It’s that time of the year. Crunch-time. Go-time. Time to shine. Time to make your routine hit. Probably the biggest challenge we all face at this time of year is making sure we stay focused, calm, and determined as we get ready to compete!
Do you have a nervous habit before you compete? Own it. After 10 years of cheerleading competitions, I’ve figured out how to focus my nervous energy towards warming-up, preparing, and performing. Hopefully these tips can help you out this competition season.
1) Focus on you. There might be other teams warming up around you, and perhaps those teams are your biggest competitors. You can check out their skills and choreography after you rock your routine, so don’t be distracted! Don’t even let yourself be focused on fixing your teammates’ skills; that’s your coach’s job! Get the rest, healthy meal, and stretch time you need, and you’ll be good to go! As long as you warm-up all of the skills you are responsible for, you should feel ready.
2) Be confident in your abilities! You’ve been giving 110% all year long, and this is the time to show off! From the minute you enter the warm-up area to the second you finish your routine, keep your chin up and your smile big. When you have fun on the mat, the crowd can’t help but to have fun watching you.
3) Encourage everyone. Starting with your teammates, lend a little boost of confidence to those who need it. Then if you’re feeling bold, encourage everyone else! That’s right – even your competitors! Winning means so much more when every team has performed their best, and every crowd cheers for a kind, humble team!
4) Have fun!!! Don’t play dominoes if you make a mistake – don’t let one 8-count affect the next one! Take one section at a time, breathe, and stay sharp! Smile, shine, and give it your all. You’ll never leave any regrets on the mat if you remember you gave it all of your energy, spirit and passion.
Happy Competition Season, Cheerleaders! Can’t wait to see how much all of your hard work has paid off! Work hard, smile hard!
- Caitlin Cofield