How to increase team spirit in your cheer squad
It's easy to motivate your squad with fun activities and fashionable clothes.
Great team spirit goes beyond face paint or perfectly executed 'spirit fingers.' In many ways, it builds success in your squad and the team you're cheering for. Most of all, your goal is to motivate, build unity and have fun.
Team Spirit Builds Leadership
Along with other positive characteristics, motivation to excel, teamwork and good communication skills are products of great team spirit. This is why corporations form baseball teams and hold trust-building games. These activities build up the skills and good spirits of the 'team' which helps members become more successful in their jobs.
Your job as a cheerleader is much the same. There are lots of small but effective things you can do towards increasing team spirit in your cheer squad, the team and the school community. School colors and logos inspire and unite your squad, the team and their fans as everyone proudly participates in fun activities or displays cool items supporting their team.
A school or team is set apart by how much motivation and pride it has and by how successfully it instills that pride in others. If your squad members don't show excitement and energetic enthusiasm, they won't have much luck motivating others.
Some of the spirit activities you can use to get everyone involved are:
- Spirit Day or Week – Play up fun and creative themes like Pajama, Beach, Retro or Rodeo Day. During spirit week, hold activities that get everyone excited for the big game at the end of week. Themes play well here too, such as movies, "Fear Factor" or "Survivor" week.
- Spirit Contests and Games – Give prizes to spirit winners during the week for having the most spirit in various categories; include teachers, your squad members and businesses in the community.
- Floats – Let everyone have a hand in creating and decorating original floats that continue the theme chosen for spirit week. Floats are usually one of the activities everyone most looks forward to participating in.
Of course, there are always pep rallies, school 'fairs,' fundraisers and dances which are all exciting activities where you can show off your pride.
Nothing projects your squad's solidarity and strength quite like cheering in perfect formation with your school logo and colors flashing with pride.
Uniforms and coordinated clothing are not only fashion statements; they help your squad members come together as one. And if the rest of the community supports your squad and team by using school colors and fun items, you'll be an imposing force against the other team.
Your uniforms as well as your warm-up and away-game outfits present to the world your pride, spirit and polished professionalism. So choosing squad clothing is one of the most important decisions you can make. You have to take into consideration your entire squad's needs as well as things like materials and customization. You want to allow each squad member to maintain individuality while still presenting yourselves as a united and opposing force.
Important considerations are:
- Customization using glittering crystals, metallics, imprinting and embroidery gives you sparkle and sets you apart.
- Outfits should coordinate across your squad, team members, coaches and even faculty. This is especially important when traveling or attending competitions.
- Tee shirts, shorts or capris for practices should be coordinated with uniforms.
- Materials that are breathable - like cotton blends - and that have a little 'give' to them are important for comfort and performing your best.
- Team jackets worn during spirit week, pep rallies or other events show your strength and gets everyone into the spirit.
With so many available options for dressing, there are limitless opportunities for showing off your creativity and pride. Your personal appearance should be professional with accessories, makeup, nails and hair styles that are tasteful, coordinated and not overdone.
During spirit activities, it's important to bring everyone together in fun ways. While you're cheering, let others join in the fun with giveaways, noisemakers and other items that show team pride.
Going beyond pom-poms, there are hundreds of fun items that can be customized according to your school colors, logos or slogans. These make great giveaways to students, faculty and members of the community:
- Awareness bracelets
- Spirit beads (great for Mardi Gras themes)
- Foam fingers
- Clappers or other noisemakers
- Horns or cheer phones
- Blankets or towels
- Funtoos with your school mascot or name
You can also sell these - and bigger items like customized backpacks and coordinated school jackets - in raffles or other fundraisers. With a successful jacket fundraiser, everyone in the stands can coordinate expertly with your squad and the team. Your impressive pride and unified front will be intimidating to the other team.
Increasing team spirit in your cheer squad starts here and ends only where your imagination and creativity take you. Maintaining the basics of poise, pride and professionalism while you're having great fun is your foundation for success in increasing team spirit in your squad and everyone around you.