This year is coming to a close. Most gyms are about 1/2 way through the cheer season. Looking back there are undoubtedly things you might think you would want to do differently or change up a bit. Now is a great time to look forward and think about getting to the ultimate end game: Summit & Worlds!
Here are some ideas to make your new year cheerleading even better:
- Think of each practice as a step towards the goal.
There are times you don’t feel like being there. There are days you are more sore than others. But you know, the minute you hit the mat with your teammates and besties everything will look better. Make every practice count starting right now. And inspire your teammates to do the same
- Remember that you got to where you are because you EARNED IT!
Anytime you start to think that you’re not enough, that you’re not good enough take a look back to where you started. If you’re like most cheerleaders, you started out with very little in the way of skills and talent. Now you’re able to do so much more! Put away the doubt and realize you’re worth it. And when your teammates are having an off day, remind them of their talent as well.
- Get to know your teammates outside the gym.
Do something fun as a group that has nothing to do with cheerleading. Take in a movie or go to the park for a scavenger hunt. The more you know your team, the better you all perform together. You can even have a team Snap Chat or Facebook group to help keep in touch and encourage each other between practices.
- Form a closer bond with your stunt group.
Whether you’re a base or flyer, the efforts of your stunt group really shine when you are all in sync. Sometimes you aren’t as friendly or familiar with your group, especially at the beginning of the season. Take the time to get to know each other with activities away from the gym and extra practice at the gym. The bond you form will really show through when you hit the mat.
- Give back to the community.
Most teens involved with competitive cheer understand and appreciate the cost and effort their parents give to support their cheer dreams. Take that appreciation a step further and give back to the community through a special project. Many communities have projects that need tending to from planting or tending gardens, visiting seniors or even feeding the homeless. Giving back gives your team a great feeling of accomplishment and confidence that will show on the mat.
- Practice good sportsmanship at all times.
While there are some really great teams out there, not every team does well at every competition. So even when you’re on a winning streak, be kind to the teams who didn’t fare so well. Show kindness in your actions, cheering other teams on and telling them “good job.” It takes courage to be on the blue mat when you aren’t doing your best, and that courage deserves as much credit and applause as the best team out there. We are all one big cheer family.
- Give 100% effort.
Yes this one is tough. But if you want to make it to Summit or Worlds you know that you’ve got to be tough. Tough enough to be strong when your teammates aren’t feeling up to the challenge. Tough enough to push through sore muscles. Keep that routine tight, smile and give great facials. Work to perfect your tumbling runs. When coach says “One more time,” be the first to hit the mat.
We should always strive to be the best version of ourselves. Cheerleading helps to instill so many lifelong lessons: discipline, focus, goal-setting among others. At the beginning of the year you can take a look back at what you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come. You can also look forward to what you can do each day to reach your goals. Whatever you set out to do, make this year your best yet!