Summer = the season of new skills. There’s a good reason for that and it makes summer practices so important.
In cheer, there isn’t an “off-season” like in many other sports. Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll get a week or so off at Christmas or other big holidays but other than that… NOPE. You’re at practice. We all love it though, so that’s okay.
While some other sports, summer practices are just there to make sure you don’t get rusty, summer practices are literally the season of new skills. Obviously, student-athletes have a huge amount of time off, which makes me who has to work all summer bitter, and they HOPEFULLY spend a lot of that time in the gym.
Not only that, but summer practices are just after tryouts, which means you’ll be earning your spot on the team. Any reputable cheerleading gym requires you to have a high level of commitment and to have a work ethic. If you’re bunking off or messing around all summer, the likelihood is you won’t see the first competition of the year.
So in conclusion, summer practices mean lots of extra opportunities to up your skills and be a huge asset to your program and a chance to show your coaches you mean business. See below for some tips on how to SMASH summer tryouts and maybe even see yourself be offered a higher level crossover team.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
(1) Go to daytime Open Gyms
There are so many places in my city London (woo!) that run daytime open gyms every day, such as East London Gymnastics, Talent Central on occasions and lots of other gymnastics gyms. Even if you only spend a few hours there every few days, you’re gonna be getting reps in that other people just aren’t. Lets put it into numbers. You have a 2-hour practice every week, you go to open gym for 2 hours 2 days a week, that’s 4 hours extra work you’re putting in vs people who only attend practice. Summer break lasts about 2 months, that’s 48hrs practice vs just 16hrs if you only attend practice.
Use this free time to be the best you possibly can be.
(2) Tumbling Clinics
Half term and summer term means there’s going to be loads of tumbling clinics across the country. I personally have only been to one, Coach Sahil’s clinic up at Coventry Dynamite and it’s probably the best decision I’ve made since deciding to rejoin cheer. You can learn so much in a short space from these coaches, especially ones that travel in from the US/Canada. Plus, if you’re smart, write down the drills they’ve done with you, ask for advice on what to spend your time doing at open gyms and you’ve got yourself a little regiment to work on when you head home.
(3) If you’re old enough, don’t be afraid to travel for classes
Some people are lucky enough to have their parents or a Team Mum/Dad drive them everywhere. If you were like me and travelled everywhere yourself since 14, it’s not something new to have to jump on a the bus/coach or train/tube somewhere. If you’re old enough, being able to travel a few hours out to go to different classes means you’ll have a huge range of coaching knowledge to tap into. For example, I could travel an hour + half to Talent Central for open gyms and clinics, 2 hours to Casablanca for open gyms, or even jump on the train for a few hours to Coventry for clinics.
(4) Stay in shape
Conditioning isn’t #1 on most teams agenda during the summer. But obviously staying in shape is never a bad decision for your health. Maintaining your level of cardio by jogging or doing some HIIT in the gym will not only make it easier to transition into competition shape but it means you’ll be more fit walking into the new season and new skills will come easier. My opinion is summer is the time to really pack on strength by hitting weights or doing lots of bodyweight conditioning. Whether you go to the gym or not, there’s always a workout online for you to do, so there’s no excuse for not staying in shape during the summer. New skills will also be 100x easier if you’re strong.
(5) Have fun and be “addicted”
As much as taking cheer seriously and wanting to be the best will help you succeed, at the end of the day, sport is meant to be fun otherwise nobody would do it except egomaniacs and crazy people. Be addicted to cheer, love your time in the gym and your teammates and all of the above won’t be a chore. Make sure you leave at least a day or two free a week for you to enjoy summer with your non-cheer friends.
Lots of Love,