The cheerleading season can be a long and difficult time with a lot of challenges. Nerves get frazzled. People get angry with one another, and a lot of things can go wrong. One thing you should do during the season to help keep things from going astray is to focus on finding peace and calm, especially during practices and competitions.
It starts with self-care
As a member of your cheerleading squad, it is really important that you take care of yourself. Some of this comes from eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and doing little things like stretching every day, to keep yourself from having injuries. But there is more to self-care than just the physical side. Self-care also requires mental discipline. Consider taking a few minutes each day to meditate. A little calmness in your personal life every morning can make a huge difference in taking on the hectic events of the day.
Squad communication is key
You and your squad work together as a team. You all have a common goal, but the path forward in achieving that goal varies from person to person. Sometimes you and your squadmates get into arguments. This is only natural, but there are a few strategies you can utilize to make sure that your disagreements stay healthy and don’t devolve into shouting matches in front of the rest of the team. When you are having conflict with squad members, consider taking just a few minutes to scream. Not at anyone on your team, not at your coach, but just to scream and work out some of those feelings of frustration. Instead, just take a minute or two and scream as loud as you can when things get bad. You may feel silly, but it’s cathartic. You will be able to come together and speak more calmly about the things that are making you unhappy once you have given those frustrations a place to land.
Kindness pays dividends
When you are in the midst of something that you feel passionate about, it can be easy to let your passion get the better of you and say something that is mean or cruel to someone who disagrees with you. This is something you and the rest of the athletes on your team need to avoid at all costs, not just with your fellow cheerleaders, but with people outside of your squad as well. Being kind to people pays huge dividends. Being nice to each other while you work out your differences can be much harder than just letting your emotions go, but the potential for irreversible damage from speaking in anger is high. A little kindness to that squad member who is having a tough day and can’t quite hit the skills is going to make them improve more quickly than screaming or yelling at them ever would.
Consider how your team treats others
Cheerleaders are often viewed as the “mean girls” of their programs. Because you are highly motivated athletes who are acclimated to performing in the public eye, you frequently take those same standards and apply them to others. This is a natural thing to do, but it does not excuse cheerleaders from being cruel to other groups at your school or at your athletic complex. Think about how people perceive you and your friends, and take those same concepts of kindness that you’re using with your squadmates and apply them to people outside of your team. You will find that people are more positive towards you as a group and more willing to help you and your teammates when you need assistance.
Cheerleading season is long and grueling. Competition season for some All-Star programs now is over a year long. Tryouts start before the world championships, and those teams work together through the end of Worlds. This gives you a lot of time to get into disagreements and do things that are both physically and psychologically damaging to your teammates. Take a few minutes and find the calmness within yourself and your squad. Try to implement healthy self-care practices, practice kindness as an activity, and most importantly think about the people that you work with every day and take their feelings into consideration when you are acting. By doing these things you will find that the entire season is more pleasant and that you look forward to cheerleading even more than before.