Cheer camp is a special experience in so many ways, and it’s really when you take your love for the sport to new heights. You work on tricks and techniques, tucks and tumbles, all the while outside in the sunshine with new and old cheer friends alike! You’re away from home, you’re living the good life, and making lasting memories with each activity. What else do you need? Well, to remember what you learn, of course! Without retaining all of your new skills, you can return home from camp with little learned and a frustrated coach at practice when your team tries a run-through. It’s not your fault–the energy at cheer camp can easily get you distracted! To avoid an in-one-ear-out-the-other, oops-how-did-that-stunt-work kind of mentality once home, try these four memory hacks to keep you on track.

1. Eat blueberries.
You probably expected the first thing on the list to be ‘write stuff down’, which is important! However, how are you going to write stuff down if your attention is too all over the place to remember to write down what you learned? Exactly. Cue, blueberries. This super fruit is proven to up mental acuity, meaning that the memory part of your brain is more alert and ready for action throughout the day. Blueberries are one of the healthiest of fruits on the planet that also help your heart, digestive system, and even your skin–which means soaking in those UV sun rays all day is less damaging! On top of wearing sunscreen, which you should definitely do. Eating right provides the right base for your body to get the most out of cheer camp.

2. Go through the motions.
Literally, do a quick recap of what you learned at night. If you find that you're hitting snags, or just like how the motions were put together, write down some notes to reference when you get back to plan that big Homecoming performance or competition routine. Learning how to do motions and polishing them are two separate things; it takes effort to make them sharp and bold. Don’t forget to practice smiling as you do!


3. Make it a game.
It’s common sense that camp is a great bonding opportunity for you and your team, so why not combine learning with laughing? Try to think of unique ways to get your team involved with revisiting the material you learned during the day while you bond at night, like a game of Memory or Charades. Charades is easy, since all you would have to do is write all the motions and jumps you learned that day on a piece of paper, put it in a hat, draw them at random, perform it, and have the other team guess the name of that stunt or motion. Making it a game brings a competitive edge to retaining information, not to mention the added bonus of having fun while you learn!

4. Get enough sleep
. It may sound contradictory to the last hack on the list, but cut the team-bonding at night when it gets too late, because sleep is essential to learning! Not getting enough sleep results in inattentiveness, incoordination, and irritation–all of which is a recipe for a bad day. There's a lot of information coming your way at camp, and you're expected to grow as a cheerleader by the time it's over. Take the pressure off, and go to bed early! Plus, without a full eight hours at night, the large amount of exercise you’re doing the next day can push your body and mind into overdrive, which is unsafe! Don’t get hurt, and just go to bed on time.

What other learning or memory hacks do you know of? What helped you at cheer camp? Tell us your story in the comments!