It’s that time of year again. When weekends are consumed of curling irons, hairspray, oversized bows, and that beautiful blue mat! Yes, competition season is in full swing and coaches, cheerleaders, and parents have a lot going on. Between studying for finals or midterms, performing at basketball games, and making sure your competition routine is fun and exciting, competition season can be a very stressful time of year. Having a flawless routine, a fun day, and wonderful memories is all anyone is hoping for. But there is a lot of work that leads up to that two and a half minutes on the floor. Many months of hard work and dedication lead to just one performance and a few judges’ final decisions. Here are some tips on making sure your day runs smoothly and all you have to do is leave the results up to the judges: The Week Of Practice, practice, practice. You should have two to three practices the week of a big competition. Practice hard and use your time wisely! This week chatter needs to be to a minimum. Work is your number one priority! The last practice before competition should be your shortest of the week. Run through the routine three times and make sure the entire team is on the same page as far as pre-performance warm ups. How many mats are you able to practice on and what will you warm up on at each mat? Will you be able to use music? Find this all out and share with the team. Pack up. Make sure your uniform is cleaned and all pieces of your uniform are together in your bag! Don’t wait until the morning of to find the only clean pair of cheer socks you have left or make sure your shoes are white. Start washing your uniform on Monday. That way it is dry and ready to be packed up Friday night. The Night Before Eat Healthy. Don’t eat too much the night before at your pasta party. Instead, eat a normal sized portion and include some veggies or a fresh salad with it. Ditch the soda and stick to water. The morning of, have a healthy breakfast and bring along a piece of fruit or granola bar so you don’t eat something less healthy out of the snack bar. Get a good night’s sleep. Go to bed early. Avoid team sleepovers or going out late with your friends. You can do that to celebrate your win. Pop in your favorite Bring It On movie and relax. Go over your routine a few times in your head and then don’t think about it anymore. Let your muscle memory take control. Overthinking is never good for anyone. The Day Of Have fun and perform your butt off! You are there to do what you love to do: perform! Stick with your team and listen closely to your coach’s direction. Smile at the other teams and wish everyone luck. Teams remember each other when they make friends, not enemies. Watch everyone’s routines and, most importantly, have fun!