If a cheerleader were a superhero, spirit would be her power. Cheerleaders have the ability to pump up the crowd, inspire fans, encourage athletes to push harder, and support an entire team or school. With some pom shakes, catchy cheers, and a bright smile, your squad can get the whole crowd spirited. We recently discussed cheers and chants, from when to use them and how to teach and learn them. Now, it’s all about using them (and other things) to get the spirit going. After all, cheerleaders (especially school cheerleaders) are always a source of spirit. Particularly in the fall season, cheerleading squads at school will be focused on incorporating spirit in almost everything they do. Your squad will be cheering at football games and basketball games, hosting and performing at pep rallies, fundraising, participating in homecoming, and many other school or squad-related events. A good cheer squad uses spirit in all of these events and tasks to keep things fun, light-hearted, and exciting for everyone involved. At games or pep rallies, it’s important to go all out with spirit. The easiest way to do so is to use pom poms, megaphones, banners, signs, and catchy chants and cheers. You’ll know if your spirit is successful based on the crowd’s participation. Are they joining you in chanting? Are they responding positively to your cheers? The more spirited you are, the more spirited the audience and, as a result, the more spirited the sports team. That can make all the difference between winning and losing the game. When it comes to poms, go for holographic or metallic ones that catch the light and grab everyone’s attention. You don’t need to use them with every cheer, but they are a great way of getting the crowd to notice what you’re doing. Megaphones are perfect for getting the audience involved with your cheers. While the squad performs a chant, one cheerleader can use the megaphone to encourage the crowd to join in. If you use banners, keep the phrases and words short and sweet, like “go team!” or “win!” All poms, megaphones, and banners should include your school or team colors. When performing your chant, keep the words sharp and clear. The better the audience can understand you, the more likely they are to cheer with you. At pep rallies, you can use all of these techniques but include music. Make sure the song has a catchy beat and easy to follow rhythm. Remember, spirit isn’t easily categorized and there are no certain rules as to what will and won’t inspire spirit. It all depends on the cheer squad and the audience. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when thinking of ways to promote spirit. Ultimately, your goal is to get everyone in a great and competitive mood and to encourage school and team spirit! What does your squad do to inspire spirit?