Cheer camp is an exciting time for an athlete whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first-year on the squad. It’s about team bonding, learning, hard work, and most importantly having FUN!
Although, the fun can come to a screeching halt if you’re not prepared. These are some tips and tools you can use to make sure you’re that you stand out at camp this year!
As an athlete you know that you won’t be good at whatever sport it is you do if you don’t what? Practice, practice, practice! This is true when you’re preparing for camp. Just because tryouts are over doesn’t mean that your work is done…it’s only just begun! You should be working every day to make sure you’re in tip top shape for camp. By working every day this includes three main things: physical training, nutritional training, and emotional training. Let’s break these down…
Before camp you need to make sure you’re doing some sort of conditioning. That means adding running, tumbling, and stunting into your weekly schedule. Get a group of friends together and work on your stunting a couple days a week or practice your tumbling at your cheer gym every Tuesday and Thursday night. Be sure to work out in between so you build up stamina. Camp is a non-stop event for cheerleaders and you need to make sure you can keep up with everyone. And one of the biggest tips I can give is to practice your game day routines! Know ALL of your motions, practice your facial expressions and know every single dance move. You don’t want to be the one that missed the high-V in the fight song, how embarrassing! You’ll basically be stunting, tumbling, cheering, and moving 99% of the day so you need to be conditioning and building up your stamina every single day!
Like I said, camp is a 24-hour job so there’s no time to be tired or sluggish. To avoid an energy bust start eating a little bit better a few weeks before camp. Skip the McDonald’s runs (ugh, can’t believe I’m saying that I know) and choose something a little more nutritional like fish or some whole grain pasta. White meat chicken and vegetables is one of my favorite meals and is great for you! Getting the right kinds of sugars and nutrients in your body will help keep you energized and ready to take on each day of camp!
You need to be mentally prepared for the week/weekend that’s ahead of you. You’re going to be critiqued by staff members, your coaches, and teammates which can take a toll on you. Remember, the pressure is on for your coaches as well so they’ll probably be cracking down on your motions and performance so they look like the best coach there. Clear your head, and be ready to work hard. Having a good, positive attitude going into camp will only make your experience that much better!
Sammie Litten is University of Central Florida cheerleading alumni living and working in Orlando. She continues to spread her love and passion for cheer every day. She has been a cheerleader since the young age of 4 and enjoys many aspects of cheerleading such as co-ed partner stunting, game day cheers, working out, and doing her game day hair and makeup. Her favorite cheer memory is cheering on her Knights in Ireland against Penn State.
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