How To Properly do Cheers and Chants
The Proper way to do Cheers and Chants
You must know how to properly project the words of your cheers. You must not only know the words, you must know how to properly project the words so that your crowd can follow them and yell with you.
When you are learning and practicing words, be sure that you enunciate well and that you project each word clearly and strongly. You need to learn to project your normal voice from your diaphragm. Do not force yourself and do not yell gruffly. NEVER scream. Incorrect voice control and yelling can damage your vocal cords. To practice proper voice projection, place our hands on your stomach just below your ribs. Say the word “hey” in your normal voice. Now project the word “hey” from your diaphragm. If you are projecting correctly, you will feel your ribs contract as your diaphragm pushes the word out.
Once you have learned the words to your cheer, and how to project them, you begin learning the arm and feet motions. Start with the first three or four motions and practice them several times. When you have learned these motions, practice the next three or four motions, adding them to those you have already learned. Continue this procedure until you have learned these motions, practice the next three or four motions, adding them to those you have already learned. Continue this procedure until you have learned the entire cheer. Watch yourself in a mirror to make sure that your motions are perfectly placed and executed. Be sure to say the words each time you practice a motion so that the entire cheer will begin to flow together. Don’t get frustrated if you forget a motion or some of the words. You’ve just learned something new and you will have to practice many times before the cheer becomes natural. The final step to learning a cheer is adding your own personality. When you practice, ALWAYS add a smile and an excited, spirited expression. If you practice with personality, you will perform with personality.
Since the only effective way to perfect your cheers is through practice you will undoubtedly develop your own methods of learning and perfecting. You should, however, begin practicing in front of a mirror and then have someone watch you and constructively criticize your mistakes. Once you’ve become a cheerleader and begin practicing with your squad, your adviser will attend practice and offer constructive criticism and suggestions. You must want to be criticized on your mistakes so you can work toward perfecting your cheers.
It is a good idea to occassionally practice in a different location. You don’t want to be confused the first time you do a cheer in different surroundings. You might want to practice in a public area, such as a park, to get used to performing in front of people.
Basic Styles and Motions. Although there are many different styles used by cheerleaders across the nation, all motions originate from the standard basic motions. Practice the nine basic motions on the following pages. Watch yourself in a mirror as you work on the exact position of your arms and legs, and go over each motion until it is perfect. You can work on your timing and rhythm as you practice the cheers at the end of the chapter. Keep in mind these important tips:
1. Keep your head up.
3. Don’t stare at one point.
4. Make the motion sharp and peppy.
5. Check to see if you are doing the motion
exacly right (for example, is your hand
supposed to be open or in a closed fist?).
A chant is an organization of coordination of words and motions, performed spontaneously throughout an athletic event, to generate crowd spirit and support. Chants, often referred to as “side-line chants”
or “sidelines,” are repeated several times.
Chants, Like Cheers, vary from coast to coast.
An experienced cheerleader realizes the importantce of the use of many different types of chants. Perfoming a variety of styles will enable you to capture and hold your crowd’s attention, while use of ony one style can often become monotonous. Imagine a cheerleader executing a perfect toe-touch jump. Now imagine her doing that same jump at every exciting moement in the game. After several repetitions, it begins to lose some of its effect and becomes “old hat.”
This simple example illustrates the need for variety. In fact, variety is necessary in every single area of cheerleading, whether it be jumps, cheers, chants or stunts.
Chants Are Closely Related to Cheers as They Are Both Combinations of Words and Actions. Precision movements and dance-like styles can be incorporated into your chants, but many are simply accompanied by claps, stomps or snaps. Unlike cheers, whith are performed only during games. They may, of course, be used in place of cheers, but their most important function is during the actual game play.
The Purpose of a Chant Is to Help You Keep the Spirit and Energy Level of Your Crowd Up Throughout the Game. It is important, therefore, that you practice your chants in such a manner that their performance comes easily to you. In fact, they should become second natur to you. Since they are perfomred spontaneously, you must have a wide reperetoire that covers every single game situation. This means, of course, that you should have a thorough knowledge of each sport you cheer for so that you will know what chant is appropriate in a particular situation.
The three main types of chants you will use are:
1) chants that your crowd yells along with
2) chants that the crowd will repeat after you, and
3) crowd competition yells (where one section of the crowd will compete against another section in yelling). The motions for your chants are the same you use in your chers.
When Learning and Practicing Chants You Should Pretend You Are Actually Cheering at a Game.
You should practice in this manner:
1) repeat the chant several times so that you are familiar with the words:
2) repeat threee or four different chants in succession;
3) give a “one more time” signal and practice cutting off a chant. To help you quickly initiate chants, write down different game situations (jump ball, touchdown, free throw, etc.). Put them into a container and then select one. Begin immediately performing as many chants as you know that relate to that particular game situation. Remember when practicing chants to project your words and to add personality. Be sure to have someone watch you and offer constructive criticism on how you can improve. Begin practicing the sample chants on the homepage, and make sure to buy the Cheerleading Cheers book.
Cheers and Chants Summary
*A chant is an organization and coordination of words and motions, performed spontaneously throughout an athletic event, to generate crowd spirit and support.
*Variety is a necessity.
*Chants can be perfomed before or after a game, but are more importantly used during games.
*You should have a surplus of cheers and chants that will cover any game situation.
*Practice chants by pretending you are actually cheering at a game.
Hints and Advice on Performing Chants
*Start chants at a slow tempo
*Enunciate and put expression into your words.
*Vary your rhythms and styles.
*Chant motions should be as unified as cheer motions.
*Never use chants that are intended to insulet the opposing team or an official.
*Continually incorporate new cheers and chants.
I recommend checking out the Cheerleading Cheers Ultimate Book.