Many people complain that their practices are too long, or that they have too many. Of course, others would complain that they have too few, but the common
factor that I see at so many practices is that there is not a common goal of what is to be achieved at practice. When you are training for a competition, it may
seem like all you need to do is see if you can learn the cheer, or dance section, but there are other practices outside of your normal competition practices. At
those practices, it is important to have an agenda so that you can get the most out of your practice. Here are some tips to help you get more out of your practices.
Have a list of goals that you want to achieve. Most cheerleading coaches have a list of what they want the team to accomplish in a given practice, but you,
as an individual cheerleader should also have a list of things you would like to accomplish as well. Even if it's as simple as wanting to smile more, or show more
energy in your routine, it is definitely worth writing down, and possibly asking someone to hold you accountable to make sure you accomplish what you set out
to do in your practice. If you are not sure what to write down, as a coach, or a trusted friend what are some areas that you could improve in. Making a list of
goals to accomplish will definitely help you be more focused in your practice.
Be in the moment. Although you may have some problems going on at home, or at school when you come to practice, but realize something. You can't solve the problems at practice, so why bring the bad emotions, and negative thoughts with you to practice. At any rate, use practice as your escape from your everyday life. To summarize, be in the moment. When you are stretching, be focused on stretching. When you are going over your dance or motions, have your mind completely focused on that task and nothing else. If you use your practice time as your playtime, you will be greatly disappointed when it comes time to compete, or perform before the student body. Allow yourself to be fully in the moment, regardless what you are doing, and you will see immense improvement in your performance, and your ability to perform.
Take time to take notes. You don't necessarily have to have a pen and paper when you are out on the floor, but when it's time for a water break, take a little time to jot some notes to yourself about particular parts that you are having a hard time remembering. After practice, you may want to go over those points with your coach to see about getting extra time to review, or perhaps schedule a private or extra practice time to get better at what you are deficient in. Remember, the extra effort you put in during your practice will pay off down the line. Winners do not complain about the effort it took to be number one.
Overall, practice should be seen as a time where you can make your mistakes, and learn from them. If the people around you are not being very supportive in your efforts to get the most out of your practice, you may need to speak with your coach. If you coach doesn't seem to want to help you get better, then speak with another coach. You may have to consider going to a different gym, but definitely work harder in your practice to get the most out of the time you work on your routine. Hard work pays off, but only if you put in the effort to get the most out of your hard work. Remember, digging a hole with a spoon may be hard work, but your efforts will seem wasted when you realize you could have used a shovel to accomplish the same task in less time. Taking notes, being in the moment, and having a list of goals to accomplish is your shovel to success. Use it!
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