Cheerleading Handbook You‛ve made a choice to work hard to be a member of this team. Therefore, you choose to be held to high standards and exemplary behavior.
With the following expectations, your athletic abilities will be challenged and refined. Your character will be exercised and exemplified. And your definition of “team” will be transformed.
You will be asked to be a good role model for your peers, participate, push yourself, avoid “no” or negative behavior, and so much more.
Cheerleading can be hard work and most of the time it is but it can also be very fun too. Mostly cheerleading is rewarding but what you get out of practice is going to be a direct result of what you put into it.
“ACT like a Cheerleader”
- Be elite… all the time! Give your very best at every practice. This is how you and your team will achieve your very best. Giving “less than” limits you and your team and will only result in frustration, team division, and harder coaching!
- Take personal pride in your sport. Work hard to achieve your goals. Those who work for their goals will be fulfilled in their accomplishments!
- Be personally dedicated to work on growth outside of practice!
- Maintain good physical fitness. Cheerleaders will be asked to do cardio and core strengthening exercises on a regular basis (abdominal work, push ups, running, etc.).
- Cheerleaders must be able to perform their routines and at games with energy and vigor!
- Get your rest. Being tired doesn’t lead to successful or safe practices.
- Maintain healthy eating habits. Your body needs quality food and hydration in order to perform the tasks cheerleading requires. Cheerleaders who neglect their nutrition often end up forgetting to “fuel” or settling for low-quality “fuel” – this hurts you, the stunt group you‛re working with, and the coaches who have to deal with your lack of energy and crankiness.
- Be courteous, friendly and respectful to both yourself, your teammates and your coach(es)
- Be honest and truthful, regardless of the consequences
- Have a positive CAN DO attitude, and Growth Mindset. Your coach(es) will push you to reach your potential—join their efforts!
- Have a healthy sense of self-esteem. This means that cheerleaders refrain from negative self-talk and acts of attention seeking.
- Be an active listener and accept constructive criticism.
- Have good time management skills in order to balance personal time, family time, school work, and cheer.
- Be supportive of your teammates‛ successes and cheer for others.
- Be reliable. Unlike other sports, there are not people sitting on the bench or subs who can effectively fill-in for you. Cheerleaders have to step out in faith to trust each other—to trust that their teammate is going to be at practice, give their full effort, and care about the squad’s goals.
- Contribute positively to the working environment for your teammates. Whining, complaining, and laziness cheapen the sport, limit you from reaching your potential and hinder your team from reaching its goals.
Cheerleaders are expected to know choreography once it has been taught. This means practicing on your own to know your parts. Practice time will be spent learning new material, improving areas of weakness, and mastering routines.
- Be prepared: correct practice attire, hair in pony-tail and jewelry off before practice start time, athletic-length nails, water filled, restroom used, etc., be at practice 10 minutes early to help set the mats.
- If order to safely stunt you must warm up, stretch and strengthen your body.
- You are NOT to leave the mat area at any time during practice unless specifically approved by the coach. Bring your water bottle with you and save the restroom for designated breaks.
- Cell phones are not allowed on the practice floor, including during breaks. If you have down time, you should be interacting with each other. If you need to use your phone to adjust ride plans with your parents, you may ask to use your phone during a break.
- No gum is allowed in the gym or during practices, performances, or games.
- All athletes are required to prepare the gym for practice by rolling out the mats.
- All athletes are also required to put mats away. This includes tumbling equipment during warm-ups.
- Leaving practice early without participation in cleanup or prior to being excused by the coach is not allowed and constitutes negative points for the day.
Tuesdays: Black Utah Velocity Cheer shirt, black bottoms
Thursdays: Blue Tie-Dye Utah Velocity Cheer shirt, any bottoms
Events Schedule & Details
Practice Schedule Sideline:
- Tuesday 530-730
- Thursday 530-730
Game Schedule Sideline:
- Saturday, April 2, 2022 – Time: TBD
- Saturday, April 7, 2022 – Time: TBD
- Saturday, May 9, 2022 – Time: TBD
- Cottonwood High School
- Home Games: Parent Transportation
- Fundraising Events: Parent Transportation
Wearing a Utah Cheer uniform is an honor. Your uniform, which includes: shell, skirt, sleeves, jacket, shoes, bows, bag, etc., and should be kept clean and neat! You should take pride in your uniform appearance. Anytime that we are in uniform, we are “performing” and eyes in the stadium and the community will be on you.
While in uniform you must:
- Be completely “in uniform”: No shells lifted up, no logo on spanx, sports bra only, etc. No knee high socks nor colorful socks allowed.
- Never “break character”. Represent your stadium and program with professionalism, leadership, and kindness. While in uniform, you are bigger than yourself! You are an extension of all stadium & students, staff, and alumni of the stadium and facility!
- Uniforms are to be worn at each performance and fundraiser events —unless otherwise determined by the coach.
- You will not perform if you are not in uniform, including bringing your poms, correct bra and spanx, etc.
- Members shall ONLY wear their uniform to official events, designated fundraiser events, or otherwise decided by the coach, until the program retires that uniform.
Uniform Financial Commitment
- The cost of the uniform for 2022 Sideline Season is $150.
- If any article of the uniform is lost or damaged it will be the responsibility of the athlete/parent to replace. Replacement costs will include shipping and taxes.
Cheerleading is a team sport. Without everyone present, the team cannot accomplish it‛s goals. Practice is IMPORTANT and absences should be avoided whenever possible. Any absence results in the entire squad and your stunt group being inconvenienced, and others‛ sacrificed time become ineffective and unrewarding. Please consider the other members of your team when coordinating your schedule. For additional practice requirements, see Practice Expectations.
Unexcused Absences: Attendance is mandatory. The head coach is responsible for determining what is and what is not an unexcused absence.
Sideline Squad: During the week of a game if you are absent it results in the inability to perform at that Saturday’s game. You will not be allowed to sit with the cheer team or wear your uniform to the game as you are considered “ineligible”.
Competition Squad: If you are on the competition team and do not call or show up for practice 2 or more times it will result in dismissal of the Competition program for that season.
Scholarship Athletes: The athlete may have his/her scholarship discontinued immediately if he/she becomes excessively absent or tardy.
Athlete-to-Athlete Communication: All communication between teammates should be in groups where the coach is a member, using the BAND app. No Snapchat/Instagram groups will be used for cheer communication regarding attire, practice or game schedules, regularly scheduled or special events. If there is a concern or conflict with a teammate, you MUST bring it directly to that team mate in person, no exceptions! Whole team decision making or disagreements should only happen in practice.
Athlete-to-Coach Communication: Timely communication is required from all athletes; communication concerning absences, injuries, and illness must come directly from the athlete/ athlete’s parent. This policy is in place to increase communication abilities and responsibility of our growing athletes.
All communication between cheer coaches and athletes will be on the BAND app, or via email. It’s best to keep all communication centralized and not on the coach’s personal phone.
Coach-to-Parent Communication: Since we are a youth squad I will send out information about major events, and major program changes in BAND roughly once a month (if applicable). By high school, most athletes are handing their own daily activities in regards to school and sports. Therefore, most communication regarding program changes, schedule, and decisions will go directly to the athlete. If a concern arises that is important for me to be aware of, please send me an email before it grows into a major issue. Parents may use the contact information below:
Cell Phone: 385-743-2295
Online Image/Social Media
When you become an UVC Cheerleader, you become a representation of our program, your teammates, and the sport of cheerleading—even online and through Social Media. It is important that you recognize there are certain expectations in terms of acceptable material:
- No photos representing alcohol, tobacco or drugs
- No wearing excessively revealing clothing
- No content that consists of sexual, aggressive, or immature behavior
- No foul, vulgar, profane, offensive or absence language is permitted; including others‛ public comments on your posts
- No personal information should be made public, including that of others: Addresses, phone numbers, schedules, locations, etc.
- No negatively towards classmates, UVC or competing sports program, or bullying
Social Media Groups: As a team, there will be plenty of times when we do not agree with each other. It is not expected that you always understand and agree with each other perspective. But when we communicate online, we tend to say things we wouldn’t have said in person, as well as read tone differently than intended. It is expected that you always communicate professionally with your teammates, and consider their unique perspectives and experiences. Therefore, the best way to handle disagreements and discussions about cheer is in person during cheer practice. No team social media groups should be formed unless on BAND and unless the coach is apart of that group. If you have an issue with a specific athlete, you are required to address it in person.
If you need help with this dialog, a coach can help you work through these interactions.
The UVC cheerleading family consists of coaches, athletes, and their parent/guardian. We want it to be an exciting, positive experience for all members of our family. We ask that parents support and encourage our standards and expectations and provide a positive example for cheerleaders around them.
- Parents are asked to set an example of positive behavior and conduct for all our team members. This includes refraining from rude and vulgar language, negative comments, gossip, and other inappropriate behaviors while in the presence of our student athletes.
- Please keep in mind that coaches are well-trained and equipped and do not need parental assessment of their cheerleader‛s skill level, abilities, etc. The coaches not only have to make the best decisions for the team, but also have to navigate the often fragile self-esteem issues these young students are dealing with. Please help your cheerleader and the coaches by not placing value on specific positions, formations, and activities.
- There may be practices that your cheerleader walks away feeling frustrated, discouraged, or with hurt feelings. As the adult s/he is going to vent to, please help them to process their feelings in a healthy manner and regain perspective.
- There will be times that your cheerleader is busy with school, and other obligations. Help them stay organized, efficient, and therefore successful!
- Only coaches and cheerleaders are allowed on the practice floor.
- Please be creative in consequences for you student‛s misbehavior at home. Prohibiting them from attending practice punishes the entire team.
- 24-hour Grievance Policy: Please wait to issue grievances, less safety concerns, for 24-hours and never in front of the athlete. When appropriate, have your cheerleader bring their concerns directly to the coaching staff.
- When a question or concern arises, we ask that parents exercise healthy communication and boundaries when seeking clarity. If for some reason you become unhappy with a decision or process, please request a meeting with the appropriate staff person(s) in order to address the issue at hand.
- We ask parents to refrain from negative discussions with other parents and their cheerleader.
- The coach is not your athlete‛s friend. As their coach, your student may not always like them or their decisions. The level of commitment they give to this program is a direct correlation to what they get out of it, regardless of their personal feelings toward their coach. Encourage your athletes to commit to the sport, not to a teammate or Coach.
We pride ourselves on behavior and being polite at Utah Velocity Cheer. We want to be known as the team that has good sportsmanship, is positive, and cares about the community and each other. In order to keep behavior consistent we use Class Dojo.
As a parent and a cheerleader you can access your profile on Class Dojo. You can review points and see what rewards are offered and also look at what is not acceptable in class.
Examples of good behavior:
- Being polite, respectful, and kind
- Helping the coach
- Attending a non-required event
- Leadership (supporting peers, knowing rules, reminding to motivate team)
- Getting on the mat first
Examples of poor behavior:
- Incorrect practice clothes
- Being late
- Running in the halls
- Telling coach “no” or refusing to participate in the task required
You will receive a link or code to join Class Dojo. At the end of the month we will reward the winner of Class Dojo (who has the most points) and they get a special prize. We want to reward good behavior and not focus on negative behavior. If your child is given a warning in class you will see that reported in Class Dojo. A warning is typically given as a “heads up” for the athlete. If I have to continue to remind them there will be points removed.
Warnings may include:
- Talking during stretches
- Goofing off during stunting
- Saying “no” or refusing to participate in the task
Spirit Stick Award Program
We participate in the Spirit Stick Award Program where our athletes engage with each other through friendly competition and challenges like “cheer offs”, or “splits challenge”, etc. Each week on Thursday a cheerleader is nominated for the award by another cheerleader.
Spirit Sticks bring the team together and keep their morale high. Every cheerleader might know the honor of receiving a spirit stick. A spirit stick is awarded to a person or a cheering squad having the highest team spirit, or the one who performed the best and whose hard work was evident.
Birthdays are important because they give everyone a day to feel special and see how much those around them love them. We celebrate birthdays by singing Happy Birthday and if the athlete would like to bring a snack that is acceptable. Please be mindful of allergies when selecting a snack. Consult with the Coach on if there are concerns with allergies beforehand. We also strive to provide each athlete with a birthday card signed by the team and coach(es) as a token of our love and appreciation of them being on our team.
Cheerleading Code of Conduct
I commit to and understand the importance of the cheerleading position. I see the value in my assignment as a role model to other students at my stadium and the importance of representing Utah Velocity Cheer, the “Work Hard & Have Fun” Motto.
Today, as always, I promise to do my best to uphold the high standards of the cheer leadership position. I will conduct myself in a way that promotes a positive image of the stadium, the community, and me. Acts that reflect negatively include, but are not limited to, criminal activity, harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Such acts may occur during stadium or non-stadium activities performed either on- or off-campus at our facility, and online to be considered a violation of this Code of Conduct.
I completely understand that as a cheerleader at Utah Velocity Cheer I am not allowed to participate in any type of gathering where substances of any kind or criminal activity are present. I understand that I am not allowed to use substances, participate in criminal activities at any time while holding this leadership position. This time frame begins at the time of application until the conclusion of the stadium year. If I act in a way that reflects negatively upon the stadium, the community, or me, I will be held accountable for my actions.
Athletic Code of Conduct
I have read and understand the athletic code of conduct. I understand that ignorance of the rules is not a valid excuse for breaking them. I commit to upholding the highest standards set forth by my program, as is required by all athletes.
I have read and agree to the standards set forth in the cheer handbook for the 2022 season. I understand my commitment to these standards continues until my removal from the program or the last day of the 2022 stadium year.