Cheerleading competitions are awesome and very stressful on everyone involved. Here are some ideas about how to keep your stress level down if you are a competitor, coach, or parent.
First, be prepared. The best way to combat the stress of competition is to have a routine that everyone on the floor has mastered and feels confident completing. From stunts to tumbling moves, be sure that everyone’s time is dead on perfect several run-throughs before you load the vans to head out to the contest. This means making certain practices depend, and everyone is present for each practice. No excuses. Even participants who might not feel the biggest can come in and see and spot so that they are aware of any last minute alterations.
Second, ensure that your squad is ready with what they need. Does the routine demand props (signs, megaphones, poms, flags, etc.)? Make sure they are loaded in the transport the night before you have to leave.
Third, make sure competitors have everything they need for the uniforms they’re wearing. Buy the jumbo-size slider bags (2.5 gallons). Neatly pack every complete uniform in a slider bag. Label the bags with each participants name with a permanent marker. If available, pack extra uniform pieces in various sizes also. Keep all the uniforms together! Don’t give them to the participants until it is time to get prepared!
Be sure that you have chosen a make-up colour scheme and eye pattern until you get to the contest. Don’t experiment when you’re at the venue! Have a dress rehearsal one night the week before competition. If your group uses hair pieces, include them at the rehearsal and pack them up with the make-up kits. If not, make sure you plan accordingly for hair rollers or curling irons for the style that your squad is using and pack lots of hairspray. Proceed out with uniforms and make-up. Some squads charge admittance for a fundraiser and invite the community and school. They may offer a spaghetti dinner or hot dog supper together with the entertainment. After the run-through, it is the perfect time to pack the uniforms. Everyone is together, and it makes it so much easier.
Give you to an assistant trainer or trusted parent. Be sure that schedules, payment verification, and any other pertinent information to the competition are stored in the accordion folder.
It’s important to keep the parents feeling as little anxiety as possible as well. Their kids are performing in front of a lot of people. They have probably put a lot of money and time into cheerleading at this time. They want a good return and a happy child when it’s all said and done. Be sure they have directions to the venue, a schedule for the events with their squad(s) times and phases emphasized if possible, a set meeting place for before the contest and after the competition, a schedule of the awards ceremony, and a list of potential places to stay and eat if it’s an overnight competition. Many parents like to “reserve” together in regards to travel arrangements. Make sure that you keep the parents in the loop at all times about possible changes to schedules or venues. You can set up a phone tree, but don’t count on that always working. Use email, text alerts, and Facebook notifications to alert parents to what’s going on with the event.
1. Routine has been successful at clinic several times with no errors.
2. Each coach has a least two copies of their competition music.
3. All props are accounted for and packaged.
4. Melbourne Raccoon Removal
5. All uniforms are packed and tagged and transferred together.
6. All make-up kits are packed.
7. All parents have many ways to get them to keep them up to date with the schedules.
8. Room reservations (if necessary) are paid in advance and confirmation is in hand.
9. Departure time allows for delays, hair and make-up difficulties, and maybe a few run-throughs before the competition.
10. Participant waiver forms are in hand with insurance details. Many times these are sent in sooner with the registration. Keep a copy with you!
Some useful hints for the multi-tasking coach:
3. Artist brushes work really well when applying eye make-up. The longer handles allow you to work without being right in the girl’s face.
4. Use hairpieces if the group can manage it. They’re so much easier than trying to do hair for each competition.
5. Make-up is always the same for the girls. Same colors and “designs” on the eyes or face.
6. Bring additional hair pins, additional hair ties, and additional safety pins!
7. Don’t get emotional in front of the squad prior to the contest. Don’t freak out when someone drops a stunt at the practice time. Don’t begin crying or laughing hysterically (whichever may be your coping). If someone makes a mistake, try not to dwell on it. They will fell bad enough when it happens.
8. If you can afford it or the parents might like to help, have a little present for the kids when they are done. Even if it’s only a keychain or a stuffed animal to help them commemorate their achievement of competing, it will mean a lot to them.
The more you’re prepared, the stress you’re going to feel. The less stress you feel, the less stress the participants will feel!