team: I know trying to collect money from parents and fundraising can be difficult and time consuming but ordering as a team in one bulk order is your best option. Not only will it save you money, it also insures your order will match. As a coach you know you always have that one cheerleader who always forgets to give the order information to their parents, or the parent is someone who does everything last minute. By ordering in one bulk order you will insure that all your items are delivered at the same time and the items will match. You will avoid spending extra money on shipping costs and unnecessary returns and exchanges. Nothing is worse than a cheerleading missing out on a game or competition because they did not get their order on time, or they ordered the wrong items.

Individual ordering:  I do not recommend this option but sometimes, it cannot be avoided. If you have to order individually for your cheerleader, especially if your order contains customization, the coach needs to call in and place the original order. If the order contains customization an approval email will be sent to the coach to approve. Once the order is approved the parents can then call in and reference the original order. The parents must reference that order number when ordering to avoid any errors or ordering wrong items. As the coach I would recommend having a team meeting with all the parents, provide them a copy of the original order, and really stress that the parents need to call in to place the ordering and must reference the original order number. This method again is not recommended because there is still a high probability that something could be ordered incorrectly. Sometimes parents do not reference the original order, transpose an item number, or they order navy instead of royal. The best option, especially for a large teams, is to order one bulk order together.

Ordering flubs happen. By simply getting organized and communicating with your team, you can avoid ordering incorrectly. 

Omni Cheer does allow returns and exchanges for all orders that adhere to our return policy, just in case you do happen to order the wrong items. If you have any questions about placing an order or would like to get a quote, contact our Customer Engagement team at (800) 299-7822, and they will be happy to answer any of your questions. Happy ordering!

Order Hacks: Personalization

Order Hacks: Personalization - March 26, 2018

Cheer season is in full swing and we all know what that means --NEW GEAR!  We all love getting new clothes but cheer swag is an entirely different level of excitement.  It is the start of cheer season and camp gear and warm ups are big ticket items right now.  Anyone can buy a simple t-shirt and shorts but we’re cheerleaders, we like our clothes loud and proud, just like us. Here are some fun ways you can add some personalization to your cheer gear.

Embroidery

Embroidery is great, cost effective option for teams on a budget, and we do most of our embroidery in house which allows us to have a quick 3-4 week turn-around time. Omni Cheer offers a variety of in-stock embroidery design that we are continuously updating from year to year. We added 10 new designs to our catalog this year. Simply find a design you like and add in your own school or gym name and we will take care of the rest.  

Embroidery doesn’t stop there, you can be as creative or simple as you like. Consider leg designs for shorts or warm up pants, add mascot embroidery, like paw prints or Vikings, to the backs of shirts, on a sports bra, shorts or even bags. If you cannot find a design you like, create your own. Send Omni Cheer a copy of your own design and we will give you a competitive customization quote for your design.  

Cheerleaders, especially during competition, have to be uniform -- judges can deduct points if your team does not match. But, matching uniforms and jackets can create a nightmare for a coach who is looking after 20+ cheerleaders -- trying to figure out which jacket goes to what girl can be a nightmare. Not that you need another reason to love embroidery, but I am going to give you one. This year, Omni Cheer is bringing back the wildly-popular names embroidery promotion.  With the purchase of 12 uniform sets, you will received the names embroidery for FREE! I love free, don’t you?!  Yes, your girls need to look uniform but we all know cheerleaders like their individuality, too. Names embroidery is a great way for your team to be a team but always have the freedom to be themselves. 

Screen Print 

This is not you mom's screen print; no pealing, no tearing, just sleek looking shirts and designs. It is cost effective and has a quick 3-to-4-week turnaround time. We offer 16+ premade designs to choose from.  Simply add your school initials, mascot or team names into the existing design, choose from our available colors and you are ready to go. Omni Cheer offers an array of color options including glitter colors.  You all know, we love some glitter around here! The only limitation on screen print, is the shirts must be 100% cotton. We do offer quite a selection of cottons tees, I am confident you will the perfect top for your team. 

Tackle Twill

All cheerleaders are familiar with tackle twill. We have been in the cheerleading business for a long time and we have a large selection of tackle twill options. We are constantly updating and adding new fonts, layouts, design options and this year is no different. We have added 7 new tackle twill design options to our collections. We offer competitive pricing and a lightning quick 3-4 week turnaround time on tackle twill.  We offer several different color options from your basic colors, to sequin, metallic and metallic foil. The best part about tackle twill is, it isn’t just for shell tops anymore. You can spruce up you warm up by adding tackle twill to the back of your warm up jackets. It adds a professional, sleek look to you warm ups that will make a lasting impression.  Those judges will sure be able to see you walking in and will not forget your team names as you walk out!  

Sublimation

Are you looking for something a bit more customizable? Sublimation is your one-stop shop for 100% customization. We offer sublimation uniforms, practice wear and warmups. Because sublimation is made from scratch using your own custom design, there is a 6-8 week turnaround time but it is worth the wait! Go on the sublimation design page to start creating your custom design. We have a large selection of premade images and designs available or you can add your own customized image (for an additional cost). Sublimation offers a sleek performance look that is sure to turn heads at your next competition.  

I always recommend ordering a fit kit for any warm ups or uniforms before ordering customization. By ordering a fit kit you know you will get the perfect fit the first time. All customized products are final sale.  

Graphic Tees and Tanks

Don’t have time to wait for customization? Don’t worry about it! There are plenty of graphic tees and tanks available. My personal favorite is the MBT183 Chasse Cheer Sunset Graphic Tank Top. It is incredibly comfortable and perfect for the gym or on a hot day. I receive compliments on it every time I wear it. No matter what your styles is you will find a shirt that fits you. We offer tees and tank in sizes youth to adult sizes and camp packages are available year-round. The best part is these tees or tanks are in stock and ready to order! 

No matter what type of personalization your team needs, we have it! We have agents available by phone ready to help you with your order or you can place an order online through our interactive website.

6 Tools And Resources For The Best Scholarship Essay For Cheerleaders

6 Tools And Resources For The Best Scholarship Essay For Cheerleaders - March 22, 2018

It's time to start applying for scholarships, and that means writing the best scholarship essay you can. Many students find this intimidating, but with the right help you can write an essay that really stands out. Here's 9 tools that will help you get the results you need.

1. State Of Writing: When you start writing your scholarship essay, you might find that you are using skills you haven't used before. If you're worried about getting it right, this is the site to use. It features writing guides on grammar, etymology, quotations, and more. Consult these guides when you need some help.

2. Thesis Generator: Without a good thesis, your essay isn't going to go anywhere. This tool will help you develop one that works for your essay. Give this tool your general argument and the ideas you need to include, and it'll give you a good thesis to work from.

3. AcademAdviser & My Writing Way: These sites are full of thought-provoking and interesting blogs that are written for students. Read through them to gather topic ideas for your own essay. Make sure you are only submitting your own work, though!

4. Plagiarism Checker & Grammar Checker: The scholarship committee checking your essay will want to ensure that the whole thing was written by you. You may not have intentionally plagiarized, but if you make any mistakes in citing your work, then your essay could show up as being plagiarized. Use this tool to check your essay before you send it.

6. Scholarship Application Example Essay: If you find it hard to work without an example of what you're aiming for, then you should click this link. This example will show you how a scholarship application essay should be laid out, and how you should be preparing yours. 

6. Assignment Help: Once your essay is written, it won't be finished until it has been edited. Having worked on it so hard though, you may not be able to see what you should be changing. Ask a teacher or other trusted person and ask them to proofread the essay. This article on HuffingtonPost describes how you can get in touch with tutors and writers if you need an expert hand with the essay you're writing. Then, make the edits and submit!

Bonus:

10. Grey or Gray: Perfect grammar is vital for the readability of your written work. Not sure what grammar techniques are best? Check out Via Writing for the most up to date guidelines.

These 9 tools and services will be able to offer you all the help you need. Keep them close to hand as you're writing your essay, and consult them when needed. If you use them wisely, you'll have an essay that will wow the committee and get you the place you want.

Inside Shipping & Handling Hacks for Parents

Inside Shipping & Handling Hacks for Parents - March 7, 2018

Here, at Omni Cheer, we have a variety of different shipping and handling options available for you.  Shipping can add a hefty cost to your order and is often an oversight that coaches forget to budget for. One of the best options, of course, is to order early. By ordering early, you will not have to spend any additional cost for expedited shipping, which can get expensive depending on the cost of your order.

We all love the convenience of ordering online and our Omni Cheer website makes it easy! Signing up for email promotions is the best way to stay up to date with monthly promotions to save on your order. We often have several shipping and handling promotions throughout the year and by signing up for our emails, you will be the first to know to take advantage of the promotions. One of the best options for shipping and handling is to order on our website OmniCheer.com–any order over $75 qualifies for free cheer saver shipping! I love online shopping: it is so easy, convenient and the best way to save on shipping.

If you are unable to order online, we do offer free shipping codes inside every catalog to be used on qualifying* orders over $200 (orders must include clothing, shoe and megaphone only). We occasionally offer different shipping promotions over the phone, so be sure to ask your phone representative if there are any promotions going on at that can be applied to your order. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask! We all like to save a little money here and there. Most of the time, shipping is the one thing we all forget to budget for, so be sure to order early so you can take advantage of those savings.

When it comes to shipping and handling, the best hack is to order early! We have a 24-48 business hour processing time to pick and ship your order so, if you order late, that can be the difference between three-day shipping and needing one-day shipping to get your order on time. Getting the entire order, or at least the bulk of your order, in early can save you a good chunk of money by choosing a standard shipping option instead of having to rush and expedite your order. Also with ordering early, you would be surprised how many times cheerleaders think they know their shoe size but actually, they order a shoe two sizes too small. By ordering early, you don’t have to stress if you need to return or exchange sizes.

Typically, cheerleaders fundraise hard to raise money for uniforms; why waste that hard-earned money on shipping cost?! Here, at Omni Cheer, we offer a low price guarantee on our products as well as different shipping promotions to help save you money. The biggest order hack is to order early. If you cannot order early, be sure to sign up for our email promotions to take advantage of web promotions throughout to year. Happy ordering!

What are other shipping and handling hacks that you know? Let us know in the comments!

Benefits of Cheering with Your BFF

Benefits of Cheering with Your BFF - February 28, 2018

Best friends are the family you choose. You will have a lot of friends come and go as you grow in your life, but best friends are the ones that stick around for the good times and the bad. They are the ones who told you over and over to not get bangs, or to cut them yourself, but also handed you the scissors. They are the friends who looked you in the face and said, “It doesn’t look that bad”, but also helps you laugh through the tears. BFF’s are simply the BEST and here are some reasons why cheering with your BFF is the absolute best thing EVER!

You always have someone to carpool and share a room with.



[Source: Giphy]

Carpooling to an event is way more fun when your BFF is in the car with you. You both have the same taste in music, you know what snacks each other likes and you can sing and dance to the radio all the way to the game or competition. Having your BFF on the team means you never have to get stuck rooming with someone you don’t know very well. Nothing can be better than doing something you love and having your BFF there to enjoy it with you.

You can communicate with just a look.



[Source: Giphy]

Just because you are on the same cheer team, does not mean you and your BFF are always together in the lineup. Your BFF might be all the way on the other side of the floor, which makes communication during practice a bit more difficult. Thank goodness your bestie and you can communicate with just a look. Someone is getting on your nerves, you give your BFF the eyes–you know the one. Someone said something that was an inside joke between you and your BFF, you start cracking up without even saying a word. Because your BFF and you know each other so well, you don’t really even have talk to know what each other is saying.

They give you tough love.



[Source: Giphy]

What a lot of people don’t know about cheerleading is that it is very mental. If you are having an off day, it will show in your performance, which is why it is great to have your BFF around. They know you, and they might need to give you some tough love to snap you out of it. Maybe you had a fight with your boyfriend before practice or your parents are getting on your case again. Best friend, get it! They will give you that tough love you need to snap you out of it. It might feel like they are being a little harsh, but sometimes you need to push out the door to break down that mental barrier holding you back.

They are your biggest fan.



[Source: Giphy]

Cheer may look easy from an outsider’s perspective, but it takes a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication. When you try and try and still cannot nail down a stunt, it can be very frustrating. Good thing your number one fan is there to cheer you on! You may feel like you are ready to give up, but that is what best friends are for. They are there to help pick you up when times get tough! Once you finally nail it, out of nowhere comes your BFF screaming at you from across the room, “Told you, you could do it!!” Because that is what BFF’s are for.

They got your back.



[Source: Giphy]


You forgot something, your BFF has an extra. You cannot get your poof just right, you BFF is right there with a comb and hairspray. Need a shoulder to cry on or advice? Your BFF is there. That is what having a BFF is all about: they are there for you and always have your back. Best friends are the family you get to choose. They are the friends that your family buys Christmas gifts for and who tags along on family vacations. You might fight or not talk for a while, but that is because you are like sisters and at the end of the day, you will always be there for each other! Show your BFF some love today because your BFF is really special and deserves it.

What are other benefits of cheering with your BFF? Tell us in the comments!

How Cheer Coaches Can Avoid Burnouts & Breakdowns

How Cheer Coaches Can Avoid Burnouts & Breakdowns - February 15, 2018

Have you ever felt like you needed to take a vacation from yourself? If your answer is yes, you most likely are a coach.

Between the balancing act of a family, social life, work, school and cheerleading, where do you find time for yourself? Think of it like this: take everything in your life and write it on a balloon. You are playing the game of don’t let the balloon drop. If you never allow a balloon to fall, even for a brief moment in time, you eventually will fall, causing all balloons to fall because no one will be left to keep them up. You need time for YOU.

Make sure you are resting when you can. Sometimes a simple mental break is all you need to figure out the issues. That moment of clarity allows you to see things, well, clearer. All work and no play leads to a life of misery. No one likes to be around a miserable person. So, if you honestly think working your brain and emotions in overdrive is going to help you and your team, you are fooling yourself. I sure don’t like to be around a miserable person. Know the signs and know when to take a step back, and have a moment to deal with yourself.

If you are coaching two teams, apply the above times two.
Coaching two teams is like having more than one child–both are at a constant battle for attention. One always feels neglected and less loved. Give yourself the peace of mind to sometimes merge practices together. It allows you an extra hour or two for yourself, and it gives a bonding experience for both teams. Make sure they both know you love them equally and that they equally drive you crazy. Let’s face it, you may have never said it, but you know you thought it.

Breathe.

Break up the stress. I have mentioned it before: doing the same thing over and over will eventually cause you to break. It will cause your team to break as well. Your brain goes into sabotage mode and the stress will come creeping in to make life, well, less boring. Breaking it up applies to all areas in your life: go get a massage, take a walk, sit outside and just breathe in the fresh air. Escape the mundane for a moment. That moment will be the best thing you could have ever done.

Cry.
Let it all out. Put on a Nicholas Sparks movie and have a good cry.

Throw yourself that pity party.
Hear me out on this, there are just some mental breakdowns that can’t be avoided. Crying won’t help, and you honestly just need to complain and feel bad for yourself. Allow yourself to do so. Have a day of complaining and contemplating where you went wrong in life and then leave the party. The key is not overstaying your welcome. Stand up stronger, wipe off the tears, stop feeling sorry for yourself and realize the sun will come up and a new day will ALWAYS begin.

It’s tough juggling everything. Understand that we understand. You’re not alone. Remember that when the season ends, you are going to miss the chaos.

What helps you avoid breaking down? Tell us your coaching tips in the comments.

Throw a Cheerleading-Themed Birthday

Throw a Cheerleading-Themed Birthday - February 7, 2018

It’s your birthday–time to party! Your birthday is your special day to celebrate everything that is you. So, why not incorporate things you love, like cheerleading? Maybe you just love cheer or you are on a cheer team, but either way, here are some fun and easy ways to have a cheer-themed birthday!

Food.
For food, make it a tailgate. You can have an a-sport-ment (you see what I did there?) of chips, dips, veggie platters, hot dogs and burgers. Maybe make some nachos? Those are always a big hit! Cheerleading goes hand-in-hand with sports, like football and basketball, and tailgating is a big part of the fun. The best part about a tailgate-themed food is you can make it as healthy or as simple as possible. To add in some cheerleading food items, you can buy cheer-themed cookie cutters; they have some great ones online that are not very expensive in the shape of pom poms, megaphones and even cheerleaders. Depending on the age you’re turning, you can pre-decorate the cookies or leave them blank and create a fun cookie-decorating station for your partygoers to decorate their own.

Décor.
This is the perfect time to pick up some sports and cheerleading-themed décor! Depending on the time of year, decoration stores might have things left over from things like the Super Bowl, March Madness, playoffs or more. That means, all those leftover sports-themed tablecloths, paper plates, cups and even pom poms will be on sale! Keep an eye out at your local grocery store or department store closeout bins where you can find some great stuff for cheap. Another great place to look is your local 99 cent or dollar store; I once found individual megaphones that are perfect for decoration or to use as party favors there!

Games and activities. A party isn’t a party without some games. In doing my research for this article, I came across cheerleading Mad Libs®: you can choose to make your own or find free pre-made cheerleading-themed Mad Libs online. I could not help myself; I tried a few with my family and my stomach still hurts from laughing so hard. Other game options are to split the party into two teams and have the teams come up with a new cheer to perform. You can get as creative or as simple as you want. You can provide blank bows and have a decorating station or play cheerleading trivia. Trivia might include facts about cheerleading or facts about your cheerleader’s team specifically. It is a birthday party after all, so you can get as crazy with it as you want or keep it easy and rent a cheerleading-themed bounce house!

Cake.
You cannot forget about the cake. You might be the star of the show, but the cake is the surprise featured guest. If you have the skill, you can make a cake. I do not have this skill, so there are options to buy cakes at your local grocery store and get them personalized with awesome cheer themes. I am a lady who likes to keep things simple and cupcakes are perfect for me. They are easy to hand out and there is no cutting involved. You can try and find cheer-themed cupcakes, or you can buy simple store-bought cupcakes and spruce them up yourself. I found cute cheerleader designs online, printed them out and attached them to tooth picks to create a cake topper for each cupcake. You can also go to your local craft store to purchase some metallic puffy balls that you can attach toothpicks, which look so cute on top of cupcakes–like little pompoms!

Planning a themed birthday party does not have to be expensive or stressful. Cheerleading is all about fun and showing your spirit, so when planning a cheer-themed party, remember to have fun with it!

Have you thrown a cheer-themed birthday party? Show us pictures in the comments!

Cheer Parent #Goals

Cheer Parent #Goals - February 1, 2018

Here is the thing about kids: you can do everything right, and there will still be a day that they will hate you. Anyone who has a teenager knows this all too well. It doesn’t mean your kids don’t love you, but they sure do hate you from time to time. These kids want to be all grown up; they think they know the world and you want to retort #YouKnowNothingJohnSnow. As parents, we are all doing the best we can to keep these gremlins in glitter alive, heathy and happy, but then, you add cheerleading on top of that. Well, good luck with that. As a cheer parent, you know all too well that anything can and will happen. Just because it’s one month into the New Year, here are some #CheerParentGoals to help you navigate (and just maybe survive) the rest of cheer season without any major meltdowns.

1. Making decisions. #Ihavenoideawhatimdoing  #drama #newcheerteam


Whether your child is new to cheer or they have outgrown their current team, finding the next perfect squad can prove to be a challenge. You start logically, with looking at competitive versus recreational cheerleading: comparing cost, commitment… and the last thing on your mind is how your teenage daughter is leaving her friend behind for a new team. Well, be prepared for backlash, because that is what is going to happen. Yes, a new team is better for your child and you know once practice starts, new friendships will be made, but your cheerleader will make your life a living hell until that happens. #GoodLuck.

2. Getting there on time. #practiceisatwhattime #whatdayisit #whereami


Did I drive straight home today and forget to pick up my kid from practice? Yes, I did. #TrueStory. I thought it was Wednesday all day and when I got home, I realized it was actually Thursday. I ran out the door and sped off to practice. I’m busy, you’re busy, we’re all busy! And, you are going to forget and mess up at some point. Usually, your kid will have zero idea that you, in fact, almost left them at practice. Like I said, things can and will happen. You get lost, you forget what day it is altogether, because that is what kids do to you. #ParentLife.

3. Saying no. #no #nope #nada



Another difficult thing about raising a cheerleader is the large amount of parent involvement and commitment. The severity of that involvement can be anywhere from being a team parent, to treasurer, to carpooling and even chaperoning. I, like many other parents, am a carpool parent; that is as much as I can personally commit to. However, especially parents who are new to cheer, there is a lot of pressure to be overly involved. No one wants to be cheer parent, but someone has to–and that someone does not have to be you! Learning to say ‘no’ is one of the best things you can do for your own sanity and in the end, it is better for your family. #HappyWifeHappyLife #HappyMomHappyFamily.

4. Creating tangible goals. #doingthebestican #iwillsurvive #badparent


So, here is the thing about parent goals–they suck. We are never going to be a perfect parent, so stop trying to live up to that standard. Your kids are going to hate you at times and love you at others. You are going to mess up, but you’re also going to do some amazing things. #CheerParentGoals really translate into #WeSurvivedAnotherDay and as long as your kids are happy and healthy, nothing else really matters. So, stop trying to live up to an impossible standard that no one can live up to. We don’t have it all together, but being there for your kids is all that matters.

What are your #CheerParentGoals? Tell us in the comments (don’t forget a trendy #hashtag)!