It is the best time of year–competition season!
Congratulations on making it this far, and with final competitions quickly
approaching, you might be thinking what’s next. Your team has their
choreography down, travel and lodging is taken care of, uniforms are in tiptop
dry-cleaned shape and you are all set to go. However, you know as an experienced
coach, once you arrive at the competition, anything and everything can go
wrong–especially when it comes to run-throughs! Every year, it is something
new, so here are a few ways to make run-throughs better at your next
competition.1. Have a family meeting right when
you get there.
This meeting should include parents, or anyone involved in
pickup and drop-off, i.e. chaperones or carpool parents. Depending on the age
of your team and if this is your team’s first competition, some parents need to
be informed of what to do more than others. Most parents new to cheer may not
know about run-throughs at all! During this meeting, break it down for your
This might be your 12th
competition season and you may
think parents might know what to expect, but I can guarantee you, they have no
idea and have probably never even heard the word ‘run-throughs’ before in their
life. I can also guarantee they have no idea it is closed to parents or that
they have 3-4 hours to kill before their child actually competes. Make it clear
and then proceed to check into the hotel.2. Time is not on your side.
I cannot stress how important punctuality
is at competitions! These competitions are like well-oiled machines:
are strict, and not something to mess with. If you are late, you will lose your
practice spot. Period.3. Judging.
Don’t get it twisted–teams are being judged from the
moment they walk in that door. Some competitions are stricter than others, and
things like poor sportsmanship
can cost you a few points before you even set
foot on the mats. As soon as your team walks in that building, they are
representatives of the cheerleading community as well as their team. Be sure to
talk to your team about cell phone use, appropriate competition conversation,
etc. You don’t want to miss out placing because of something that could be
easily avoided!4. Know what needs work.
Your team has been practicing this routine
for weeks, and you know what parts of it need last minute practice time to get
right. As a coach, your team has worked hard to get to this point and you do
not want to waste precious practice hours just doing the routine over and
over. You need to push those last-minute
practices to make sure everyone hits their portion just right. Of course, you
will want to do full routine run-throughs and take a few breaks before you go
out to the main stage. But, you really want to focus on what needs most
attention to make your routine flawless.
By following the steps above, run-throughs will be a breeze. The competition
atmosphere is intense and a lot of things are going on all at once. Having a
game plan together and being prepared is the best thing you can do take make
sure all aspects of your competition day will run smoothly.How do you have to better competition run-throughs? Share your tips with us in