Whether you are seasoned in the world of competitive cheer, or new to the family; competition days can be hectic and stressful for every cheer family. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, however, there are several things that you can do to make the process much smoother! Below are a few of the tips that you can use to make competition day a major success!
Pack (several) Competitive Cheer Competition Kits
While you may already know that it’s a good idea to pack in advance, so as not to forget any of your important competitive cheer competition day essentials, you may not be aware that packing just one kit isn’t enough! Instead, we suggest packing multiple kits to ensure your competition day goes off without a hit.
For your athlete, it’s a good idea to keep a kit ready with all the things needed to prepare them for competition day. This kit should include the makeup they will wear, their competition day bow, a pair of white no-show socks for competition, as well as any supplies regularly needed for competition day (hairpins, safety pins, stain remover pens, medications, baby wipes, makeup remover, hair gel, brush, hair rollers, etc).
Consider printing a map of all your competition destinations at the beginning of the season. This will help with locating addresses and such in a pinch. Keep these in a competition day bag, along with cash that may be needed for parking and/or admission. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that many of the competition venues require cash for parking and/or entry. Having this ready will eliminate stress as well as unnecessary (and rather pricey) ATM fees.
It’s also a great idea to not plan on using your phone’s GPS for directions. Many times you’ll find yourself without signal at the moments you need it most (we know from experience!)
Another important essential is a travel pack of toilet paper! Sometimes venues run out of toilet paper due to the high volume of people, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Sibling Survival Kits
In getting your athlete prepared for their cheer competition, it can often be easy to overlook siblings. Keep in mind that cheer competition days can be long and often stressful. It’s a great idea to keep packed activities that siblings can engage in throughout the competition.
While electronics can be nice for keeping them entertained, signal and charging issues can present the need for backup entertainment. It’s a great idea to pack your sibling survival kit with books, coloring pages, pen and paper, and other items to keep your kiddos entertained throughout the “down times” in a competition.
Consider keeping antibacterial in these bags as well. Where there are many people, there are many germs. Quick trips to the restroom to wash hands are very much hindered when they involve walking long distances and navigating the plethora of athletes using the restrooms as their personal stage rooms 😉
Snacks and Food
Snacks are a great idea to keep on hand for siblings, athletes and yourself. Many of the venues lack healthy options for snacking or have long lines and pricey items available.
While many of the venues do not allow for outside food to be brought in, you can always keep a lunch bag in your vehicle for a quick energy and nutrition boost during downtimes! Items high in protein and nutrition are great choices for keeping your competition day energy throughout the day!
Designate a Photographer/Videographer
Lighting and special effects play an important role in many competitive cheer competitions. Add this to the shaky hands of parents brimming with excitement, and the loud cheers you’ll inevitably be emitting while watching your child perform… and you may find that the photos and videos you took during the performance come out with much lower quality than you desire. Designating specific people on your team and/or in your family to capture these moments can allow them to focus on quality, while you focus on cheering on your hard-working athlete! *
If this is your area of expertise, consider volunteering to be this person for another team within your gym, so that they might enjoy their children’s performances without worry!
*While we love the posting of photos during competition season, we do ask that all athletes and their family refrain from posting videos of our routines until after the season. If you are searching for ways to share these precious moments with your family throughout the season, consider a shared Dropbox or app that will allow you to share them privately without them being broadcast to the public!
HAVE FUN! As with any exciting event, it’s easy to let stress overshadow excitement. If you or your athlete find themselves becoming overwhelmed on competition day… remember that it is only a small portion of the season and should be a time to enjoy and showcase the many, many hard and tiresome hours they’ve spent practicing for these moments.
Do you have any tips and/or tricks that you use to make competition day a success? Any hurdles you’ve faced that you wish you wish you’d been better equipped for? Drop a comment below!