Pep Rally Ideas

Do you need some new pep rally theme or game ideas? Or, do the cheerleaders at your school need a refresher on how to run a pep rally? Like a tasty apple pie, a pep rally needs the correct ingredients to turn out just right. Let’s start at the top of our list of Pep Rally Recipe to see what we need and what steps to take for this special school spirit treat!

Pep Rally Ingredients:  

1 Pep Rally Theme:
  Pep rallies are usually based around sport seasons to muster up school spirit, so having one in the fall semester and then again in spring would be ideal. You’ll need to pick an easy yet fun theme to use throughout the rally. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sports- Use sports themed music, play games that use that season’s equipment, tell the student body to dress in their favorite sport for that season, or assign a sport theme to each class.
  • Green Out- Choose your school’s dominate color and go all out with that color! Encourage everyone to wear that color on pep rally day and decorate your school with that color.
  • Beach the Mustangs! Decorate your school with beach items, toss beach balls into the crowd, play music by The Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffet.
  • Blast from the Past- Travel through time by assigning each class a time period. Decorate your school or gym in sections based on what time periods you pick, like the Early Man (cavemen!), Roman Era, 1950s, 1980s… anything goes! Pick music to go with each class for games and skits.
  • Worst Nightmare- The student body can wear their favorite PJ’s on the pep rally day and have fun games like relay races involving fun slumber party favorites, like pillow fights, Twister, or a pulling each other on sheets.
Wear shirts that show what class you're in1500 Students:  Advertise  the pep rally starting 3-4 weeks prior to allow students to get their pep rally day outfits.

1 Master of Ceremonies: Assign one person to cue and direct each activity or organization.

1 DJ: Assign one person to be in charge of the pep rally music.

200 Band Members: Have the band lead the precession into the gym for the pep rally. Coordinate when they will play the fight song, war chants & band cadences.

20 Cheerleaders: Use ALL of your cheerleaders! Freshmen, JV, & Varsity together creates more excitement. 

1 Fun game or Skit: Pick a fun game to play or skit to perform based off of your theme.

1 Keynote Speaker:Have the principal, head football coach, or class president give an enthusiastic speech during the rally.

Use signs and poms to lead the student body during cheers!
Step 1
Choose your theme 3-8 weeks prior to the pep rally (depending on when school starts) and begin working on the agenda.

Here is a sample Agenda:
  • Band Entrance followed by the Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior and Senior class(Cheerleaders go in with band then clap/dance to the music the band plays).
  • National Anthem
  • Cheer (Use one from camp!)
  • Class Yell Contest
  • Introduction of sports teams (Cheerleaders make tunnels. Encourage students to yell for their class)
  • Key Note Speaker Speech
  • Perform the Xtreme Routine from camp
  • Skits & Games by cheerleaders and SGA
  • Teach your tradition sidelines (choose 3 and use signs!)
  • Fight Song

Step 2
Start preparing for the big day! Paint banners and practice your cheer, Xtreme Routine and skits. Make props, door prizes, flyers  and buy beads to throw to the crowd. Order rooter poms to sell the week of the pep rally and start collecting water bottles to give out as noise makers (students can put coins in them to shake!).

Step 3

Coordinate with your band or assigned DJ. The cheer coach or captain should meet with the band director and together make a decision about which songs they will play. Will they play the National Anthem, Fight Song, and Intro Music? Or will this all be on a CD? And remember, ALWAYS test the music at least a week in advance in the sound system you plan to use!

Pep Rally Spirit Step 4

Advertise the pep rally in multiple ways. Make announcements in the morning news, hang flyers around school, and encourage teachers to write the date on their whiteboards.

Step 5

The week of the pep rally, hang your banners up around school, decorate hallways by theme or grade level, decide on your uniform, and sell rooter poms (great for fundraising, too!).  Have an after school rehearsal with everyone involved and work out any kinks.

Step 6

On the day of the pep rally, have fun! Get the gym ready- roll bleachers out, sound system check, get props & signs ready to go). Help clean up afterwards.  Write thank you cards to the organizations involved in the pep rally. Meet at a cheerleader’s house for a pot luck dinner before the game. Leave for stadium.

Pep Rallies
UCA’s Expert Tips:

  • Plan drawings or “secret appearances” that will stimulate the interest of the crowd (Principal or teachers dressed up silly).
  • Use your JV and Freshmen squads in uniform. The more cheerleaders involved, the bigger the crowd.
  • Keep rallies short- 20 minutes total.
  • Keep the pep rally moving. Have one person assigned to cue and direct each organization or activity and have music lined up and ready to be played.
  • Involve as many members of the student body and administration as possible.
  • Have cheer or spirit contests between the classes.
  • Cheer to ALL of the students.
  • Keep a notebook with the response to each pep rally theme and a list of cheers that the crowd liked and cheered along with to pass down t next year’s squad.

Spirit Nutritional Information

1 Serving (1 Pep Rally), Students: 1500, Total Spirit Raised 3000g, Total Smiles: 2000g, Total High Fives: 500g, Vitamin FUN 100%,  Participation: 100%.


Pep Rally Ideas from Real Teams!

We had a tug o' war for the spirit stick.  We had twelve people from each grade to sign up for each team: freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior. The first contest was between the freshman and sophomore classes; then the second contest was between the junior and senior classes. The final competition came at the end of the pep rally between the winners of the first two contests. It really went well, plus got more of the crowd involved. The kids responded well to this.

We also do a "Memories" pep rally. This is where we feature the seniors of our school. We show the phases of life from babies to old couple. Varsity cheerleaders play the various roles, then when we get to high school phase we showcase senior members of organizations in the school. The phases are babies, toddlers, elementary school, junior high, high school (organizations, Homecoming, Prom, and Graduation), college, career, marriage, and young couples with children. While these phases are parading through the gym we have an "old couple" sitting in the middle of the gym looking at a memory book. We usually have a song sung such as "Memories" or some popular song that speaks of looking back over the years. 

This week we are having a wacky sock contest to "Sock the Vikings". We are also going to have a Sock-hop at  the pep rally featuring several faculty members in a jitterbug contest. The winner of the dance contest will win a dinner at a local restaurant.

Ouachita Parish High School

This Friday we play the Gators, so our Master of Ceremonies (which we added this year and has been SO successful), is dressing as the Crocodile hunter and does a wonderful impression of him. We can't wait. He won the talent show last year!! 

Springhill High School

We had a great pep rally last week.  I worked with eleven of our teachers and taught them a cheer and a stunt. The real cheerleaders took one of the younger and smaller teachers in a straight up extension and the crowd roared. After the cheer, the teachers started turning cartwheels and one of them did a front handspring. It was really a lot of fun.

For Homecoming we took the eleven starters and taught them a dance to "Wild Thang". On the part that says, "I think I love you" and "I want to know for sure" they all squatted down and only one stood up on each part and mouthed it. It was a scream.

This week we took the eleven starters on the football team and taught them cheers and stunts. They really are taking it seriously. The ironic thing is that are really GOOD!! Their stunts are awesome! We were hoping for a few laughs, but I'm afraid the laugh is going to be on us.

Oakdale High School

We recently had a dance contest between students and teachers. The DJ played a song and the student group and teacher groups danced at the same time. The crowd then voted for the best group.

Another idea is to have football players line up on a one side of a 15x15 plastic sheet. The cheerleaders cover the sheet with dozens of eggs. Some of the girls blindfold the football players while the rest pick up the eggs. Spin the boys around and turn them loose. Tell them to be careful not to step on any eggs! It is really funny to see the big football players tip toe across the plastic sheet with nothing on it! I hope these are helpful!

St. Charles High School

One of our best pep rally ideas was when we had some football players dress up like the opposing teams cheerleaders and other football team members dress up like our team's cheerleaders. They competed against each other with cheers, dances, and tumbling and of course the home team won. Our student body really loved it.

Mansfield High School

Our favorite skit is a pie eating contest between two defensive coaches and two offensive coaches. It just so happens, the last three years, we've had a new coach in one of those spots. Each year, the kids are in on this skit (except the freshmen, who weren't here the year before) and they like being in on the joke. We blind fold all coaches, and the announcer really talks up how fast they're eating, etc. The key is: all the coaches PRETEND to eat, while the new coach has his hands behind his back and is furiously eating a pie (actually just pudding and cool whip in a disposable pie plate) with his face and his blindfold on. The other coaches have pulled their blindfold off to watch him. The kids are clapping and laughing and fortunately, when the contest is over (a minute or two), the coach is always congenial about it. The cheerleaders, kids and coaches all love this one. It's become sort of an initiation rite for new coaches.

Orangefield High School

Our favorite pep rally was "Pink the Panthers".  We had two representatives from each grade level/group participate. One student stood on pink paper while the second student took a roll of pink crepe paper and wrapped up the standing student. The first student who was wrapped up or the best wrapped if tied won a spirit stick. The theme music from "The Pink Panther" was playing in the background.  Our spirit sticks were "Pringles" cans spray painted and decorated by the cheerleaders who filled them with candy.

Stockdale High School

Our favorite was when the cheerleaders picked a football player and dressed up like "him".  If he was into motorcross, she would borrow his uniform from his mom, and play his favorite song as they introduced "him" (her).  We did this with about 8 of the starters and it was a huge success as the crowd was trying to guess "who" the cheerleader was as his biography was read.

Vidor High School

The theme of our first Pep Rally was BLACK OUT. We sold glow in the dark jewelry ( which could be a nice little money maker on the side). We used a spotlight and strobes when we introduced the players. The cheerleaders wore the jewelry while they flipped in the dark. We did this in the gym and usually this poses a problem due to the fact of the lights in the gyms need time to cool down and warm up. We turned the light off twenty minutes before the start of the pep rally.  We turned them back on when the band was getting ready to do their performance.

The theme for the week was Cowboys and Indians. Everyone dressed up as either a cowboy or an Indian. At the pep rally we have a contest for the best dressed student, we do two cheers, the band performs, we have a "section of the week" where we list one section of the band. We introduced the volleyball girls and we had a "SHOOT OUT."

The shoot-out was the "game". We put down four tarps. The freshman tarp was small, Sophomore a little bigger and Junior still bigger and Senior the biggest. The guns followed the tarp size. Freshmen had small water guns and Seniors had the biggest super soakers. The game was to get the other classes wet without getting wet themselves. They had to stay on their own tarps. The kids loved it!

Columbus High School

The students' favorite parts of our pep rallies are games in which the football players participate, such as relays. Last Friday a local deejay came and played musical chairs with the football players, and the crowd went wild. It was hilarious. The kids also love the band to play a certain tune to which the cheerleaders throw tumbling passes. Our most successful mascot skits are the ones that include athletes from other sports, such as soccer and volleyball, dressed up as members of that week's opponents.

Carroll High School

We hold pep rallies for every home game. Each pep rally consists of a class cheer competition, cheers and chants by the cheerleaders and at least one game. Here are some of the things we have done:

1. Teacher Competition: Tie two teachers together at the knee. One has to dribble the ball down the court and the other has to make a basket. The first team back to the center wins.

2. A girl and boy from each class sit in chairs in the middle of the basketball court. Each person must blow up a balloon, dribble it to the basket, and shoot. Then they dribble back to the chair and sit on it until it pops.

3. Jigsaw Puzzle: Write a few spirit or victory slogans on a large pieces of poster board. Cut them into pieces and give one piece to different people and see which team can put their slogan together faster. The tricky part: they don't know which team they're on until the pieces start fitting together!

4. Have each class choose 3 guys to represent them at the pep rally. Those guys have to make up a chant with actions. The class with the best chant wins.

Glen Elder Junior High

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