Hi everyone! Coach Zak here. In this blog I wanted to discuss what does it exactly mean to be an athlete. As we all know, cheerleading, tumbling, and gymnastics all require great amounts of athleticism. Your practices do not come easy, and if it does, it’s every once in a blue moon. The repetitions of a tumbling pass, Constantly lifting another human above your head, and lets not forget to mention conditioning, may all seem like way too much for you to handle… I am here to ENSURE you that its so worth it in the long run. Your coach knows what is best for you, and would NEVER make you do anything unjust. Your coach was once a cheerleader too. They understand entirely what you are going through, and they only want what’s BEST for you! We are not evil!
Now, let’s let you in on a few secrets that I have personally learned over my 16 years of all-star cheerleading:
• You have to practice what you can at home. This rule definitely places first on my list of tips. You cannot expect to excel in any types of skills if you aren’t practicing at home! I’m not saying do back handsprings down the hall, and standing tucks off the bed, but do something more productive that can aid you on the road to success! Review your routine and find something to fix, DO SOME EXTRA STRETCHING AND CONDITIONING (trust me, you would be surprised with the results), or even mentally prepare yourself for the next upcoming practice! You can’t expect to come in a minimum amount, and expect tremendous results to happen quickly.
• Stay in shape. This is another big one. On your days of practice, don’t eat a bunch of junk food and ice cream. Eat something nutritious. Also, do something active! Go outside, and play! You can even challenge yourself by running, or giving yourself a hard workout.
• Think smart, not hard. Cheering, tumbling, and gymnastics are quite a mind game! A lot of you are incredibly intelligent, and if you put your mind to whatever skill you are executing you would be much more likely to nail that skill. Listen to what your coach has to say, and really focus on making that change. Granted, mistakes do happen and that’s okay! We are all here to learn.
• GIVE 100% EVERY TIME. Do whatever it takes to motivate you to try your very hardest in whatever skill you do! Imagine that you’re on the competition stage, or impress not only somebody else, but yourself too!
These few tips will really make a difference in your performance. Whether its tumbling, stunting, jumps, bars, beam… the list goes on, it truly will surprise you. If you stay dedicated, and determined you will begin to notice progress in your skills immediately. Not only will you get better, but IT WILL GET EASIER!!! You can do it!
It takes a lot to be an athlete. It’s a tough lifestyle choice there’s no denying. Each and every one of you has great potential, and if you put your mind to it you can truly achieve great things. Everybody has to start somewhere. Being proficient is your key!