Cheerleading… Not Just A Sport, A Lifestyle!

Cheerleading… Not Just A Sport, A Lifestyle!

The back of one of my favorite team t-shirts says, “Cheerleading…not just a sport, a lifestyle”. It’s probably the most accurate sentence about cheerleading I’ve ever come across. Cheerleading originates in collective spirit and passion demonstrated by an ever-changing, heterogeneous group of people who gathered around sporting events. (more…)

Top 5 Ideas to Pump Up Your Team for Summit

Top 5 Ideas to Pump Up Your Team for Summit

The team earned that coveted bid and everyone is jumping up and down for joy! The excitement is overwhelming… coaches start thinking about new additions to the routine, athletes are dreaming of both Mickey as well as winning that ring and parents want to know how they can help.

Answer…..team gifts and spirit!

Going to Disney World for Summit is an EXPERIENCE and the athletes are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime. Teams will be decked out in lots of Summit gear showing off their gym spirit and their accomplishment of making it to the Summit.

Here are the top 5 ideas for great ways to pump up the team and get them ready.


Think of a cute idea and play off the theme. We’ve done root beer floats after practice, “We’re Rootin’ for You. Absolutely inexpensive and made the point that we support them 100% and know how hard they are working.


We all know the pressure gets intense as the Summit practices continue. Consider giving out small pick me ups to lift the athlete’s spirits after those hard, grueling practices. Nothing big or expensive but it let’s them know everyone is in this together. We love the #CHEERFITSTRONG bands as a reminder to our athletes that they are confident, strong, and can accomplish anything they set their mind to! 


 Florida is HOT! Team tanks are always a hit and a great easy way to commemorate the experience as well as make your team stand out. Lots of cute ideas on Pinterest and whether you focus on Summit or sporting your team name, it definitely bonds your athletes.


Teams come from all over including internationally to compete at the Summit so think about toothbrush holders, baggage tags, toiletry bags, uniform bags, etc. These gifts will not only promote spirit but come in very useful.


The athletes are bound to want to join in on the park fun so you might want to consider giving athletes items that they will NEED during park days. Items like fanny packs, drawstring bags, handheld fans, visors and sunglasses work great as spirit gifts.

The most important thing is to HAVE FUN, cherish the moments and make lots of memories!


Sally Paz is proud mom of Ava. While her “real” job is in educational administration, she spends a huge amount of her time doing the crazy cheer mom thing. Since 2015 when Ava began All-Star Cheer, she has been team mom for two years and a member of the Executive Board of the APEX Booster Club for one year. This year Ava will be competing at Summit in the Senior Coed 4.2 and the International Junior 3.

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Leading Your Team

Leading Your Team

Whether you’re the team captain, co-captain, or a senior on your cheer team, you’re looked at as a leader in your teammates eyes. They look to go you when stunts don’t hit, when routines aren’t sharp, when cheers aren’t right and pretty much everything else.  You are the go-to girl/guy when it comes to what’s best for the team.


So how do you take on all that pressure and still be the best cheerleader and teammate you can be? Here’s a few tips!


First of all, be a role model. Be the cheerleader you’d want as your role model, and the kind of teammate you would want to have. Show up on time, know your cheers and chants, be respectful to your teammates and coaches. As a leader just remember, YOU have to be the example!

Second, you need to keep energy levels high. Coaches and teammates are going to look to you when it’s time practice and perform. From the minute you start stretching at practice, to the last second on the competition floor, you need to be excited and confident in your team. When you’re energy is up, it rubs off on everyone else around. Get excited because you do the best sport in the entire world!


You of course will need to be responsible and dependable. You need to keep up to date with all information. Practice locations, competition dates, which uniform you’re wearing that day and what forms need turned in. You want to keep your squad on track, so YOU need to stay on track. Get a journal or planner, write down dates and times. Send out texts once or twice a week with reminders. Your teammates are going to ask YOU the questions, so you must be prepared with answers.


As a leader it’s so crucial that you never treat your teammates as less than yourself. When we get into leadership roles we tend to think we are better than other people just because we hold a certain authoritative role. No cheerleading team is made up of one person, and one person can’t perform an entire routine. Each member of your team is there for a reason, and is a necessary part of the puzzle. Don’t treat anyone like they’re not as good as you; they made the same team you’re on, and you need them perform your team duties for the year. Treat EVERYONE with respect.


I know this isn’t the easiest job, but just remember you were picked for a reason. Stick to these few tips and tricks and you’ll be sure not to fail. Stay confident in yourself and your team, and everything will run smoothly!

Want to be a leader and empower others through your cheer & fitness journey?  Become a CHEERFIT Ambassador and get instant access to the CHEERFIT Ambassador Club, exclusive content, CHEERFIT updates and ambassador-only giveaways!


Sammie Litten is University of Central Florida cheerleading alumni living and working in Orlando. She continues to spread her love and passion for cheer every day. She has been a cheerleader since the young age of 4 and enjoys many aspects of cheerleading such as co-ed partner stunting, game day cheers, working out, and doing her game day hair and makeup. Her favorite cheer memory is cheering on her Knights in Ireland against Penn State. 

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How to Prep for Cheer Camp

How to Prep for Cheer Camp

Cheer camp is an exciting time for an athlete whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first-year on the squad. It’s about team bonding, learning, hard work, and most importantly having FUN!

Although, the fun can come to a screeching halt if you’re not prepared. These are some tips and tools you can use to make sure you’re that you stand out at camp this year!


As an athlete you know that you won’t be good at whatever sport it is you do if you don’t what? Practice, practice, practice! This is true when you’re preparing for camp. Just because tryouts are over doesn’t mean that your work is done…it’s only just begun! You should be working every day to make sure you’re in tip top shape for camp. By working every day this includes three main things: physical training, nutritional training, and emotional training. Let’s break these down…


Physical preparation:

Before camp you need to make sure you’re doing some sort of conditioning. That means adding running, tumbling, and stunting into your weekly schedule. Get a group of friends together and work on your stunting a couple days a week or practice your tumbling at your cheer gym every Tuesday and Thursday night. Be sure to work out in between so you build up stamina. Camp is a non-stop event for cheerleaders and you need to make sure you can keep up with everyone. And one of the biggest tips I can give is to practice your game day routines! Know ALL of your motions, practice your facial expressions and know every single dance move. You don’t want to be the one that missed the high-V in the fight song, how embarrassing! You’ll basically be stunting, tumbling, cheering, and moving 99% of the day so you need to be conditioning and building up your stamina every single day!

Nutritional preparation:

Like I said, camp is a 24-hour job so there’s no time to be tired or sluggish. To avoid an energy bust start eating a little bit better a few weeks before camp. Skip the McDonald’s runs (ugh, can’t believe I’m saying that I know) and choose something a little more nutritional like fish or some whole grain pasta. White meat chicken and vegetables is one of my favorite meals and is great for you! Getting the right kinds of sugars and nutrients in your body will help keep you energized and ready to take on each day of camp!

Mental Preparation:

You need to be mentally prepared for the week/weekend that’s ahead of you. You’re going to be critiqued by staff members, your coaches, and teammates which can take a toll on you. Remember, the pressure is on for your coaches as well so they’ll probably be cracking down on your motions and performance so they look like the best coach there. Clear your head, and be ready to work hard. Having a good, positive attitude going into camp will only make your experience that much better!

Loving these fit tips and motivation? Become a CHEERFIT Ambassador and get instant access to the CHEERFIT Ambassador Club, exclusive content, CHEERFIT updates and ambassador-only giveaways!


Sammie Litten is University of Central Florida cheerleading alumni living and working in Orlando. She continues to spread her love and passion for cheer every day. She has been a cheerleader since the young age of 4 and enjoys many aspects of cheerleading such as co-ed partner stunting, game day cheers, working out, and doing her game day hair and makeup. Her favorite cheer memory is cheering on her Knights in Ireland against Penn State.

Stay in the loop with all things Sammie:

Eating For Practice

Eating For Practice

Hey team!

We’ve noticed that you have lots of questions about how to best maintain that healthy, active lifestyle that you embrace and share with your friends in the cheerFIT community. Today, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the different, even conflicting answers you can find to seemingly simple questions on the internet, such as “How can I eat to maximize my performance?”, or “Do I really need a rest day, and does active rest count?”. Each month, I’ll be weeding through research evidence and giving you the facts straight from the scientists’ work itself – both what you want to hear and maybe what you don’t – for questions asked by you, our incredible cheerFIT ambassadors and parents!

This month, you asked: What should I eat before and after practice?

The truth is, there is no one right way to eat before or after practice. The relationship between how you fuel yourself and exercise depends on many different factors, such as 1) the type of exercise (e.g. endurance training versus high intensity or cardio training) both the day of and during the next planned physical activity period, 2) the time of day, and 3) your own biology (e.g. if you have any health conditions that require a special diet). You will learn what works for you over time and by trying new ideas.  While figuring it out, try following some of the following rules supported by research:

Eat your fruits, vegetables and legumes. Your muscles use glycogen as a fuel source, and although your muscles can replenish a small amount of glycogen used by? themselves, they need your help. Carbohydrates contain glucose, which is used to produce glycogen. Carbohydrates before a workout help to ensure that glycogen is readily available for your muscles. Carbohydrates after your workout replenish the glycogen spent to keep your muscles going. Unrefined carbohydrates, both simple and complex (for quick and sustained release of energy), are your best choice – so fruits, vegetables and legumes are great! What’s more, fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, nutrients, fiber and antioxidants (depending on the fruit/vegetable) that your body needs for a variety of processes.

Make friends with carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are your friend, and they go great with protein for some double-duty muscle care. A large amount of carbohydrates is required to replenish glycogen stores – this amount is likely more than you can reasonably eat. At the same time as replenishing glycogen stores, you also want to support the building of muscle-protein. As such, pairing carbohydrates with protein in the hours immediately after practice can help you do both! As always, pick lean proteins! You can also eat protein throughout the day to promote muscle-protein building all day long. Since most of you have high intensity training sessions consecutively or on consecutive days – between cheer practice, tumbling practice and conditioning sessions (not to mention those cheerFIT challenges!) – it’s important to know that eating carbohydrates and protein during early recovery has been shown to help your performance during the next activity session.

Drink your water! But you know that already 🙂

Don’t forget electrolytes! While you hydrate, also focus on getting in electrolytes to fend off muscle cramps or soreness. This can be in liquids like rooibos teas, or in those fruits and vegetables you are eating (for example: bananas are a prime example of a great source of potassium). Be cautious of many highly-advertised sports drinks, as they can be high in refined sugar.

References available upon request.

Loving these fit tips and motivation? Become a CHEERFIT Ambassador and get instant access to the CHEERFIT Ambassador Club, exclusive content, CHEERFIT updates and ambassador-only giveaways!


Brieanne is a former cheerleader, sprinter and football player who is currently completing her PhD in Population Health at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada. A ‘scientist-in-training’, Brieanne has a public health and epidemiology background, and extensive research experience. Brieanne will be putting her research and knowledge translation skills to work to find good, scientific evidence to answer your questions about health and fitness. Today she stays fit through a combination of weight lifting, sprint training, HIIT, pilates, yoga, and most outdoor sports (e.g. running, hiking, skiing, climbing), depending on what the weather is like!

10 Simple Ways to Instantly Lift Your Spirits!

10 Simple Ways to Instantly Lift Your Spirits!

While we like to be on point 100% of the time, once in a while we feel stuck or challenged with a situation that brings us down. The cheerFIT team has put together a list of our 10 favorite, easy and natural mood-boosters to pick us up and remind us that there are so many great things around us to be thankful for!

  1. Call or visit a friend 

Feeling extra stressed with life right now? A cheerFIT favorite remedy feeling overwhelmed is taking a moment to call a best friend. It’s great to catch up on life and share what’s going on – your mood and energy will instantly change for the better! -Sometimes we need to get some perspective from our closest, best friends to help us stay motivated and remember why we started in the first place!

  1. Pamper yourself 

Let’s face it – we all need a little “me” time once in a while. Maybe you’ve had a hard day or finally conquered that goal you’ve been working on for months – don’t forget to reward yourself! Have a little DIY night with a homemade face mask or bubble bath, and finish the experience with a fresh smoothie or cup of green tea. Add a little ambience with some pretty spa music for total relaxation!

  1. Buy some fresh flowers 

A fresh bouquet of flowers creates a happy addition to any room. Pick up a few sunflowers and put them in a vase in the room you spend the most time in. Sunflowers are known to symbolize long life, happiness and good luck – not to mention their pretty golden color instantly brightens up a room!

  1. Exercise!

This is a no-brainer, especially for you fitness fanatics! Pop in your cheerFIT bootcamp vid or try your favorite cheerFIT challenge (share your results for a little recognition!) Working out naturally boosts your mood and confidence, keeping you looking and feeling amazing!

  1. Put away your technology 

Take a few hours away from your cell phone, iPad, TV, computer, video game, or anything that distracts you from the real world. Step outside and go for a walk or have a face-to-face talk with people in your family. While having access to technology has become a part of our every day life and connects us to the world, sometimes we forget to make time for the people right in front of us with no distractions.

  1. Daydream!

After a busy day of running around, sometimes you’re left feeling overwhelmed and clouded within your thoughts. Take a second to drop everything, close your eyes and sit quietly for a few minutes . . .take the opportunity to think about your day or your week. If you really don’t have time during the day, do this just before bed to clear your mind of any worries and remind yourself of what you accomplished thus far and where you strive to be!

  1. Compliment a stranger 

Doesn’t it feel great when someone says something nice to you? Do the same for someone totally random! Compliment their outfit, hair or positive attitude – I promise you’ll not only make them feel great, but you too will feel happy you took the time to let them know you care.

  1. Donate to a charity or someone in need

We have many blessings in life we often overlook, and some others may not be so fortunate. Go through some of your stuff or good condition clothes that you don’t use anymore and donate them to your favorite charity or to a friend in need. It’s the best feeling when you know you can help others and bring a little happiness to their life.

  1. Spend time with your pet 

Animals love us unconditionally, no matter what mood we are in or what we look like! Unwinding and spending quality time with your beloved fur baby is a great way to relieve anxiety – pup kisses are included for an extra bonus pick-me-up, free of charge J

  1. Volunteer 

Look on Facebook or online for volunteer opportunities in your area. Many animal shelters or homes for children look for volunteers to aid a helping hand – you will brighten up someone else’s day along with your own, which is a total win-win! Plus, it’s a great way to give back to your community and you can add to your resume or portfolio! Perspective schools or scholarship programs love to see community involvement.


Have something great you’d like to share that lifts your spirits? Leave a comment below! 🙂


Your community motivator,


Do you want to share your story and be surrounded by a group of leaders and motivators – just like you! We invite you to apply to become a CHEERFIT Ambassador.


Christina was a cheerleader all throughout high school, participating in a few competitions during her time there. She has a passion for the fashion industry and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, with years of experience in retail, visual merchandising and styling. In addition to her love of the cheer sport, some of her other favorite things are creative writing, dancing, pilates, green tea, and spending time with her dog Jersey and cat Savannah! She is currently living in South Korea with her military husband, spreading the cheerFIT lifestyle overseas!