Tryouts may have passed in the USA but they’re fast approaching us in the UK! Here’s some top tips on getting ready for tryouts.
(1) Condition Regularly
Yuck! Conditioning, a word all athletes hate (but love the benefits of). Summer and pre + post tryouts are the best time to be going hard on your conditioning. Seeing as you’ll have no or very few competitions coming up (except everyone attend FC By The Beach), now’s the time to pack that extra strength on to help you get those new skills and maybe even level up this year. The body is capable of doing so many things, namely, holding another human up in the air and flipping upside down. Pretty cool stuff. Your body can do these things with training but can only produce a certain amount of power without more conditioning. Let’s be real, are we going to see someone with absolute chicken legs doing punch fronts?? Probably not. Plus, if you’re conditioning lots, eventually it will feel easier and you won’t die so much inside when you coach calls for some in-practice conditioning. You can see my previous post on How To Write Your Own Workout Plan which should help you be a little more prepared for writing your own conditioning plan.
(2) Push for those new skills!
Summer means lots of more open gyms, lots more time for tumbling classes and lots of time to get to those half-term cheer camps. Those of you who are still young enough to have half-terms off and parents who are happy to drive you everywhere, use it to your advantage! Get on those half-term tumbling clinics, get those new skills and wow your coaches with your determination and commitment to being the best. The more skills you have, the more of an asset you are and what coach in their right mind would turn down a committed athlete with all the skills they need for their team.
(3) Be confident
A cheerleader who is confident and self-assured excels much quicker than a cheerleader who doesn’t believe in themselves/trust themselves. As someone who has suffered at the hands of my own lack of confidence, I’ve found lots of ways to help me remind myself that if I was poop, I probably wouldn’t still be cheering. If your lack of confidence is down to fear after an injury, speak to your coach, they’re there to help you! Drills and spotting will bring you right back to where you were. If you’re like me and a spray tan and a nice pair of Nike Pro shorts brings out the inner cheer beast, go do that before tryouts! Paint your nails, do your hair nice, have a bubble bath and do a face mask. Whatever works for you. Wear your lucky socks, because you’re going to walk in there and smash tryouts and anyone who tells you otherwise you’ll prove them wrong.
(4) Be smart
Now for a little dose of reality. Not every cheerleader will be level 5, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be you next year (or beyond). If you’ve got your hopes set on getting on a level 5 worlds team but your skills range is a cartwheel and that one time you based (insert random high-level skill). It’s probably not gonna happen hun. That doesn’t mean you won’t be a fabulous Level 1/2/3/4 cheerleader! Some of the most competitive teams in the world are non-worlds teams. Just check out some videos from The Summit this year… like WOAH! But, back on topic!! Be a smart cheerleader, know your goal for this season and make it reasonable. If you’re throwing a really dodgy tuck and hurting yourself, spending another year at level 2 could mean you’ll have beautiful tucks and maybe even a nice layout ready for level 3/4 next year. If your technique is bad and you’re busting left right and centre, you’ll probably end up hurting yourself and maybe cutting down how long you’ll be able to cheer by a few years. Be a smart cheerleader and look at the bigger picture.
(5) Be “addicted”
This one sounds a little strange but I promise you it’s all good things! Be addicted to cheer. Have the cheer bug. There’s only so far talent can take you. I know for sure I’d rather be the hardest worker in the room than the most talented because that means long after talent has served me, I’ll still be working and still getting new skills that don’t come naturally. I’d rather have drilled the hell out of a double-full and be able to land it for the rest of my life than be talented enough to get it, not understand it and eventually lose it when I hit a bump in the road. Not only will ambition and a work ethic serve you in cheer but in all other aspects of your life (work, school, university and beyond). Plus, if you love to cheer, you can’t wait to get back into the gym and the more time you spend there (hopefully) the more time you’re working on being the best you without feeling like it’s a drag. I mean, who really goes “ugh… got to go to practice” (unless it’s at like 7 am, then I understand… I’m a bit of a night owl).
I hope this helps someone who needs a little bit of guidance. Don’t forget I’m always happy to help. If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact me via Instagram @adventuresinprep or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. ❤
Lots of Love,