Cheerleading Recruiting Guidelines (2023)

Cheerleading Recruiting Guidelines (1)

College cheerleading recruiting is unlike any sport. While there are cheer programs at the NCAA Division 1, Division 2, and Division 3 levels, as well as NAIA and junior colleges, it isn’t recognized as a sanctioned sport. Therefore, college coaches and student-athletes can initiate the recruiting process at any point during high school. That’s why student-athletes who are successful in their recruiting journey do the work needed to get on a coach’s radar: they thoroughly research colleges, create a recruiting video, attend camps and clinics and attend cheerleading tryouts.

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What cheer skills are needed to compete in college?

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Can you cheer in college with no experience?

How to become a college cheer flyer

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Tumbling recruiting guidelines

What cheer skillsare needed to compete in college?

Cheerleading coaches typically use recruiting video and in-person tryouts to evaluate a cheerleading recruit’s full ability, from jumps to stunts to tumbling. While each program comes with its own desired qualifications, many coaches generally look for baseline requirements within each position, including flyers, tumblers, stunters and dancers. The level of cheer stunts needed completely depends on the program. Non-competitive teams will look for basic cheer skills, while top programs in the country want to evaluate advanced skills. Here are some examples:

SkillRequirementExamples
TumblingCoaches look for recruits who can perform both running and standing tumbling skills.Elite teams may require a standing back tuck, or even standing full twisting layouts. Running tumbling skills at top programs may include specialty passes, such as an Arabian and whips.
JumpsCoaches evaluate jump height, flexibility, and landing with feet together in complex jump combinations.Some teams may ask to see a toe touch, tuck, pike, right or left hurdler, and herkie.
StuntsBeing able to stunt with multiple partners is a must and most college cheerleaders should be able to perform a two-part stunt combination. Coaches also look at tosses, common game day stunts their school performs and pyramids.Basic cheer stunts include extensions, liberties, walk-in stunts and toss stunts. Highly competitive teams might require full up stunts, rewinds and handspring up stunts.
DanceSome schools also look for dancers who can perform a tumbling pass in addition to common skills.Common skills needed at top colleges include quadruple pirouette, aerial (preferably both sides), advanced turns, and advanced jumps.
CheersCoaches evaluate a recruit’s cheer performance, from voice projection to proper motion technique.Every school will ask to see the recruit perform their cheer and fight song.

Understanding what skills are needed at each program takes a little research. Top programs who place high at national competitions look for student-athletes who can perfect elite cheer skills and perform them consistently. Keep in mind that coaches want to recruit cheerleaders who can make an impact right away, meaning your skill set needs to align or be above the current talent on the team. Less competitive teams may be more flexible on the exact skills needed and bring on recruits with potential, who can develop their cheerleading skills once in college.

What do college cheer coaches look for in recruits?

This answer really depends on how competitive the cheerleading program is. Cheer coaches at colleges that place at the NCA or UCA championships are extremely selective in their recruiting. They look for cheerleaders who align with or out-perform the current talent on the team and add consistency to their program. From an athletic perspective, they want recruits to master the fundamentals while being able to develop their elite skill set enough to perform them well at competition.

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Most importantly, though, a coach’s specific needs could change from year to year. Some squads bring on recruits who specialize in a position, while others are more versatile, such as being a flyer and tumbler. The best way to determine what a coach might be looking for is to visit the team’s college roster and study the athletes’ backgrounds and positions. This should give you some indication of what skills are needed and which positions will be graduating.

Additionally, like every sport, cheerleading coaches want to bring on positive team members who can boost up the squad, be in good academic standing and responsibly manage their time and college responsibilities. They closely evaluate a recruit’s character, academic background and leadership skills in addition to their athletic ability.

Once a recruit identifies colleges that are an overall good fit, both athletically and academically, they need to create a recruiting video and send it to cheer coaches. In fact, in order to try out for a college cheerleading team, many coaches require that athletes submit a video first. Typically, the college will lay out the video’s requirements online in their tryout application. These videos and college cheer tryouts are the most common ways college coaches evaluate recruits.

Can you cheer in college with no experience?

In short, it really depends on the school and the intensity of the program. Some highly-competitive colleges have tumbling requirements that take years of experience to achieve, while non-competitive teams or spirit squads may only require basic fundamentals that you can learn on your own. Usually, gymnasts with no cheerleading experience have the easiest transition as they already have a good foundation of tumbling skills. Student-athletes with no experience, though, should research programs with teams that are split into JV and Varsity, because they’ll have a better opportunity to train and grow at the college level. They may also have a chance of making the squad at schools that don’t compete and only cheer on game day.

If a recruit is interested in becoming a college cheerleader, it’s recommended that they visit an All-Star or gymnastics gym in their area to learn cheerleading fundamentals, such as correct body positioning and tumbling skills, strengthen their core, and improve their flexibility. Sometimes these gyms need alternates on their squads, so it’s also an opportunity to work up to performing. Keep in mind that if you work hard, you have a shot. The majority of cheer coaches discover recruits by evaluating their recruiting video, scouting them at clinics, and seeing how they perform in tryouts. Cheerleaders with no experience can still capture the coach’s attention this way.

How to become a college cheer flyer

A flyer, also known as a top girl, is a crucial part of cheerleading programs as stunts and pyramids bring in the most points during competition. While there’s a variety of skills flyers perform, coaches look for consistency, proper technique, and overall confidence in each. All flyers need to have body control, balance, flexibility, and strength.

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In elite programs, flyers must be able to pull three different body positions, a full down from extended one-legged stunts, and a double down from prep level. In most programs, coaches evaluate flexibility by looking at the recruit’s heel stretch, bow and arrow, and scorpion. One of the most important skills for a flyer is being able to maintain proper lines, meaning the flyer has a strong core and uses her hips to pull up through her belly button so that her center of gravity is fully supported.

If a recruit wants to become a college cheer flyer, they can start by learning at a nearby club, such as an All-Star gym or Pop Warner team. Here, cheerleading is broken down into different levels, starting with the basics. For example, recruits can perfect basic stunting, such as a cupie, a prep level one leg, and tick-tocks. And as they become more advanced, they can incorporate more skills like a double-down from two legs and a double twisting toss. Elite programs turn to the highest level of skills, such as a single based cupie, tuck tosses, and a full twist toss.

College coaches often find recruits through these club gyms, especially All-Star teams, and also by receiving a recruiting video from the athlete before tryouts. If a recruit is interested in being a college flyer, they need to visit the college’s website to review the skill requirements needed and better understand the tryout process. Some tryouts require a video first, while others are open to all student-athletes. Either way, it’s important for recruits to proactively email cheerleading coaches at the schools they’re interested in. Showing personal interest in the program and highlighting cheer skills is the best way to establish a relationship with coaches.

Tumbling recruiting guidelines

All coaches evaluate cheer tumbling skills when prioritizing their list of recruits, both running and standing. But because cheer programs vary, there isn’t one set of tumbling requirements across the board. Even in the same division level, like junior college or NCAA Division 1, you can have one program looking for elite skills and another accepting basic tumbling.

In fact, if you visit the college’s athletic website, you might even be able to find the list of specific requirements needed. For example, the University of Tennessee is a top competitive cheerleading program, and their tumbling requirements include a standing back tuck, standing backhand spring back tuck and a tumbling pass including three skills or more. Plus, a running pass with a full rotation is highly recommended.

Of course, not all programs require this level of skill. While elite programs look for specialty passes and twisted tumbling skills, many programs stick to fundamentals, like back handsprings, front tucks and round off back tucks. The best way to understand the recruiting guidelines for the schools you’re interested in is to visit the team’s website and see if requirements are listed and then watch their competition video. Evaluate their routine, noting the different tumbling skills and experience of each cheerleader on the roster. Then, decide if your skill set aligns and if you’d meet that coach’s tumbling recruiting guidelines.

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Learn more about how to gauge your talent level.

FAQs

What are the requirements for Navarro cheer? ›

SKILLS WE LOOK FOR
  • Minimum: standing back tuck, round-off bhs back tuck.
  • Preferred: standing 2 to full or better, round-off bhs full or better.
  • Coed stunting experience preferred but not required (ex. rewinds, bhs up, hand in hand, etc.)
  • Female bases may try out for a tumbling position (fulls and better)

What are the three main positions in cheerleading? ›

The three main roles in cheerleading are the bases, the flyers and the spotters. A truly versatile cheerleader will be able to do any of these roles even though it is more common for cheerleaders to be focused to only one or two roles.

Which HBCU has the best cheer team? ›

Holding the new title as the first-ever HBCU to win the NAIA Competitive Cheer Competition, Xavier University of Louisiana continues to break barriers and demonstrate excellence even beyond the classroom.

What skills should a cheerleader have? ›

The most important cheerleading skills are cheering, jumping, tumbling, stunting (building pyramids), and dancing. These are the fundamental techniques that form every facet of cheerleading. To master these skills, it is especially important to possess and develop your balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance.

What does Navarro pay Monica? ›

Monica Aldama – $1million (£730k)

She's been head of Navarro since 1995 and, according to GovSalaries.com, takes home an annual salary of $84,000 (£61,866). She's made most of her money since appearing on Cheer, with her rise to fame securing her a space on Dancing With the Stars in 2020.

What is the most important position in cheer? ›

Being a Spotter. If there is one position in a cheerleading stunt that is the most important, it is the spotter or scoop. Being a spotter (sometimes called third base) is no easy task. The responsibility of preventing injury to the flyer rests on the spotter's shoulders or, rather, in her arms.

What makes a good flyer in cheerleading? ›

Flyers must have a keen sense of body awareness and know where they are in the air, understand the counts of the routine and have the confidence to continue performing when the stunt doesn't go as expected.

Can a cheer flyer be tall? ›

There isn't really a specific size. Yes, generally they are short, but some are tall, or some are larger, and they are still AMAZING. I have cheered for a couple years, and I am a flyer, but I am 5′4, one of the tallest people on my team. It really just depends.

What is the highest tumbling skill in cheer? ›

Tumble 5 is the most advanced tumbling class where students must have a proper Full Twisting Layout.
...
Tumble Level 5
  • Standing Full.
  • Level 5 Specialty Pass.
  • Round off BHS Double Full.
  • Standing 3 Back Handsprings to Double Full.
  • Punch Front Round Off Back Handspring Full.

What is Level 7 in cheer? ›

Level 7 is the highest level in cheerleading, where the most skills are allowed. A common belief is that the higher level a team is on, the better it is. That is not true! The level does not indicate how good a team or athlete is.

What characteristic attitude must a cheer dancer? ›

EXPLANATION: Cheer dancer have to be usually cheerful and smiling. She need to be lively. The main elements of cheer leading encompass jumps, stunting, and tumbling.

How much do college cheer Flyers weigh? ›

TDA: Is there a height or weight requirement? Lowry: The average girl is between 4'11 and 5'3 and weighs between 95 and 125 pounds.

Who won cheerleading Nationals 2022? ›

Cheer: Team Navarro Wins 2022 National Cheer Competition In Daytona. Cheer's Team Navarro is celebrating their win at the 2022 National Cheer Competition all over social media and on the beaches of Daytona.

What is the best cheer team in America? ›

FINALS
RANKINGPROGRAMEVENT SCORE
1SC Cheer136.9
2Elite Cheer136
3Cheer Central Suns133.95
4The California All Stars - Mesa128.75
6 more rows

How much does Gabi Butler make? ›

As of 2021, Gabi, 23, is estimated to be worth between $1million and $5million, as per Gossip Gist, with her salary falling anywhere between $47,000 to $69,000. Gabi makes her income in a multitude of ways, including through advertisements and endorsements for brands.

Do people on Cheers get paid? ›

Navarro were paid $30,000 per year for the series, which equates to about £22,000, according to Sportico. Trinity Valley College was also paid $30k. According to the publication, Navarro signed a deal with a production company in 2018 in which they agreed to be paid $30k for the then-untitled documentary.

How many years can a student cheer at Navarro? ›

You get five years of eligibility to compete, and three of those can be at the junior college level.

How many years can you cheer in college? ›

A transfer student athlete or Junior College Athlete can be a part of the four year institution's cheer / dance spirit squad but will only be allowed to compete for a maximum of five (5) years or Championship seasons during the course of his/her college career, regardless of the number of universities or colleges they ...

How old are the students in cheer? ›

Youth: Ages five through 11. Junior: Ages five through 14. Senior: Ages 11 through 18 (Depending on the level. This minimum age is increasing next year)

Can you cheer in grad school? ›

You are allowed to cheer in grad school pending your time involvement and if the program allows. Just reach out to the coaches of the colleges you might want to cheer for.

What is the hardest position in cheer? ›

What is the hardest position in cheerleading? Many people would argue that the hardest position in cheerleading is the base. Every stunt needs a solid foundation in order to be successful! The bases must have solid footing, solid holds, and be able to catch flyers at any moment during the routine.

Is a front spot important in cheer? ›

Front spots will typically help catch the flyer, and provide additional support and extra strength in basket tosses for example. This stunt position is rarer to see, simply because they are not required according to the rules. But don't let that fool you – being a front spot is still a demanding and important job!

How do you stop toeing as a flyer? ›

If you heel heavy and your toes are higher than the rest of your foot, curl your toes or push them downward to level your feet. You want to keep your feet as flat as possible and provide your bases with a platform that's easy to work with.

How heavy is too heavy to be a flyer? ›

For a base or backspot, you'll be fine as long as you're fit (regardless of body type) and not morbidly obese. For a flyer, there isn't an exact number. From what I witnessed in the high school scene, most flyers were ~125lb or lighter, especially since we were competing in all-girls events.

What is a good weight for a flyer? ›

7.8pt to 8.8pt are the most popular weight choices for high quality flyers. 5.8pt or 7.6pt nevertear flyers are ideal for a durable flyer that cannot be torn.

How do Flyers hold their weight? ›

It is the bases' job to balance their weight. All the flyers have to keep their ankles strong, lockout their legs and squeeze their muscles. The bases will do the rest. Encourage your flyers to perform in the air and smile even if something is going wrong.

Can you be a 5'6 flyer? ›

It really does not matter how tall you are! Last year on my allstar team my flyer was 5'5, the same height as me!

How do Flyers stay tight? ›

One commonly used drill for staying tight is having a flyer lay on their back and lift their feet so only their shoulders are on the ground and their body is “straight as a plank.” When I teach staying tight, I want the flyers to focus on their lower body in order to keep things manageable.

What is a top girl in cheerleading? ›

The top girl, or flyer, is the one lifted and thrown in the air during stunts. They energetically twist and flip mid-air, placing trust in their bases and spotters to safely catch them.

How hard is it to get into Navarro College? ›

It is not competitive to get into Navarro College. Navarro College has open admissions, which means admission is not competitive and any applicants that met the basic requirements can enroll. In 2021, Navarro College **accepted .

How many years can a student Cheer at Navarro? ›

You get five years of eligibility to compete, and three of those can be at the junior college level.

How many years can you compete on Navarro? ›

(Typically, they can compete for only three seasons.) The Navarro cheer team could still see some turnover from members who choose not to return.

How many years can kids Cheer at Navarro? ›

The Navarro cheer team members can spend three of their five years of NCA eligibility competing for the junior college. The Season 1 stars who stuck with the program (and with Coach Monica Aldama) are Gabi Butler, La'Darius Marshall, Lexi Brumback, and Morgan Simianer.

How old are the students in cheer? ›

Youth: Ages five through 11. Junior: Ages five through 14. Senior: Ages 11 through 18 (Depending on the level. This minimum age is increasing next year)

Does Navarro have dorms? ›

Planning to live on campus? Residence hall assignments are on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply for housing today. A $240 housing deposit must be on file to process your application. You've Got Choices!

How much is Navarro College? ›

Can you get a 4 year degree at Navarro College? ›

Navarro College is a 2-year college. A 2-year college offers programs that lead towards a Certificate or Associate's Degree. Some students decide to transfer to a 4-year after attending a 2-year in order to complete their Bachelor's degree.

How much money does Gabi Butler make? ›

As of 2021, Gabi, 23, is estimated to be worth between $1million and $5million, as per Gossip Gist, with her salary falling anywhere between $47,000 to $69,000. Gabi makes her income in a multitude of ways, including through advertisements and endorsements for brands.

Can you get a bachelor's degree at Navarro? ›

You can now earn an accredited bachelor's and master's degree from A&M-Commerce without leaving Navarro County. You don't have to travel far to earn a degree.

Did Gabi Butler transfer? ›

Gabi returned for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons at Navarro before becoming a student and cheerleader at Weber State University in Utah.

Who won cheerleading Nationals 2022? ›

Cheer: Team Navarro Wins 2022 National Cheer Competition In Daytona. Cheer's Team Navarro is celebrating their win at the 2022 National Cheer Competition all over social media and on the beaches of Daytona.

How many years can you cheer in college? ›

A transfer student athlete or Junior College Athlete can be a part of the four year institution's cheer / dance spirit squad but will only be allowed to compete for a maximum of five (5) years or Championship seasons during the course of his/her college career, regardless of the number of universities or colleges they ...

What happened to the Navarro cheer assistant coach? ›

It seems like Andy has left Navarro, for now. According to his Instagram bio, Andy now owns Cheer Source, a cheerleading camp. "It has been so hard not to talk about this, but here it is... I am so honored and excited to embark on this new project and venture!

How old do you have to be to go to Navarro College? ›

Our AEL Program serves adults who are at least 16 years old and/or are beyond the compulsory school attendance age and meet any of the following criteria: function below the high school level, lack a high school credential, are unable to speak, read or write in English which substantially impairs their ability to find ...

How old is Gabi Butler? ›

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