I have been in the cheer scene for about a year and a half already, it might seem like a short time to some but to me its shown me alot about how people in the cheer scene act in different scenarios and also the way people do cheer in general.
YOU DID IT vs YOU THINK YOU DID IT
What do I mean when I say YOU DID IT? For example, you do a toss extension, but the gripping was horrible, you had to press up slightly, you tossed the flyer to your CG (centre of gravity) etc. To you, you may have done a toss extension because you managed to hit the stunt and pop down. However, to some others, you did not hit a toss extension because it was not a clean toss extension (no pressing up and being stable). So to summarise, it means that you tell yourself you did it, but to others, you didnt actually do a clean toss extension.
This I find is a very common scenario among cheerleaders , although not many people dont tell you right in your face. The question now is, who do you think is correct? The person who thinks they did it or the people who says he did not? The reason I am bringing this up is because i feel some people are complacent in what they do, be it on or off mats. Some people feel that just because they did the stunt, means that they really DID the stunt.
We are now cheering in a time where perfection is of utmost importance, the judges want to see everything hit perfectly without movement and with sharp precision. That is why in everything that we do, we should make it sharp and clean. If you did a toss extention that was not clean, keep training to toss higher/straighter so that it would be clean. Telling yourself that it was not a clean toss extention won't do, you need to work on it, be it hit the gym or brush up your technique.
However, do not take it too harshly when people keep telling you that what you are doing isn't correct, what they are saying might not be 100% correct, but the least you could do is give them the basic respect and listen to what they have to say, analyse and consider whether or not what they had to say was indeed helpful and if so, make amendments and do it again. Of course if you are unsure about what the other person is saying, then there are always coaches around for you to ask for help, they are there for a reason.
Moving on to part two of YOU DID IT vs YOU THINK DID IT. If you are heading for the gym, be it because you want to build up more strength or because you were asked to do so by your coach, it doesnt matter, go to the gym and actually gym effectively. I remember my coach Hakim told my team before that if you even make the effort to do something, do it properly, for the sake of the time that could have been spent doing something maybe more productive. We all know of some people that go to the gym for forty minutes and just do a few reps of shoulder press or squads that would have probably took them five minutes, and then spend the rest of the time talking, followed by leaving the gym claiming that they have finished gymming.
HELLO! This is not gymming. You might argue that maybe the person did intend to only do a few sets just to tone their muscles. Yes true, they MIGHT be doing that, but how often do people actually take time just to go to the gym just to do a few repetitions of a few exercises? From what i know, almost never. YOU might think that you gymmed because you went to the gym and you did work out, BUT did you actually go to the gym and work out effectively? Did YOU achieve anything by going to the gym, or did you just go there just so you could tell yourself that YOU DID IT?
There are many ways people gym, there are the alternate sessions doing alternate body parts, the single muscle group for the whole gym session, the single exercise for the whole gym session etc. Whatever the case, I believe that as long as you go to the gym with a mindset with what you are going to do and the number of sets and reps roughly in your head, you will be gymming efficiently and productively. That is provided that you actually push yourself and do complete that which you have planned to do.
I feel that this part is important because of the fact that many a time people wonder why they gym so much and yet they still dont show any improvement on mats. Sometimes, it is because YOU think you are putting in effort, you think that just because you went to the gym and did a few reps you should improve. But the truth is that it takes hardwork to improve, more hardwork to perfect it, and pure hardwork in the form of insanity to make you one of the best at what you are doing. This applies to both flyers and bases alike, you have to do it right, before saying that you can actually do it.
So if you feel that you are putting in alot of effort, yet you are still not showing any improvement on mats, it might be due to these few reasons: (with examples so its easier to relate and understand)
1. You do not listen to others when they tell you about your mistakes and you refuse to change.
(You frequently bend your arms while doing liberty and people are always reminding you to straighten your arms but you refuse to listen to it)
2. You are not putting in as much effort as you think you are off and on mats.
(You go to the gym to do a few repetitions of a few exercises, and count that as you gymmed)
3. Your input of efforts do not tally with what is required.
(You cannot do a proper heel stretch without shaking too much on stunt but you practice doing heel stretch while lying down on the floor all the time)
These are just some points that i have noticed in my one and a half years of cheerleading. Please let me know if i have said anything that does not make sense or isnt true, it is my first time doing a blog post on cheerleading. Thank you for reading.
"Dont give people a chance to doubt your effort. Do it right, do it good"