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!