Ahh, cheer competition season. The familiar smell of the gym floor, the booming of cheer remixes, and that tacky hairspray feeling in your ponytail. All of your hard work is finally coming together, and you have about an hour or two to kill before you—does somebody smell popcorn?


1)   The Food

It’s going to be a long day, and all you can think about is how badly you want to grab a soda and a hot dog from one of the concession stands. Don’t do it! It’s especially tempting when seeing your family not giving what they’re eating a second thought, but eating junk food won’t help you nail that final stunt. Eating is just as important as all of that practice—make sure to pack nutritional bars or fresh fruit in your backpack. Be sure to eat things high in carbohydrates, like whole wheat bread on your sandwich or a wheat pasta. These carbs will provide you with all of the energy you need to get through your routine. After your moment in the spotlight, your blood sugar will be lower and the piece of fruit you packed will be a perfect boost. If you’re still craving that hot dog, (and we know you are) now is the time to treat yourself!

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       2)   Glitter!

While getting ready, you want to look the best you can for your big day. Some teams have a specific makeup plan set for the competition, but chances are that you have some freedom in this area. This can only mean one thing…GLITTER! Glitter eye shadow! Hair glitter! Glitter…lipstick? While these add-ons can be some of the most fun aspects of competition, make sure not to overdo it. You wouldn’t want to blind the judges before you even start your routine!

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3)   The Smell of the Gym Floor

Feel free to deny this one. I would, too. That floor has been endlessly trampled with blood, sweat, and tears, and the odor lives to tell the tale. There is something about it, though—despite all you know it has endured, you aren’t afraid to take a seat and stretch out on it. This fuzzy, blue floor brings you some sort of comfort. It puts a nice spring in your step during competition and is the perfect team bonding spot during your down time. 

4)   The POOF!

       The quintessential cheerleading hairdo that just can’t be outdo-ed. This, as I’m sure you know, can take hours to perfect. There are so many different techniques: you can pin it up with bobby pins, or maybe you’ve bought a fancy bump to place underneath it. Once you’ve finally gotten it to your liking, the next step is to douse your hard work in hairspray. One spritz, two spritz, three spritz, the next thing you know you’ve used the entire bottle. Your hair feels like straw—has it ever been this stiff? You take a look in the mirror, and as ridiculous as this can look, there's a part of you that thinks you've never looked better. The crunch of the poof is strangely satisfying—the mark of a job well done. A poof well poofed, if you will.

Don't be afraid to indulge in your guilty pleasures this competition season--just don't go overboard!