How to handle not making the cheer or dance team (How to help your child cope with not making the team)
You did all the right things, you took dance and cheer classes. You attend cheer clinics and spent countless hour,
practicing day and night perfecting the moves. Tryouts day hits, you look your best, you have your biggest and brightest smile possible and you shout those cheers out loud enough for the world to hear. Your dance was flawless, your jumps – sky high. You wait anxiously outside the window with everyone else who tried out. Slowly the coach walks down the hall to post the list. The list goes up and everyone rushes toward the window to search for the name, you look and look again only to find YOUR NOT ON THE LIST.
Not making the team can lead to a list of emotions and it’s hard for friends and family to know the best way to help you deal with that lost or sad feeling you may have. First, if your a parent, you need to understand that no matter how you feel about cheerleading or dance team, this tryout was important to your child so you must respond with caring and positive comments. Let them know, not making it is not a reflection on them, each tryout is different and some factors weigh more than others. Congratulate your child for having the courage it took to even tryout. So many kids want to tryout but are too scared to do it and your child had enough courage to get out there and do his/her best. Let them know you understand not to get something you really want in life can be hard, but its not the end of the world. Remind them of other plans they had for the school year, encourage them to join a sport they love. Remind them that their school team is not the only cheer or dance team out there. Encourage them to join an Allstars or Recreational dance or cheer program – they will meet kids from other cities, schools and in some cases can be more fun and challenging than school cheer. Don’t tell your child not to cry, encourage them to show their sadness in a healthy way.
If your the cheerleader or dancer who didn’t make it, then we want to keep a few things in mind. Most tryouts are not just based on your cheering and dancing abilities. Tryouts judges consider a variety of items when judging a competition, some wonder how you would fit in with the returning team members, sometimes your teacher referrals hold a heavier score then your overall performance, in some cases they are thinking about next season’s routine and they are trying to visualize each person doing upcoming routines, and sometimes (and sorry but this is a very sad reality) they just chose teams based on current team members friends/family or kids they just have a preference too (that sucks when it happens, but it does happen).
A couple of things to consider, if you find yourself in this situation. First, if they don’t give you tryout score sheets, ask for some constructive feedback. Usually they will give you tips for the next time you tryout. Second, consider the fact that it may not have been you at all and just something that wasn’t a good fit for them as of right now. If you ever watch the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Show, think about the time the coaches pulled a girl in a room and a performer how much they love the her, how beautiful she is, how amazing she is but they just couldn’t see her on the team. There is nothing you can do about that, if they love you but don’t see you as a great fit, that’s just that. It’s like you meet a really awesome guy but you just can see yourself dating him, no matter how awesome he is the connection just isn’t there. That happens with cheer and dance teams too. Third, remember it is not the end of the world, you can still cheer or dance for a team. Consider joining an Allstar Cheer and Dance program. Our Nor Cali Bay Area Cheerleading loves accepting all members regardless of experience. We have met some amazing cheerleaders and dancers who didn’t make their competitive team, but they join us and they are some of our strongest performers. If you really love cheer and dance, go online and see if you can find a cheer or dance team you can join. It’s a great way to do what you had your heart set on and get the experience you may need in order to tryout for your school next year.
Good luck and always SMILE BIG!
*RAW Allstars is a small gym with big wins. Specializing in small teams, our program holds Natioanl/International) titles for 2011-12 (our first FULL season), 13, 15 from USA Varsity, GSSA, Jamsports, HIT, Xtreme, California State Championships. Centrally located in the bay area, we have youth from San Francisco, San Mateo, Richmond, Fremont, Livermore, Union City, Santa Clara, San Jose, Cupertino, Palo Alto and more. We are just 10-20 minutes away from most Bay Area cities (right off 880/84/237/680)