The time is near for our first competition of the season! We asked Coach Jo to help give parents the upper hand when it comes to competition day for the cutest Sharks we have – our Tiny and Mini teams! Coach Jo is a pro when it comes to this age group and she has years of knowledge to share to help make cheer and competitions fun and stress free! Get to know more about Coach Jo and what tips she has to make your cheer life with a tiny or mini shark just that little bit easier!
Leading up to competition – how can parents help to prepare their athlete for the big day?
Talking to them about doing their routine in front of a big crowd and that it is important to focus on their routine and teammates. The little ones often see their parents and then forget what they are doing at competitions. Also, that it is okay to feel nervous, that’s normal but to just relax, have fun, and do their routine like they do in practice! And remind them to look for their coaches or teammates if they feel lost or nervous.
What can parents do to help make drop off time easy for everyone?
Come to the competition a little bit early to do hair and make-up together with other moms or dads, or have the cheer mom help! That way, the girls all look similar and it’s easy and stressfree. It is also really important to know ahead of time from the cheer mom and/or coach WHERE the drop off location is. Once they see the coach and the coach begins to take the athletes, it is important that the parents say good bye and leave so that we don’t have any little ones that get attached or super emotional when their parents take a long time to leave.
What should athletes have at the competition?
All she really needs is her uniform, cheer shoes and hair bow. Everything else should stay with parents!
How can parents help to make the competition day fun and successful for their athlete?
Parents should definitely make sure their athlete eats before a competition to make sure their bellies are full and they have lots of energy! Sometimes we have time for snacks or drinks, but competitions can tend to get very busy and crazy and there isn’t always time to sit down and eat.
Also, make sure parents are organized and know the small details of competition day. After that, they need to trust the coaches and we will make sure their child is having fun! Do not put any pressure on your child about skills or their routine. Tell them to try their best and have fun. And most importantly to me, don’t talk to your child about placing. At this age, most of the time they have no clue what place they come in, they just want to be with their friends and do their routine!
Cheerleading competitions are the time for your child to show off what they have worked so hard on for weeks and weeks. Trust the coaches and be proud of your child no matter the outcome. Have fun with it, competitions are the best part of cheerleading!
What do you love most about competition day with your tiny/mini teams?
I love seeing my girls show the audience what I see in them every week. I think tiny and mini teams are often underestimated and people tend to think they are not capable of difficult skills/routines. I love seeing them perform and shine on the floor. Seeing the reactions from the crowd and how impressed people are always makes me so proud.
Coach Jo coaches at the Cambridge gym for Tiny 1 Cookies and Mini 1 Lemons. Jo loves helping athletes build confidence and learn to work on a team. “I have many girls that come into cheerleading very shy and cheerleading is the perfect sport to bring them out of their shell.”