Rain, Rain, Go Away
Sideline cheer comes with great advantages. Though, there will be obstacles in the way that us, as cheerleaders, will have to fight through. Cheerleaders, like many sports, train year round and are in practice day in and day out. Cheerleading is a sport that not only requires us to work hard and be energetic; but while trying to keep up with the energy of the crowd and the hype of the game, we also have other things to worry about: Elegance and everyone’s favorite, inclement weather.
Weather can be a huge bad news bearer, especially when us as cheerleaders are in the middle of keeping the crowd up on their feet and our team energized. We are trained to be prepared to handle these situations. Whether it be the hot summer nights in August or the bone chilling, winter nights in December, cheerleaders deal with it all. You have to know how to dress for the particular weather. During the blazing summer heat, try not to wear too many layers. This will make it harder for you to cheer. For example; if your team wears crops under your uniforms, consult or suggest to your coach the idea of wearing no crops and just a shell and skirt. You will definitely be cooler, making it easier to cheer. On brisk cold wintry nights or days, bundle up! My favorites for this season are a variety. For example, gloves, ear headbands, hoodies, sweats, or warm-ups are all great items to have during winter cheer! But, if you are ever having trouble finding some cute accessories for any season, Chassé is sure to have something stylish and affordable! Weather doesn’t only affect our bodies but the weather can impact the energy of a crowd. Resulting in having to put in 110% more work to keep the team and fans fired up.
Another huge impact that weather has on cheer is, not being able to stunt. For example if it’s pouring rain and it’s slippery, This makes it that much more dangerous and difficult to put up our stunts. Which can result in using more energy through our cheers than our stunts. Yet, you as a cheerleader can fight through these obstacles and encourage not only your teammates but also the crowd. Always give your best work; even in the not so great conditions! Not only can the weather be a disadvantage but every athlete has seen their days of pulled muscles and plenty of injuries.
As a cheerleader the most important thing for you to do besides cheering of course, is to STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH! Never let an injury get in the way of doing what you love. I am a prime example of this. I recently pulled a muscle in my quad area. To help heal my quad, I always take it slow when I am stretching. I try not to overextend the injured muscle(s), which can result in more damage. When working with a certain area of the body, depending on what was pulled, you have to remember the only way to heal that muscle(s) back to normal is to stretch it as much as possible. When your muscles “sit” and aren’t in an active motion, they contract. Contraction of a muscle or muscles is the activation of tension-generating sites within muscle fibers. To comprehend that a little easier, another way of thinking about this is, that your muscles “shrink” in a way. Meaning they aren’t stretched out to the full extent. As a reference on how to maintain a healthy composure of your body, is a stretch routine. Stretch daily -morning and night. When stretching keep these tips in mind:
1. Never stretch one side more than the other. You want to try and keep your muscles and body as balanced and even as possible.
2. Take it slow: You never want to rush into a stretch position. Especially when your muscles are cold. This can result in the pulling or strain of a muscle. This is what we’re trying to prevent!
3. Follow a routine: Try to get into the habit of knowing which stretches you do daily, this will make it easier for you to remember to stretch everyday.
4. Know your limits: Of course you should push yourself to the best of your ability, but in this case , don’t hyper extend or over-do your stretch. If you know you can only go so far in a stretch, stop at where it’s comfortable for you!
Some other tips I have on maintaining a healthy bodily composure is, of course, to drink water! Water is your best friend at anytime of the day! Always keep a water bottle with you at all times, you’ll never know when you will get thirsty at a long practice or even the sporting event you are cheering for! I hope my tips and tricks will help all you cheerleaders out there! Always remember to, Smile, Stretch, and Sparkle!