Pre-Tryout Clinic

You will need to conduct a pre-tryout clinic to teach the tryout material to the candidates. It is easier for judges to give a consistent score if everyone is using the same material. Therefore, “creativity” cheers are not necessary. You will be learning most of your material from summer camp or using traditional material.

The clinic should last two or three days; the first day devoted to learning material, and the others to practice it in their groups. Each day should last no more than two hours. Allow at least one day in between the clinic and the tryout to give the candidates a day of their own.

It is easier for
judges to give a
consistent score
if everyone is
using the same
material.

Helpers
Have someone make up, or learn the material from this packet for the tryouts. This job can be divided so that one group learns the cheer and another learns the dance. For a high school, use your outgoing seniors for this job. For a middle school, you can use your outgoing senior class or some high school cheerleaders may be able to help. They should demonstrate their knowledge of the material at least one week prior to tryouts. They must understand the importance of not teaching or showing the material to anyone! If they need to practice teaching the material, they can practice teaching each other.

Schedule
At the clinic, give the order of the material and skills to be presented at tryouts. If you want, you can have each candidate bring a blank cassette to record the tryout music on a dual cassette player. If you choose not to make the music available, be sure that your seniors refrain from recording it for their friends.

Have candidates learn the dance first, as it is usually the hardest to perfect. After learning the dance and the cheer, time should be allotted to the candidates to practice on their own.

Assigning Numbers, Grouping Candidates
Have each candidate draw for the order of the tryout. Write down each candidate’s name and corresponding number. To find out how the candidates work in a group, have them perform the cheer, dance, etc. or both in groups of three or four. You may want to have groups draw numbers for their groups on the first day to allow then to meet each other before working together on the second day.

Make sure your
helpers assist
everyone, not
just people
they know.

An easy way to group candidates is to divide the number of candidates by three or four, whichever number works best for your groups. If for example, you have 20 candidates, write a “1” on four slips of paper, a “2” on four slips of paper, and so on until you have a “5” on four slips of paper. Have the candidates draw and then find their groups.

On the second day, review the material for a few minutes and then let the groups start working together. If you are planning on participating in the judging process, this is a good time to evaluate how well each candidate will work with others. Make sure your helpers assist everyone, not just the people they know.

Mock Tryouts
If there is time, conduct a mock tryout to let the candidates get used to the tryout process. This will also give you a feel for their sportsmanship qualities.

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