We’ve all heard the expression, “Practice makes perfect,” but we know that isn’t necessarily true. You can practice something hundreds of times without trying your best, and you’ll never get any better at it. True practice is about giving your full effort to something every time you try it, allowing you to actually improve your skills and challenge yourself in the process. Thus, we know that practice doesn’t make perfect — it makes permanent.
Practice, particularly in the world of all-star cheerleaders, is about hitting your stunts, landing your tumbling, and doing it all with a smile. However, when the lights kick on and the music turns up at the competition, it’s normal for our bodies to panic a little and switch our thoughts to autopilot. When this happens, muscle memory is crucial. Think about it this way — if you’ve been doing your dance with loose arms the entire season, why would they suddenly be straight on competition day? If you have never gotten your legs together for your back handspring before, will they magically be glued together on the competition floor? Odds are high that they won’t be. Our bodies learn and remember movements just as our brains do. Keep this in mind when training for competition season and always practice with proper technique.
If practice makes perfect, then why doesn’t everyone give their all 100 percent of the time? That’s a great question. Some athletes get tired and rely on others to pick up the slack. Some have poor technique in general and haven’t taken the time to fix it. Some athletes don’t enjoy practice, and therefore don’t give their all when they should be. No matter which of these you might fall into on any given day (and it can vary from day to day), it’s important to snap out of it and give maximum effort. Not trying at practice is the number one reason that our best performance doesn’t come out on the mat at a competition.
Sometimes, all it takes is one person to take on the role of the leader and encourage the rest. If you’re on a team, push your teammates to give everything they can when at practice. That additional push might be all the team needs to hit their stunts. And, if the team is hitting, that usually means the rest of the routine is going to look better too. While competing in all-star cheerleading isn’t all about winning, it certainly feels good to hit a clean routine that scores well! Encourage your team, give each practice your all, and encourage your teammates to do the same. You’ll be shocked at how quickly you see the results.
Show Off Your Routine!
Once you have practiced and perfected your routine, take it to the competition floor! We would love to see you and your teams at one of our many WSA competitions this season. Show off what you and your team can do, and let us see how your practice has paid off. Get in touch to learn more and register!