by Sammi Wendling

We all know that in cheerleading, there isn’t really an off-season. By the time your last competition has ended, you are already thinking about tryouts and the upcoming season. Between gaining new skills for tryouts and trying to maintain your passion, it can get tough to really stay strong and enthusiastic about our sport. Check out some tips to push through the long season!

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Listen to your body
Cheerleading is tough on the body. Between all of the tumbling, stunting and jumping we do, our bodies take a beating throughout the year. Listen to your body’s warning signs! If something is hurting and seems to be injured, don’t try and “push through” the pain. Take care of the problem before it turns into something that could be career ending. Similarly, if you are constantly sore and drained from practice, make sure to try and get rest when possible. Go get a massage or even acupuncture to relieve muscular soreness and pain. You will be surprised how refreshed you feel after a “reset!”

Maintain your strength, flexibility and endurance
All cheerleaders know that our sport requires strength, flexibility and cardio fitness. Don’t slack off over the summer months just because you aren’t throwing full outs every other day! Maintain and continue to really stay on top of your muscular strength and cardio health so you can ease yourself back into competition season!

Fuel your body with nutritious foods
Yup, that Venti Extra Pump Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino may taste amazing, but is that really what you should be drinking an hour before practice? Focus on what goes into your body and try to eat healthy, nutritious meals! Remember, what you eat drastically impacts your actions! Sugary or fried foods can be a good cheat every once in awhile, but don’t rely on them for your meals. Eating healthy will make a difference in your energy levels and how you feel – and can totally refresh your body if you’ve been feeling “blah” lately. Focus on the proteins, carbs, fruits and veggies that you consume for a balanced meal.

Catch some z’s
Summer is full of friends, bonfires, beaches and late nights. And that is great! However, not getting enough sleep significantly impacts your day ahead. Practice can become almost impossible to complete, and you may feel like you’re dragging through your daily activities. Not to mention, it’s not really safe to be working on tumbling and stunting skills without being mentally ready to go. This summer, make it a priority to get adequate sleep- you will be amazed at how much of a difference a good night’s sleep makes!

Photo by Amanda Mazonkey

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