In my experience, decorating posters or banners for school locker rooms and around campus takes an entire practice–and then some! As all cheer squads, practice is crucial and time is limited. Taking away practice time hurts squads, especially when there is a big rival game or Homecoming that week. Here are some tips so practice time remains practice time, and poster making is during a time that is not going to interfere with skill building.

1. Finish them during summer conditioning.
This year, our upper-classmen will have summer conditioning. Every Wednesday, we plan to take an hour to plug away on posters and banners for the upcoming school year. If we don’t finish them on Wednesday, no stress–we don’t have a deadline! We make as many as we can until the end of summer. By the school season, we have a nice collection to choose from for every game. When we get short, we can then fit in some time to make a few more, but we don’t have to stress about making so many. We may only need one or two to meet our quota!

2. Designate a banner night.
If you still are not too keen on decorating during conditioning practice, designate a banner night. Set the time for a one-two hour slot where volunteer cheerleaders from your team can come to help. Chances are, you’ll get a good number considering there is no stretching, warm-up, or running that they’ll have to do. They get to enjoy just a fun paint night with some friends! We always like to have music playing to add a little fun and bonding time, too

3. Assemble an after-practice banner team.
If summer conditioning doesn’t work for you, hire a few artsy girls on the team to stay after practices to make banners and posters. It is especially smart to rope in those that are always picked up late, anyways. Have a quota they need to fill and a time limit, so they stay on a steady schedule.

4. Use your booster team.
Alright–so you worked your tail off trying to get that booster team in place, right? Put them to work! They’ll love to help out. Give them some ideas (may be from Pinterest?) to work with, and I’m sure you’ll get some fun, creative posters as a result.

5. Give ‘em to the girls (or boys).
Okay, so you don’t have a booster team, you do not like the idea of taking up practice time, and no one wants to stay after practice, including you… never fear! Give the girls the gear! Have some artistic (and responsible) leaders take home paint, posters, brushes, and whatever else their creative souls need. Have them work on a few banners at home over the next week, and make sure they bring them back in one piece!

6. SOS to the Student Council.
Maybe, you’re not even into the whole decorating thing… that’s fine, too! Give the responsibility to the Student Council (after asking them, of course). Our Student Council makes a ton of signs to hang around the school. Try working with the sponsor of Student Council, and ask for some help with the banners. I’m sure they would be eager to help out. Just remember to give them credit, considering they are doing the work.

By now, you probably have a good direction of when you want to work on banners and posters. Get creative, make it fun, and don’t stress! Remember: this is also about making the football and basketball teams happy. I know our boys are so grateful to see a big banner when they walk into the locker rooms! That is what it is really all about!

How else can cheer coaches fit in time to make banners? Share what worked well for your team in the comments!