It’s every competitive cheer parent’s/mom’s worst nightmare! Your child’s team has been preparing all year for this one event. He/She has been chasing this dream all year, the dream to become a National Champion! You have attended every practice; make sure that you know exactly how the team is doing. You can tell the coach exactly how many time each group has dropped their stunt, who is not putting in the extra work, who doesn’t care, and often provide your own suggestion on how to make the routine better. You have stalked each team on YouTube and can tell all the other parents about your competition’s routines, and you have even gone the extra mile and studied the score sheet just so you can see how your child’s team will stack up. The day of the event you sit in the arena with the performance order in one hand and a pen in the other. You take detailed notes, making sure you can report to the coach how each team has done. You are your team’s cheerUPDATE! The time has come and then it happens, your worst nightmare; your child forgets where he/she is going, or their stunt group drops the stunt they have practiced so hard on, or they bust that tumbling pass you have worked so hard to get and demand the coach put in the routine! You are devastated; this mistake could cost you and your child the National Championship. How will you be able to face your friends? How will life go on? Worst of all, I am going to have to relocate because everyone is pointing the finger at me and my child.
Does this sound like someone you might know? Well the good news is; help is on the way! After reading these tips and implementing some of these strategies, your child will be able to relax and put on the performance of a lifetime!
Tip 1- P2 (Plan and be Prepared)- The most important thing in a child’s/team success is CONFIDENCE! In order to develop one’s confidence they must “practice not until they get it right; they must practice it until they can’t get it wrong. “ (unknown). Because a coach wants his/her athletes confidence to be at an all time high, they will often schedule extra practice and/or extend practices, to get one more rep in. PLAN to clear your calendar the month before your big nationals; most coaches will start to schedule extra practices about the month before the big day! Yes this is a big commitment, and yes this might be an inconvenience on you, but most professionally run gyms will make the expectation very clear before you sign on the dotted line. Remember you signed up for this, and your child’s team counts of them to be at practice.
Be Prepared and make sure you know everything that is going on! This does not mean you need to Facebook stalk your child’s competition, or find out who already has Worlds or Summit Bids. Your job is to make sure you know exactly what your coach expects of you. Which team should your child support, the quickest way to the event so your child is not late, make sure you know exactly what time and where your child is to meet and be prepared to leave earlier than normal because this is Nationals. When you are running late it is only because you where not prepared. The stress you add to your child and his/her team when you are not prepared can cause them to carry that stress on the competition floor resulting in mental mistakes on the floor. Because most venues don’t have the proper food for athletes, be prepared to pack a healthy snack, which is our Tip #2!