Cheerleading competitions provide children with the opportunity to showcase their skills and techniques, but they may also induce feelings of anxiety. Strong professional coaching provides the first step in physically and mentally preparing your child to compete. However, there are also measures you can take as a parent to offer your child additional support and help them navigate stress prior to a cheerleading or dance event. Here's how you can help prepare them.
How to Get Your Child Ready for Competition
1. Focus on Sleep and a Balanced Meal
Children rely on adequate rest and nutrition to grow and function. Ensure your child gets at least nine hours of sleep the night before the competition to ensure they have the energy and focus to perform well. Additionally, eating well-balanced meals leading up to the event will also provide them with the fuel they need.
2. Teach Stress-Reducing Techniques
Anxiety-relieving techniques reduce heart rate and control nerves during periods of stress. Work with your child to find the technique that best suits them by experimenting with deep breathing, relaxation, visualization, and positive thought. Encourage them to focus on the present rather than worrying about potential outcomes.
3. Create a Routine
Children with routines often demonstrate better self-regulation and management of their emotions. Creating a pre-competition routine with your child can instill a sense of calm and comfort. For example, prepare the same meal, lay out their uniform in the same way, play the same song in the car, and repeat a positive mantra with them prior to an event.
4. Avoid Coaching
Although it's important for parents to offer encouragement before a competition, interactions should remain supportive and not instructional. To avoid placing additional pressure on children, leave the coaching to team leaders and staff. Make sure your child knows you enjoy watching them play and encourage them to have fun.
For exceptional coaching to help your child prepare for competition, turn to Cheer Athletics Omaha in Omaha, NE. This cheerleading gym offers programs for an array of ages and skill levels, including cheerleading, gymnastics, and tumbling lessons. Their highly trained and passionate coaches are dedicated to providing quality instruction in a friendly and positive environment. Call (531) 213-2289 to ask about enrollment, or visit them online to learn more about their extensive class options and services.