Many of you are showing a great deal of initiative just by coming out for cheer. Trying something new can take a lot of guts.
Here's one form of initiative that is vitally important at games- start a dang chant. Don't argue about which chant to do or complain if a squad mate starts a chant which you dislike or don't feel like you've mastered. There is no one "captain," ALL of you should take initiative and start cheering whenever it's been too quiet for too long, or whenever you sense that the game action, team, or crowd would benefit from a particular chant.

What's initiative? Starting something. Taking that first step, even if it's a leap of faith. Initiative can be risky business, but it's usually a risk worth taking.

"You must not be afraid to fail. Initiative is having the courage to make decisions and take action. Keep in mind that we all are going to fail at times. This you must know. None of us is perfect. But if you're afraid of failure, you will never do the things you are capable of doing... Never fear failure. It is something to learn from. You have conquered fear when you have initiative." ~Coach John Wooden

"With courage and initiative, leaders change things."
~Rev. Jesse Jackson

Every cheerleader needs to work on the ability to make decisions on their own and act on them. Never be afraid of failure, but learn from it. No matter what, there are going to be times when you're gonna make mistakes or when something you try isn't going to work the way you hoped. No one is perfect. If you let fear paralyze you, you'll never achieve anything.

I've never had captains because I don't want popularity contests, and I don't want political battles.

EVERY cheerleader is a leader. ANY cheerleader can begin any chant and the rest of the squad should jump on board. Besides just how they perform at a game, initiative means that cheerleaders bring their ideas and contributions to practices. It means they become the "movers and the shakers" at school because they start projects and programs, through student council or other clubs, or just sparking trends, beginning or maintaining traditions and setting an example.

Again, if you think I'm writing this because of our squad's specific dramas, you should know that I wrote it back in 2005- see for yourself at

The pyramid's bricks apply to any team, any sport, any year, middle school, high school, or college. Initiative is part of leadership. It comes easier to some than to others, but my expectation is that each and all of you will begin taking initiative. The more you do it, the more natural it will become. But for some to even be able to take initiative, it will take the help and support of everybody else. When someone starts a cheer, follow along- don't complain that you don't remember it, or call it dumb, just support them- even if you have to fake it.

6 captains, not one or even two. Consider yourselves a pretty elite force, no non-commissioned officers, no enlisted men, just all captains. But, that means that some of you need to step up and some of you may need to back off just a little once in a while.