Cheer competition season is in full swing, and you can’t wait to take the mat and go for gold. However, there are much more than falling stunts that can jeopardize your competition score! We highlight small things you may not have thought about that can affect your team’s score in a big way.
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It’s that time of year again: you’ve survived all of the practices, and now, it’s cheer competition time! Pressure to perform even gives professional cheerleaders the heeby-jeebies, so whether this is your first competition or your fortieth, it’s helpful to know what NOT to do when you get here. Here are four things that can lower your score before, during, and after you perform.
1. Not eating.
You’re about to launch into a demanding, cardio-intensive routine… so you’ve got to eat! But, timing is everything, and you don’t want to eat right before your spot. Try to eat on the bus ride there, and if you’re still hungry, try to eat small, digestible snacks at the competition.
2. Not stretching.
Stepping off the bus and right onto the mat is not recommended! Your routine is challenging on your body, and although there’s a lot to take in when you arrive, you have to stretch to avoid injury. Don’t ruin your whole season because you didn’t allocate time to stretch properly. Plus, therapeutic stretching can double as mind-control to calm your nerves down a bit.
3. Freaking out.
This worst. Possible thing to do. Is freak out. If you let your nerves get the best of you, it will most likely set off a chain reaction with your team, having their emotions boil over, too. Sure, you’re nervous, but everybody at a competition is, including the judges! And, trust me, nobody will appreciate a temper tantrum.
4. Not engaging the judges.
This is probably the number one mistake that cheerleaders make at competitions without even realizing it. The judges are intimidating, judging your team’s every move on the mat, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid them. You should pay MORE attention to them! Don’t go over the top, trying to give your team an advantage by being phony. But, smiling, waving, and maintaining eye contact definitely won’t impact your score negatively. Keep your eyes on prize, that just so happens to be at the judge’s table!
There are enough things that can sabotage your competition score already without adding to that number with minor mistakes. And, just because competitions are serious business, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for fun, either! This is what you and your team have worked so hard for, so live it up a little as you go for gold on the mat. Have a wonderful rest of your cheer competition season, and good luck!