Most every all star cheerleader comes to a point in their “cheer” career when they have to decide: Do I stick with my current gym, or do I move on to something else? While people make a switch all the time for very valid reasons — increasing costs, a move, etc. — others are simply looking for a change. Here are a few of the things you need to take into account before you take the plunge to try out at a new cheer gym.
Where are you currently in your skills? If you recently mastered your back handspring, don’t expect to make the level 5 team at another gym if you didn’t make it at your current one. Some all star cheerleaders want to switch because they believe they will make a higher level team elsewhere. However, this is a tricky mindset that can often lead to failure. Chances are, your current coaches put you on a certain team because that is where you will best excel. Even if you do make a higher level team at a different gym, you might find yourself falling behind or developing bad technique in order to keep up. If you are happy at your current gym otherwise, you should consider staying.
How committed are you to cheerleading? If you want to go to one of the “big name” gyms, you’ll need to be prepared to dedicate more time and energy to cheerleading than you likely have in the past. If the coach calls an extra practice, you need to be ready to drop everything for your team. Sometimes that means missing prom, homecoming, senior night, etc. On the flip side, if you are in a serious program right now and simply cannot commit to the time requirements, going to a more relaxed gym may be a good fit for you. Decide how much time cheerleading can have, then choose your next move accordingly.
Whether you are paying or your parents are paying, gyms vary in their prices. Even if the monthly tuition is the same, it’s important to consider the cost difference. How will you pay for travel, the new uniform fees, and additional costs that come from choosing a gym that may not be located nearby? If you aren’t the one paying for everything, this could be a tough discussion with your parents. Be prepared for pushback if the price increases when switching gyms.
Follow Your Heart
Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s what will make you the happiest. For some, that means being pushed harder than they’re being pushed at their current gym. For others, it means cutting back on cheer practice and spending more time with friends and family. Decide your goals and listen to your heart. Whatever you choose to do, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
We hope to see you, your fellow all star cheerleaders, and your (new) gym at our next competition! Check out WSA Cheer’s competition schedule for next season and see when we are coming to a city near you!