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Archive for the ‘Cheerleading’ Category

Fire Up Tryouts with These Spirit Boosting Ideas

Posted by Stumps Spirit on July 5, 2013

You build the best teams with the best performers, and the best tryout performances come from the kids having fun and playing hard without self-consciousness. Help the process along by encouraging team spirit and minimizing jitters from Day One of tryout practice. Here are three ways to do it.

1. Warm welcome. A distinctive sports welcome banner or sign should catch participants’ eyes upon arrival and is especially appreciated if the sport or activity is one that does not normally capture a lot of popular attention. Increase the “mileage” with personal greetings as players arrive if at all possible.

For a large school or group where many of those trying out don’t yet know each other, you might consider providing adhesive name tags the first day.

Start right away to notice and verbally reinforce the best demonstrations of positive attitude, hustle, support for others, and the sense of humor that uplifts and never denigrates. You can also chat about behaviors outside of practice, particularly nutrition, sleep and others concerned with players taking care of themselves.

2. Ice breakers. Often, tryout participants arrive with their own teams. There’s nothing wrong about coming in with friends, but if you let them, they’ll tend to stay in their personal comfort zones even though it’s important for everybody to feel comfortable with everybody.

Break up cliques systematically by never allowing participants to form their own groups for warm-ups and other small group activities. Instead, have them count off and keep mixing up the groups frequently.

Counting off is also handy for corporate-style team-building exercises, which we recommend for large and/or disparate tryout groups. These activities are usually a little silly on purpose, because nothing is as cohesive as shared laughter. Consider these team-builders to open a practice, or lengthen break times a little to include them. We particularly like the subgroups to do list-making such as “Five Things We Have in Common” (no body parts or clothing!) or “Five Shared Favorite Things” and then present their lists to the rest.

3. Something unexpected. Pull out a surprise every once in a while for a shared pleasurable experience. These can be things or activities.

When it comes to the first category, rest assured that many ideas – even for personalized spirit products — are quite easy on the budget. For example, you could replace the labels on a case of 20-ounce bottles of water with customized labels for less than $12, personalize static (“window cling”) car decals for as little as 25 cents, or outfit all but the largest tryout groups in temporary spirit tattoos for well under $10.

Another way to go is to have activities in your repertoire that you can pull out during “time for something completely different” moments or reserve for the ends of practices. We particularly like stress-lowering exercises such as deep muscle relaxation, yoga relaxation poses and breathing exercises — all skills that are helpful to spirit and state of mind, with the bonus of being completely portable.

Have a tryout spirit boost you don’t see here? Please share in comments!

Posted in Cheerleading, Football Spirit, School Spirit Items, Team Supplies, Team Unity, Volleyball | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Crowd Pleasing Concession Food and Spirit Gear

Posted by Stumps Spirit on October 26, 2012

Everyone knows fans like a little something to satisfy that rumble in their tum when they’re out giving their favorite team a whole lot of enthusiastic spirit. And you know that hosting a concession stand can help fluff up your pockets with a few extra-much needed fundraising dollars for your school’s student organization. So here are a few ways to PEP up your concession stand and please the crowd with these delicious tummy-loving and spirit-rumbling favorites.

Getting’ Diggy With It

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The volleyball players won’t be the only ones going for the digs; fans will too. Stock your next concession stand with piping hot diggity dogs and you’ll be sure to spike a hit with your fans. What’s great about hot dogs, too, is- they’re simple! In just a couple of flame-broiled minutes you’ll have a crowd-pleasing favorite. They are a perfect addition to heat up early and have on hand slowly warming in a crock pot or roaster until your fans score a dog. And if you don’t have grill access, they’re just as easy to boil on a stove. Hand them their dog and let them do the garnishing. You’ll have an instant fan favorite.


Go Ahead – Get Sloppy, Joe!

While your fans are out watching their team dunk the ball, let them get a little sloppy with this versatile menu item. What’s great about Sloppy Joes is you can mix it up and make your menu a winner with Sloppy Joes on a bun, or let the fans get a little wild and add it to their hot dog. Even better, have nachos on your menu and you’ll have an instant nachos with meat and cheese. The team won’t be the only ones running the fast break. The fans will fast break to your concession stand, too.


Popcorn, here – Get your Popcorn!

Nothing screams great American pastime better than a good baseball game and a bag of popcorn. But don’t stop there, for those fans that just want to sneak a snack, have a few simple snack items available and you’ll be sure to hit a homerun. Candy bars, popcorn, and chips are quick and simple snacks that the crowd won’t be able to resist.


Give Your Fans the Fizz!

Anyone who craves the candy will tell you there is nothing the like satisfying compliment of chocolate and soda. That’s right, that smooth, milky-rich sensation melting in your mouth of tingling fizz is just the right way to satisfy your spirit-fervor fans. And for those wanting a little variety in their thirst-quenching selection, have bottled water and Gatorade or Powerade available, too. You’ll be sure to run laps around the competition.

Clap Your Thunder Sticks!

Kid and adult enthusiasts alike all get into the spirit of the events with noise-making spirit sticks. The crowd can clack the sticks and rev up the crowd or clap the sticks to the beat of the drummer and add a little unconventional pep to the band. And what’s great about spirit striking sticks is they are small and easily able to be stocked in even the smallest of concession spaces. So make sure to have some spirit sticks on hand and light up the gym with some thunder!

Moooooove Over Opponents!

Moooooooove over opponents, we can’t be defeated. And your fans can remind their opponents with a crowd of noise-making, cow-shaking, bells. And for a little added spirit, personalize your school spirit cow bells with your school logo and ring in the touchdowns at your school’s next football game. You’ll have a whole percussion line in the fan stands and they’ll surely have an utterly good time.

Give Your Fans a Hand!

Not that kind of hand… a Fan Hand! Decorate your stands with the high-wavering team mascot or # 1 sign with a unique fan spirited item. Everyone loves to wave their signs, so give them something to hold high – a school spirit hand. They’ll be sure to make your next big game a FANtastically good time.

Stock your concession stand with these food and spirit favorites for your next event and you will leave the rumble in the stands and not their tums!

Posted in Basketball Spirit, Cheerleading, Football Spirit, Fundraising, Pep Rally, Pom-pons, School Spirit Items, Spirit Concessions, Spirit Week, Stumps Spirit | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Simple Crowd Cheers You Can Lead

Posted by Stumps Spirit on October 25, 2012

Nothing gets the crowd at a game more pumped up and excited about the action than cheers, especially cheers that everyone knows, that can be performed almost instantly during any part of the game, and that are simple enough to get the most amount of people in the crowd involved. Here are five chants that are classics and have been used across the nation at many different events.

Here We Go (Team Name) Here We Go!

This is a cheer that can be used for any sport. It lets the team know that you believe in them and know they can win. The cheer can be performed regardless of whether the team is winning or losing. If they’re winning, it lets them know that they can finish the game with a win. If they’re losing, it will give them the confidence and inspiration to come back and win, because they know that their fans have their backs. A good idea is to hold up signs that you personalize yourself to give the players even more inspiration. Here is a video to teach you how to perform this cheer, since the rhythm is more complex than other cheers.


Another cheer that can be used for any sport, it makes the team stand strong when playing defense so that they can come back quickly to offense. Make sure you’re heard by the team by yelling the cheer into a megaphone. Megaphones also let more of the crowd know which cheer is being performed so that more of the crowd can join in with the cheer, causing a stronger fan unity and allowing the players to hear their loyal fans and gain confidence through them. The rhythm for this cheer is four even beats, where the first two are used to say “Defense!” and the next two are where you clap or stomp. For clarity, here is a video that shows fans using the cheer at a Bulls game.


This cheer is almost exclusively used at basketball games. For those who don’t know what an “airball” is, it is when a player shoots the ball and the ball doesn’t hit any part of the basket, whether it be the hoop, rim, or backboard. When this happens, the crowd, if rowdy enough, will almost immediately start chanting “Airball! Airball! Airball!…” to get inside the mind of the player that missed the shot (only if the player that missed the ball is on the opposing team). While chanting, the crowd makes a hacking motion with one arm. The rhythm is simply two even beats to say the word “airball.” Need some help getting the crowd to hear you starting the chant? Use a cheerphone for that. Also, while hacking, wear a spirit mitt to let the other team know that your team is better than theirs. To get an idea of how fans have used this chant in the past, here’s a video of IU students chanting “Airball.”

Ohhh… Brick!

Black Hand Clappers

This cheer is another basketball cheer, although it could be used for volleyball, as well. The cheer is used when a player is at the foul line shooting a foul shot. Usually a player will take a few seconds after receiving the ball from the referee to focus on the shot that he or she’s about to make. During this time, starting yelling “Ohhhhhh!” continuously until the player takes the shot. On the release, yell “Brick!” to try to mess up that player’s shot (only used when the opposing team is shooting). Make some noise while yelling with cow bells and hand clappers. To use this chant in volleyball, start yelling when the referee blows the whistle for the server to begin serving. Yell before the player hits the ball. When the player hits the ball, yell “Brick!” or “Serve!” to mess up the player’s serve.

Hack! Hack! Hack!

Bam Bams

The “Hack” cheer is mainly used at volleyball matches. The cheer is very similar to the previously mentioned “Airball” cheer used for basketball. When a player “hacks” a ball, this means that he or she goes to swing at a ball that was set to them, and he or she completely misses the ball or whiffs it. When this happens, the crowd yells “hack!” multiple times (as many times as the crowd decides). Like the “Airball” cheer, the crowd makes a hacking motion with one arm every time “hack” is yelled. This cheer lets the opposing team know that the error made by the player did not go unnoticed! Instead of making a hacking motion, some members of the crowd can bang bam bams together. Have the mascot join in to make the cheer much rowdier!

These cheers are designed to get the crowd involved in the action of the game. They are simple enough to learn almost instantly and are powerful enough to mess with the opposing team’s morale and, at the same time, boost your own team’s morale. Cheer on!

Posted in Basketball Spirit, Cheerleading, Football Spirit, Hockey Spirit, School Spirit Items, Soccer, Stumps Spirit, Team Supplies, Team Unity | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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