Cheerleading competitions are amazing and very stressful on everyone involved. Here are a few ideas about how to keep your stress level down whether you are a competitor, coach, or parent.
First, be prepared. The best way to fight the stress of competition is to have a routine that everybody on the floor has mastered and feels confident finishing. From stunts to tumbling passes, make sure that everybody’s time is dead on perfect several run-throughs before you load the vans to head out to the competition. This means making sure that practices depend, and everyone is present for each practice. No excuses. Even participants who may not feel the greatest can come in and see and spot so that they are aware of any last minute changes.
Second, ensure that your squad is prepared with what they require. Does the routine require props (signs, megaphones, poms, flags, etc.)? Make sure they are loaded in the transportation the night before you must leave.
Triple check everything!
Third, make sure competitors have everything they want for the uniforms they’re wearing. Neatly pack each complete uniform in a slider bag. Label the bags with each participants name with a permanent marker. If available, pack extra uniform pieces in different sizes also. Keep all of the uniforms together! Do not give them to the participants until it is time to get ready!
Fourth, pack the make-up kits. Be sure that you’ve decided on a make-up colour scheme and eye pattern until you reach the competition. Don’t experiment when you’re at the venue! If your squad uses hair pieces, include them in the rehearsal and package them up using the make-up kits. If not, ensure you plan accordingly for hair rollers or curling irons to the style your squad is using and pack plenty of hairspray. Go full out with uniforms and make-up. Run the routine a few times through for parents and students. Some squads charge admittance as a fundraiser and invite the school and community. They may provide a spaghetti dinner or hot dog supper along with the entertainment. After the run-through, it is the ideal time to pack the uniforms. Everyone is together, and it makes it so much easier.
Maintain two accordion folders with copies of the registration info. Give one to an assistant coach or trustworthy parent. Make certain that schedules, payment verification, and any other pertinent information to the competition are stored in the accordion folder.
It is important to keep the parents feeling as little stress as possible also. Their kids are performing before a good deal of people. They have probably put a lot of money and time into cheerleading at this point. They want a good return and a happy child when it is all said and done. Make sure they have directions to the venue, a schedule for the events with their squad(s) times and stages emphasized if possible, a set meeting place for prior to the competition and after the competition, a schedule of the awards ceremony, and a list of possible places to stay and eat if it’s an overnight competition. Many parents like to “book” together in regards to travel arrangements. Make sure that you keep the parents in the loop at all times about possible changes to programs or venues. You can set up a telephone tree, but don’t count on that always functioning. Use email, text alerts, and Facebook notifications to alert parents to what is going on with the event.
1. Routine has been successful at practice several times with no mistakes.
2. Each coach has a least two copies of the contest music.
3. All props are accounted for and packed.
4. There are two folders with all registration info.
5. All uniforms are packed and labeled and transferred together.
6. All make-up kits are packaged.
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 flaws, hair and make-up difficulties, and possibly a few run-throughs before the competition.
10. Participant waiver forms are consistent with insurance details. Many times these are sent in earlier with the registration. Keep a copy with you!
Some helpful hints for the multi-tasking coach:
1. Palm Bay Raccoon Removal
2. Artist brushes work very well when applying eye make-up. The longer handles permit you to work without being right in the woman’s face.
3. Use hairpieces if the group can manage it. They are so much easier than trying to do hair for each competition.
4. Make-up is obviously the same for the girls. Same colors and “designs” on the face or eyes.
5. Bring additional hair pins, extra hair ties, and extra safety pins!
6. Don’t get emotional in front of the squad before the contest. Don’t freak out when someone drops a stunt in the practice time. Don’t begin crying or laughing hysterically (whichever may be your working). Wait until they are off the competition floor. They’ll fell bad enough when it happens.
7. If you can afford it or the parents would love to help, have a little gift for the kids when they are done. Even if it’s only a keychain or a stuffed animal to help them commemorate their accomplishment of competing, it is going to mean a lot to them.
The more you are prepared, the stress you’re going to feel. The less stress you feel, the less stress the participants will feel!