It is almost time to head back to school! The new school year also marks a new cheer season. Many high school and competitive cheer squads have already started preparations for the upcoming season with summer camps, clinics and practices. This helps prepare athletes for the physical aspect of a new cheer season, but how are athletes preparing for the season mentally?
Are you, as an athlete, ready for the added stresses of additional practices, homework, exams, weekly games and weekend competitions?! This may seem like a lot to handle, but here are a few tips to keep yourself organized and reduce stress.
1. Plan your Day/Week/Month
Many coaches give athletes a set practice schedule for the month to help parents and athletes plan their schedules. Add your weekly practice times, additional practice times, games and competitions to a planner that you look at daily so you are prepared. If you don’t use a paper planner, no problem! Most every phone today has a calendar app built right in, so you can conveniently add everything into your phone for even more convenience. The more you plan your days/weeks/months, the easier it will be to visually see where you can take advantage of down time.
2. Arrive Early and Be Prepared
Once you have planned your days, make a habit of arriving early to all of your scheduled activities. Arriving early gives you time to relax, time to catch up on homework, or even time to catch up on social media. Rather than rushing, and adding stress to yourself, plan ahead. Be prepared for things to go not always as planned too. We all know traffic can be a bit difficult at times, among other daily setbacks. Bring your routine music with you to visualize your routine, or bring some textbooks on tape. It’s a great way to get added study time in while on the go!
3. Take a Deep Breath
There are times where it feels like there is too much to do and not enough time to get everything done! That is ok, it is part of growing up to feel like it is almost impossible to get everything done. At times like these, take a deep breath. Maybe take two or three if needed. Staying calm will help you mentally work through your problems more effectively. Don’t rush to a decision because you feel stressed. Work through your options mentally to make the most informed and beneficial decision for yourself.
4. Take Time to Relax
Take time each and everyday to do something you enjoy outside of cheer. Play with your siblings, go shopping with friends, play a pick up game of basketball or soccer. It is important to step away from everything and relax. It keeps your mind calm and helps you better react to stress when unexpected things come along.
Planing, being prepared, breathing and relaxing. Some useful tips to help you take on the new school year and cheer season with (hopefully) successful results!