The WHOLE Athlete
Let’s just say it: All Star Cheer is a tough sport. To prepare our athletes to take the stage, compete against teams from all over the country, and walk away with heads held high (no matter what the judges decide) takes weeks and months of sweat and hard work! It takes physical and mental strength to accomplish this and ODT focuses on the WHOLE athlete – body, mind, and spirit!
To follow the same path at home, please consider the following things on behalf of your athlete:
- Sleep, sleep, sleep!! Ensuring enough sleep is a step in the right direction toward allowing the body enough restorative time. It’s when brains quiet down and muscles rest and heal.
- Nutrition – Focusing on fuel to get an athlete through a practice is important! If ever you doubt the rigor of practice, have your athlete walk you through 100 yards of bear crawls. Skittles and Dutch aren’t going to cut it. A focus on proper nutrition will help sustain them through challenging practices.
- Hydration – 5,6,7,8, let’s go hydrate!! Water, maybe an occasional sports drink, is all that’s needed to replenish the water and electrolytes lost during practices. On average, people should drink at least half their body weight in water ounces each day. Have your athlete supplement with even more when they’re practicing that day. Just because it is cool in Oregon does not mean you do not need to drink plenty of fluids. When a person feels thirsty, they’re already dehydrated. It’s better to be proactive with fluid intake.
- Stress management – Practices and competition can be stressful. Athletes will occasionally come home bummed out or frustrated about how practice went or how their competition ended up. It’s important that the family/support system talk through those issues in a positive and supportive manner. No athlete is wholly defined by their life as a cheerleader. Remind your athlete of all of their amazing accomplishments in and out of the gym! Encourage them to practice stress management: deep breathing, take a walk, write in a journal, talk to a parent/friend/coach, watch something that will make them laugh, etc. If you need assistance with this, please contact your athlete’s coach or the program director. We’re here to help!
- Encouragement is essential for the success of the athlete and team. Even when we lose, we win! At every practice and competition, we learn something and grow as individuals and teams. It’s so important that the parents/family/support system reinforce this at home. Leave the coaching and constructive criticism to the coaching staff. Please be your athlete’s biggest fan, supporter, and cheerleader!
Do’s and Don’ts
- DO be your child’s biggest supporter!
- DO be a positive influence!
- DO have fun! Smile, laugh, encourage often!
- DO take pictures! You can share them via our team gallery!
- DO focus on the team as a whole – cheer is a TEAM SPORT!
- DON’T criticize. Cheer is hard. Athletes work their butts off. Encourage and be supportive.
- DON’T take it personally. At times, your athlete will be moved from the spot you think s/he should have to the one that’s best for the team.
- DON’T be negative toward other teams or athletes. Remember, sportsmanship always!
- DON’T hesitate to reach out to your athlete’s coach or the program director with questions, comments, concerns!