Do you want to be the best cheerleader or tumbler? You’ve got to be coachable. Athletes with the best tumbling still must be able to take critiques from coaches and better themselves. Here are six ways that you as an athlete can get the highest rate of return on the coaching we are trying to dish out.
1) Show up early. Stretch out, watch other athletes, and listen to the coaching that’s going on even before your practice starts. This can help you learn from others and see progressions.
2) Talk to your coach. We need to know what is and isn’t working for you. Tumbling, stunts, and jumps are often seen from a distance, and if your stunt group is struggling with hand placement for example, we need to know! We can’t correct a problem if we don’t know that it is happening!
3) Be attentive. When the coach is talking and you’re focused on something else, you totally miss out on what the rest of the team is getting. This hurts you as an athlete.
4) Slow down if you’re having trouble with a skill. We are after quality, not quantity when it comes to learning new things. Don’t be in a rush.
5) Get eyes on you. Ask the coach to watch you and give you pointers to help you have better jumps, stunts, or tumbling. Even someone that has great skills can still improve!
6) Live at the gym. Pick the brains of coaches. Get into tumbling classes, take private lessons, come practice at open gym. You won’t magically get better sitting on your couch at home!