Cheerleaders Gearing Up for the 2008 Season!

Hello Titans fans, So much has happened since Kerry's last blog just before tryouts so let me start by catching all of you up. Once again, we have a team of 31 incredible women whose careers include neuroscience research, banking, teaching, marketing account executive, victims' advocate, law, accounting, communication, and a mental health client specialist. We also have several women currently working on their bachelors and masters degrees. It's exciting to be part of a team that is truly made up of women who push themselves to be the best they can be in their professional careers.
Soon after making the team, we were swept away to Destin, Florida to shoot our 2008-09 Tennessee Titans Cheerleader Swimsuit Calendar. Last year our calendar was shot inside a Nashville studio. Thanks to all of our incredible Titans fans, our calendar sold out before the season was over and the success in sales and the drive of our director gave us the opportunity to travel and take our pictures on the beach. Having this opportunity was a huge achievement for us as a team and the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort treated us like royalty and it couldn't have been a better setup for us.

The trip to Destin was not only a once in a life time opportunity for all of us to have our photos taken in some amazing locations, but it was also a great way for us as a team to start bonding. It was the beginning of many friendships that will continue to grow during the season. The team ranges from 10 rookies to women who have been on the team for seven years! One of the most memorable moments of the trip was when we had our team building event the night before we left. The Sandestin Resort had the perfect lay-out for a scavenger hunt to send our rookies on. Their clues were centered on what it takes to be a Tennessee Titans cheerleader. Two veteran cheerleaders were at each location to give them their next clue. After the scavenger hunt we headed back to one of our rooms where the veteran cheerleaders put on skits showing how to handle certain parts of being a cheerleader. It was a night with a lot of laughs and a ton of pictures to fill up our scrapbooks.

Striking a pose in Destin, Fla.
As soon as we got back from our four-day trip, it was back to work. Some of you may not know this, but the summer months are actually our most hectic time of the season. Similar to last year, the month of June brought about five-day/week workouts and practices. Practices Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday started at 7:45 in the evening and finished a little before 10 p.m. We ended each week with Fitness Fridays where we were trained by Gary Kinder from 6:30 p.m. and ended before 8 p.m.. While the workouts were intense and sometimes not always something we looked forward to, it was a wonderful bonding experience for all the girls on the team. It's an amazing experience to watch your fellow teammates push themselves to do things they never thought were possible. We witnessed all the sweat turn to tears of joy as we saw one another achieve our fitness goals.

As the month of June came to an end, it was time for our fitness test! We ran an eight minute mile, a three hundred meter shuttle run that had to be completed in less than 75 seconds, a two minute step test of at least 100 step ups, plus 25 V-ups and 25 push ups. By the end of our tests, we were all convinced Lesslye was an Olympic track athlete in a past life. She finished the mile in less than six-and a half minutes! To all of our amazement she wasn't even out of breath! We don't understand it, but she is an inspiration to us all.

Saturday morning practices were reserved for rookies only. Their practices were from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and led by the captains. We have 10 great rookies who have really stepped up to the plate. I was in their shoes last year and know how overwhelming it is to have so much information thrown your way. We are trained on everything from how we stand on the field, run onto the field, etiquette, hair, makeup and how to handle media. Along with this there are nearly 15 sideline routines to learn and quarter break routines which are the routines we perform at games. Probably the hardest part is learning how to dance as a Tennessee Titans Cheerleader. Every girl on the team comes from a cheer or dance background, most of which were nationally- or state-recognized teams. We all know how to dance and cheer, but we each have our own style and learning to adjust to a new style can sometimes be difficult. You have to dance big, you have to stand out, and you have to be seen from the 300 level seats! So it takes some time to get the rookies out of their shells. They are doing a great job and continue to improve at each practice.

Titans Cheerleaders at the Rams game two weeks ago.
Leading us through all of the practices is a new set of captains. Two former captains, Kerry and Andi retired this past year. It's so strange to look up during practice and not see them. They are truly missed for several reasons but there are three new captains that are filling their shoes perfectly. Returning in the new position of Team Captain is Valerie who has been on the team for seven seasons and served as our Pro Bowl representative last year. Tonia also returns for her second year as a captain and her fifth year on the team. New this year is Lindsay S., Lindsey H., and Julia. Lindsey H. has been on the team for six years, Lindsay S. for four, and Julia for three. They each bring a unique trait as leaders who truly want us to be the best team possible, and the best women possible.

All of the hard work during the summer paid off during our first two preseason games. There is NOTHING that compares to running onto the field for a game or standing there and listening to the National Anthem being sang. There is a rush at that moment that makes all of the sweat and stress of the summer worth it. We all live for game day when we can share our love for the best NFL team in the league with the best fans in the world. The crowd interaction is something like I'd never experienced before making the team and it's something I will NEVER forget.

We can't wait to see all of you at our first regular season game September 9th against Jacksonville. We're working up some hot routines to debut and we will also debut the 2009 Tennessee Titans Swimsuit Calendar! We can't wait to share it with all of you at our calendar release party September 4th at Lot 7 starting at 7 p.m.. If you can't make it to the release party, we will have them available at the game. It is important to get yours fast. We sold out last year, leaving a lot of people without the best swimsuit calendar in the NFL.

We'll see you at the game! GO TITANS!

Lindsey R.