Virtual cheerleading practices have become the new normal for many teams around the world. We’ve previously listed 27 Fun Virtual Practice Ideas, but if you’re already tired of those ideas, you might want to spice it up a little.
Here are 12 simple things you can do to make virtual cheer practices more fun again!
1. Change meeting background
The first idea is very simple. Changing the background of each member’s video can be a fun way to spice up your practice. Let everyone show their favorite memory, action shot, cheerleading team, funny meme, ugly action shot, or anything else you can come up with.
Let athletes challenge themselves and each other! Below are some different ideas to try:
Floor stunt challenge
Do it with your own stunt and music, or give athletes some time, until next practice for example, to learn another teams’ sequence. See who performs it the best!
“Bring your best”
Compete individually or in teams. Let athletes “bring their best” jumps, stretches, handstands, dance, routine mark through, etc.
Who can hold a handstand the longest? A plank? An arabesque? A squat?
Come up with different static exercises and stretches and see who can hold it the longest.
3. Invite guest coaches
Just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean you can’t have guest coaches. In fact, inviting a guest coach is even easier, since they don’t have to travel!
Don’t be afraid to ask and look inside your gym, others near you, in your country, or even international!
Tip: many gyms have posted workouts and drills online, like Central Jersey Allstars below. Following them works almost like a guest coach:
Look up gyms, teams, or instructors online and follow their videos together at practice!
4. Combine teams and gyms
Invite other teams from your gym and practice together. Many work harder and like to show off when others are watching, so this can help motivate athletes a little extra.
With more people joining, you can also have more specific practices, like flyer classes, focus on jumps or tumbling, stretch class, etc.
Invite teams from other gyms too if you want!
5. Play games
Games, games, and more games!
Playing games is one of the best ways to keep athletes engaged. Below are some examples:
Create a Kahoot game with trivia questions about your team, gym, coaches, or even your routine counts. Share the game on the screen and let everyone play from their phone or pad.
A classic game that engages everyone who plays! Similar to Kahoot, you can create a Jeopardy game with questions or different exercises or stretches.
Make a team or gym bingo with different tasks or challenges. These challenges can be both individual and for the whole team.
For example, an individual task could be stretching every day for a week. Another idea is to list things athletes should look for during practice. This could be seeing a coach yawn, adjust their glasses, drink water, or scratch their head. The first athlete who gets bingo wins!
A team task could be that at least 5 athletes send a video of them practicing your dance before the next practice, that 10 athletes send a photo of a stretch, etc. When the whole team gets bingo, they win!
6. Use virtual badges
Reward those who attend and participate in practices with virtual badges, like stickers for example.
Write down the practice dates and athlete’s names. Put a sticker next to a name each time the athlete attends and participates.
Those who collect the most get a prize sent home to their house!
7. Do yoga
Why not try something different than cheerleading? Yoga can be both relaxing and stress relieving, but also a good workout.
Put on some calm music, stretch and relax!
8. Use apps
You can use apps both for fun and for working out.
The Class Dojo app is great for giving feedback and interacting with your teams and parents.
9. Let the team decide
Sometimes, handing a task to the athletes is more fun. Let them choose what to work on, the order of your practice, or let each person hold the warmup every practice.
10. Dress-up day or themed practice
Have a themed practice with special music and outfits! This can help encourage athletes to show up, as it will be different from a regular practice, even though you might do the same things.
11. Music & routine specific workouts
There are some songs that make working out more fun! For example, do an exercise each time you hear a certain word.
Some examples are “thunder” in ACDC’s song “Thunderstruck”, “Roxanne” by Police, “bike” or “bicycle” in Queen’s “Bicycle race” and “bring sally up/down” in the song “Flower” by Moby.
Another idea is to watch a routine on the shared screen and workout to it. Decide on different exercises before, like tumbling = lunges, jumps = jump squats, and stunts = push-ups for example.
Play the routine and do the exercises that match the routine! When the team on the screen stunts, you do push-ups and so on.
12. Non-cheerleading related things
We all love cheerleading, but other things are important too!
Take some time, either part of or a whole practice, and do something that isn’t directly about cheerleading:
Come up with challenges that don’t have to do with cheerleading, like helping out at home, drinking more water, reading books, etc.
Start journaling together! Write down how you’re feeling, your favorite things, what you like to do, how to be a good friend, life, goals, and so on.
Practice mental training
Mental training is important for athletes on all levels and teams. Do you usually forget to practice it? Now is the perfect time!
Play different “ice breaker” games and get to know each other better.
Examples are “who’s most likely to?” questions, “2 truths 1 lie” game, sharing embarrassing stories, dreams, tips, and so on.
Tip: To help decide who’s next, use a tool like Wheel of names that picks out a name.
The last idea is doing some type of project together, both at and outside practice. You can bake something, draw or paint, or do different crafts and DIY ideas.
This can involve multiple teams or even the whole gym! Let everyone send in their favorite memories and make a book, or ask why they love about your gym and make a video to share for example.
We hope this gave you some ideas on how to make virtual practices more fun!
Don’t forget to check out our 27 Fun Virtual Practice Ideas as well.