For many coaches, this time of year brings annual performances for activities such as rallies, homecomings, rival games and competitions. These performances often take up coveted hours of practice, time, and energy. If you’re looking to lighten the mood during crunch time, how about a themed practice! Get creative. Forget the concept of just costumes, think deeper. Have your theme send a message. How about a heroes night? Everything from firefighter gear to military fatigues, have your team show their fighting spirit!

Make the team think. Assign each stunt group a different theme. Keep the assignments a secret until a specified practice. At the big reveal, have the groups guess each others theme. Each group will need to have an explanation of what they represent and why. This can be a fun, and sometimes silly way, for the team to focus on each other and not the pressure of the performance. Remember, all themes and costumes will need to be removed before stunting. As a coach, be prepared to police the safety and appropriateness of each concept.

Does your team have a slogan or saying? Pick one – here are some ideas:

  • Cheer Hard. Win Big.
  • Eat. Sleep. Cheer. Repeat.
  • Teamwork makes the dream work.
  • I cheer on two occasions – Day and Night.

Posting these types of motivational (team chosen) messages in your practice area can refresh the season. With basketball and competitive seasons right around the corner, stay focused on keeping the mood productive but light. Taking a small part of your practice time for the team to reconnect could be just the spark they need to keep pushing!