You all know the basics of what needs to be done in order to improve the ability of your athletes. However, practice, technique, and repetition will only get you so far when it comes to reaching your team’s full potential. In order to really get as good as you can be, you need to make sure that your athletes are avoiding some of the top mistakes that they tend to make!
Parents start scheduling vacations and kids want to start spending their time sleeping, eating, and playing video games. While this is a wonderful mental break from school, taking off more than a week from conditioning and working hard to improve their physical abilities can be a detrimental mistake for your athletes to make. All star cheerleaders are part of a team, so they should be using their free time to improve their value to their team. While this might not mean going to tumbling night after night, it does mean choosing to attend camps, boost conditioning at home, and stretching daily.
If it’s too late, it’s time to focus on these four things going forward:
- Choosing one skill: By now, you will know what your level is. Find out what you still need to learn to max out in your level and work your hardest to get that one skill.
- Private lessons: Choose a coach to meet with weekly to get some one-on-one attention for your new skills. That way, you can focus on perfecting your skills before learning new ones. This is a faster and better way to get your skills, so don’t skip this step!
- Break down the tumbling skill: What parts are needed for a tumbling skill? For example, your back handspring needs the jump, the handstand, and the snapdown. You can find drills for each chunk to practice as often as possible.
- Time: If you don’t spend the needed time practicing the drills for your skills, it will take much longer to meet those tumbling goals. Spend as much time as possible working on these drills.
Eating too Close to Practice
While it might seem like a good idea to eat a meal before practice so there are no “I’m hungry” complaints, this is actually a terrible idea. Food takes anywhere from an hour to six hours to digest, especially when an entire meal is involved. With this in mind, this food is just dead weight and provides no energy whatsoever during training times.
Instead, if you need to eat something before practice, choose a slice of whole wheat bread with some peanut butter and jelly and eat it about half an hour before practice. This will keep you energized but not too full to the point where you aren’t progressing because of a stomach that is too full.
Not Managing Time
If you are a coach, you know there is nothing more frustrating than an athlete who doesn’t come to practice because they have a school project they left for the last minute. When this happens, it’s time to sit down with them and work on a school routine that will work for them. When your athletes communicate their schedule, stop procrastinating, and stay one step ahead of the game, then time management no longer becomes an issue. Encourage your athletes to talk to their teachers. When they need to miss a day of class because of a competition, tell them that they need to request to take a test or turn in a paper a day in advance. This shows their teachers that they are serious about their education, that they are organized, and that they can be trusted not to abuse their teacher’s kindness.
Help Develop Better Athletes
You want your all star cheerleaders to compete at the absolute best of their abilities. Make sure that they aren’t limiting themselves and their own progression! By opening communication, you can have more productive practices and work with your athletes to be the strongest team on the mat, even when it comes to competing at all star cheerleading nationals competitions.