Future Cheer Nationals is upon us. The UK’s biggest cheerleading competition is, for many programmes, the culmination of a year’s worth of blood, sweat, tears as well as the many highs and lows.
It’s not surprising that athletes, their coaches, and families, come to it incredibly anxious and nervous about what will happen. But let’s not forget, Cheerleading is FUN! It’s the reason we do it, spending time with our team mates, and slaying it on the floor!
With that said, here’s our guide to making the best of your National’s experience…
Sleep well. We get it, Nationals is exciting, it’s difficult to sleep. But running around your hotel corridor at 2am, doing the Wobble with your friends, or doing the cool back handspring thing into your bed and pulling up the covers, is not going to leave you feeling ready to go. It’s going to leave you feeling tired and heavy. Not what you need before you compete!
Man we love our fizzy drinks- but the boost they give your body is temporal… what goes up must come down. The best way to ensure your body is feeling fresh is to drink lots of water. Start today! You’ll thank us by the weekend!
Good carbs. ‘Canteen’ food at arenas is not the one. Remember, their primary function is music events, or other entertainment orientated business. The food served there is for spectators. Most of you competing this weekend are not spectators, but competitors. Therefore you need to eat food that reflects this: pasta, or oats for example. These foods will fill you up, but will also release energy through the day. Just what you need at an all-day competition!
Take a moment of calm. Competitions are hectic, with can cause stress. It’s important to take a time out and switch off. This can be anything! Listening to your favourite album, or meditating (if that’s your thing). You can also do it with your team mates- lay down in a circle, play your music and visualise hitting your routine the best you ever have. It’s a great way to release stress, but also a good opportunity to spend time with your team mates!
Make friends- other cheerleaders and programmes are not your enemy! One of the best things about cheerleading is the community- get out there and talk to each other. It’s great for morale, and the support you give each other will motivate you to go big on the floor!
Sun and sand- avoid it before competing. If the past few weeks are anything to go by, this weekend could be HOT HOT. Don’t be the athlete that gets sun stroke and can’t compete- use your smarts!
Timing- as mentioned, Nationals are incredibly stressful. It doesn’t help if you don’t get to your meeting place on time. Be a team player and arrive with plenty of time to spare. It’ll help the mood of the team to settle before going in to warm up.
Finally, enjoy it- you’ve worked so hard to get to this point, don’t go in like a driven psychopath with gold and first place on your mind. It’s great to win, but that’s not the first thing that attracted you to the sport. It was probably the camaraderie, and the excitement at a sport that covers so many different elements.
From all of us at AEC, good luck at Nationals! Go and SMASH it!