If you’re new to the all star cheerleading world, allow us to the first ones to say, “Welcome!” We understand that entering a new sport can be challenging, but you are going to do amazing things with your team. One of the top questions we hear floating around competitions is “What’s the difference between prep teams and elite teams?” While the coaches know, oftentimes, the younger athletes and their parents don’t understand what sets one apart from the other. Today, we’d like to outline the differences (as well as how they are changing for the 2018-2019 season) so you can have a better understanding.
USASF designed all star prep teams for athletes who have a little experience with cheer and are searching for a more competitive way to perform. For some gyms, a prep team is a prerequisite for an elite team. For others, prep teams were designed to challenge athletes who have their skills but may need a little assistance with their technique and confidence. However, many athletes choose this option, regardless of their skill level, because it’s less of a financial and time commitment than elite teams. While they typically practice the same number of nights per week, the prep season usually starts later in the year and doesn’t require too much travel. In order to keep costs affordable, most gyms choose local competitions only for their prep teams.
One of the changes made this year to prep teams is the way the levels are divided:
- Level 1.1
- Level 2.1
- Level 3.1
- Level 3.2
The first number refers to the level of stunts that can be performed, while the second number refers to the level of tumbling. As you can see, prep is a great option for those who do not have quite the same tumbling ability as the elite athletes. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t stunt! Level 3.1 and 3.2 will likely be popular with older athletes who are just now beginning to understand the basics of tumbling. If prep all star cheerleading sounds like a good option, contact your local gyms to learn more.
All Star Elite was designed to push athletes to their highest level. Many gyms will require at least a year of experience on a prep team before they will allow you to switch to elite. Gyms will also usually put athletes through a more intense tryout process to ensure the best of the best make it to their elite teams. If you don’t make an elite team at first, don’t worry — with time and practice, you can absolutely make your dream team.
For any questions you may have about programs and their approach to elite and prep teams, be sure to reach out to them directly. Most gyms will give you a tour and explain the tryout process so you understand exactly what you’re getting into.
Best of luck this season, all stars! We look forward to seeing you and your teammates on the competition floor.