Tryout Information

The Missouri State University Cheer Squad is a CO-ED team made up of 10 guys and 10 girls. Each year we hold a formal tryout in the Spring to select our team for the following season.

Our Team

The Missouri State University Cheerleaders lead our fans on game day in Football, Volleyball and Basketball. Each team member can expect to particpate in the following:

  • All Home Football Games
  • About 1/3 of the Home Volleyball Games
  • About 1/2 of the Men’s Home Basketball Games
  • About 1/2 of the Women’s Home Basketball Games

Travel to away football games and post-season basketball tournaments is usually limited to select couples per trip. In the fall, we typically select 9 guys and 7 ladies (plus 2 alternates) to compete at UCA nationals in Disneyworld in mid-January.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Missouri State Cheerleading Team and to participate in tryouts, the following is required:

  • Signed Tryout Release Form
  • Completed Tryout Packet
  • Photocopy of your health insurance card (front and back)
  • Copy of a current physcial clearing you to participate in cheerleading (tumbling, stunting, lifting, running, etc)
  • Must be admitted to the university as a full time student
  • Must maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester
  • Must maintain a semester and cumulative 2.0 GPA

Selection Criteria

Candidates are selected based on a variety of factors. We consider more than just current skill level; we consider potential, team partnering, physical fitness, work ethic, and attitude. For specific “requirements,” it’s hard to estimate what is needed to make the squad since we take the best 10 couples that show up, but listed below is what we look for. Because we partner everyone at games and we do lots of all-squad stunts, coed stunting ability or potential for it is very important. Also note that all returning team members must try out every year.

Ladies: In general, we’re looking for the “whole package.” The ideal candidate is in great shape, presents themselves well in front of a crowd, cheers with energy and enthusiasm, is easy to coed stunt with, has a solid standing tuck, and strong running tumbling on non-spring mats.

Guys: In general, we really like to see guys who have at least toss stunts and can tumble, but we take many guys who are stronger in one area and weaker in the other. We may also take guys who have little to no cheer experience if they show potential by being strong and athletic.

Tryout Format

Tryouts are closed to the public.  Only tryout candidates, judges, and coaching staff may attend tryouts.  To participate in the tryout process, you must be in attendance for BOTH days of tryouts.  We will not accept videos or arranged tryouts regardless of conflict, unless previously approved by the Head Coach.

Day 1

Tryouts are a two-day process.  On the first day, candidates will learn material and work on skills while the coaching staff observes potential, attitude, and skills.  Candidates will learn and participate in the following activities:

  • Fight Song
  • Sideline
  • Coaches Interview
  • Free Stunting
  • Free Tumbling

Day 2:

The second day of tryouts is our Formal Tryout.  Candidates will perform their material and skills for a panel of judges.  All skills must be performed with a CO-ED partner.

  • Sideline:  Run or tumble out and do a traditional MSU sideline along with a stunt. Looking for energy, enthusiasm, and your ability to lead a crowd and look confident.
  • Fight Song:  Perform the MSU Fight Song with the included stunts.  Looking for energy, enthusiasm, clean motions and stunts.
  • Stunts:  Each participant will be scored on the following stunts:
    • A Toss Stunt
    • A Single Leg Stunt
    • A Twisting Dismount
    • A Transitional Stunt
    • Note:  The required stunts can be combined.  For example:  Toss Heel Stretch-Full Down-Retake-Walk In-Lib.
    • 1 Optional Stunt (Show us your best stunt!)
  • Tumbling:  Each participant will be scored on the following skills:
    • Standing Handspring
    • Standing Tuck
    • Standing Handspring Tuck
    • Running Tumbling: Your Best Running Pass

All skills will be performed on a non-spring cheerleading floor.

Results

Final tryout results will be posted on the Missouri State Cheerleading website following tryouts.  Selected team members are required to return after results are posted for an informational meeting and uniform sizing.

Tryout Advice

Here are some tips on preparing for tryouts:

  • Tryouts are not a safe environment to attempt new skills.  Our clinics will provide you with time to work on these.  During the formal tryout, only throw what you know you can hit.
  • Be in the best shape of your life!
  • Guys, especially high school guys, lift weights and eat well to gain as much strength as you can. It will make stunting easier and make you more valuable in pyramids and baskets.  Exercises for guys include standing dumbbell military press, squats, and power cleans.
  • Ladies,  we recommend you practice coed stunt as much as possible either through private lessons or at a cheer open gym in your area. There’s no substitute for air time.
  • If at all possible, stunt with a variety of partners: good, bad, big, and small. This will improve your overall technique. Girls especially need to be careful not to stunt with only one guy, and also make sure to really learn proper technique and not unknowingly let the guy do all the work. Don’t try to skip ahead to the elite stunts even if a guy is able to throw you through them — make sure you first learn how to hold yourself tight and centered without balancing; learn a powerful toss, walkups, twisting cradles, etc. Our tryout format tests girls’ overall stunt technique and experience, so prepare accordingly.

What to Wear at Tryouts

At both days of tryouts, ladies should wear a sports bra, athletic shorts or spandex, athletic shoes, absolutely no jewelry, and your hair should be pulled back out of your face. Men should wear a plain T-shirt, athletic shorts, and athletic shoes. Note that these requirements are for safety reasons, and also note that some of your score in finals is “Overall Image,” so it’s in your best interest to look game-ready.

Summer Obligations

Squad members typically need to be in Springfield over the summer for periodic summer practices.  Exact dates will be provided at the informational meeting at tryouts.

During June:  3 Day Summer Practice

During July:  3 Day Pre-Camp Practice and UCA College Camp at MSU

During August:  3 Day Preparation for Fan Fest, New Student Convocation and Game Day.

Questions?

If you have any questions about the tryout process or our team, please contact the Head Coach Matt Harris at mharris@missouristate.edu