Cheerleaders have to remember a lot of information for cheers, chants, and routines, not to mention all the pointers your coach gives you on your other cheer skills. Some people need longer than others to learn these things, and different methods work better for different cheerleaders. Part of your team might like to just go through the whole routine multiple times, while others prefer to take it piece by piece, mastering one part before moving onto the next. Even after learning a cheer or routine in practice
, it's your responsibility to remember it! These six tips will help you retain the information you learn in practice:
- Treat it like schoolwork. How do you study for tests in school? Whatever helps you remember then will help you with cheer, too. Some people retain information well simply by writing it down after learning it. You can also go over it with teammates, quiz each other, and whatever other methods you can think of that you can borrow from your school studying habits.
- Take notes. Write down any key points or tips you need to remember so you can go over them later. Just running through your notes once before bed each night can help ingrain the information in your head so it's there when you need it!
- Practice, practice, practice. Have your mom watch you do your routine or even teach it to a younger sibling. Teaching it to someone else will help it stick in your own head. Repeat the words to the cheer or go over your routine in your head while you shower, do the dishes, and other daily tasks.
- Sleep well. Your brain needs this rest time to function properly. Have you ever woken up in the morning after not getting much sleep and then felt like you just couldn't think clearly or focus on any tasks? That's because your brain doesn't work as well on little sleep! Set yourself up for success when it comes to learning chants, cheers, and routines by getting enough rest so your head is up for the task of retaining the information you're about to put in it!
- Eat brain food. Eating a well-balanced diet is important to keep your whole body going strong, but there are some foods that researchers say are especially good for the brain. Some of these foods include walnuts and other nuts, natural peanut butter, whole grains, fish, avocado, seeds like sunflower and chia seeds, berries, and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli. So your best bet on a day when you know you'll be learning a new routine is to fuel up with brain food!
What helps you learn and remember cheers and routines?
- Relax. Don't stress yourself out over it. Our brains don't function as well when fear is present, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to remain confident and not put too much pressure on yourself. There's nothing wrong with asking questions and requesting to go over parts of the routine again. Go in with confidence knowing you can and will get this down!