10 Tips To Conquer The Fear Of Competing
Competitions can sometimes be overwhelming by the loud music, flashing lights and screaming cheerleaders. Knowing how to stay calm and collective in this type of environment will make your competing confidence basket right through the ceiling!
1. Put yourself out there
Don't be afraid to show case your routine even if it isn't 'competition ready.' Getting in front of a crowd will help build your personal confidence and bring the team closer together. This is where you figure out all of the little glitches in your routine to make it even better!
2. Trust your training
Before stepping on the mat to compete, you more than likely have been practicing for this moment for months. Why doubt yourself now? Know that you are capable of doing everything in the routine that you are a part of. Confidence is key!
3. Find your go-to happy place
Each person is different when it comes to relaxing and becoming mentally prepared to compete. Create your very own ritual and stick to it! Whether that be jamming out to your favorite song or goofing off with your teammates, find what fits you best.
4. Visualize success on the mat
Only positivity here! Don't focus on what could go wrong in the routine. Instead, picture each part hitting and landing exactly like it is supposed to. This helps build your own self-confidence and even reminds you that you aren't in this alone. It takes a confident team to come out on top!
5. Only focus on one element in the routine at a time
From time to time, you might be worried about one particular skill in the routine. Don't worry yourself over it! Before the music starts, focus on what you are completing that second. After you complete the skill, move on to the next!
BONUS TIP: Don't try to be perfect on the mat. If something goes wrong or not as planned, put it in the past and move on. Don't let it affect the rest of your routine!
6. Major Mat Talk
Talking to your teammates as you complete the routine will help bring your team closer together. You can't be a successful team without team chemistry! If you know a friend struggles with a skill, be sure to yell for them during that time in the routine to give them that extra boost of confidence!
7. Fuel your body with the right things
There's nothing worse than not feeling so great right before taking the mat. Be sure to fuel your body with the proper nutrition the day before and the day of competition. Check out the article Nutrition For Cheerleaders for some healthy food and drink choices. If you feel great you'll do great!
Wise words of USA Coed coach Leroy McCullough:
You feel good? Well you look good!
8. Get there early
Don't put yourself through the trouble of rushing to the venue. Get there in enough time to relax and take it all in! Get a good look at what you'll see when you take the mat so that you aren't overwhelmed.
9. Don't talk about being nervous
We've already mentioned visualizing success, but talk about success as well! If you spread negativity to your team, it only turns into a ripple effect -- and you do not want that! REMEMBER: Only positive thoughts.
10. Fake it 'til you make it!
Even if your team didn't have the best warm up, FAKE IT! The judges don't see or score your warm up and the audience doesn't see it either! You're given a clean slate before competing so take full advantage of it. Act confident even if you don't feel that way.