How to Prepare for a Big Performance
Mind, Body….and Cheer Bag!
So, the biggest performance of the year is just a few weeks or days away. Apart from giving your all in every practice, is there anything you can do to prepare? Yes! Try these tips from experienced Sharks to get your mind, body, and gear all set for success.
To get your mind and heart in the right place for a big performance, try:
- Visualizing your success. Find an opportunity to listen to your routine music each day, and picture yourself successfully completing each movement. It may also help to visualize yourself recovering from a misstep or retaining focus despite a distraction. Picturing yourself handling any challenge the day might bring can help to build confidence in both your physical abilities and mental resilience.
- Banishing nasty thoughts. While it’s important to know your weaknesses so that you can improve, remaining positive is essential. If you catch yourself having thoughts such as “I’m never going to get this” or “I’m just not good enough,” remind yourself that these thoughts are just that–thoughts. Not the truth, or reality, unless you choose to make them so! Make a point of replacing these thoughts with more positive versions, such as “I’m going to work hard until I get this.”
- Reaching out. If you’re feeling nervous or stressed, chances are your team mates (not to mention the competition!) are feeling just the same, even if they may be hiding it. A genuine compliment may be just the boost your team mate needs – and giving one will lift your spirits, too.
To get your body into the best possible shape for the event, try:
- Eating a healthy dinner. Try to think of what you’re eating the night before a big performance as fuel for your body. Get well hydrated with water and have a balanced dinner, with protein (such as chicken or fish), veggies or fruit, and carbs, preferably the whole-grain variety. Save treats such as pizza and ice cream for after the event.
- Going to bed early. A good night’s sleep is also key to a well-energized body on the morning of a big performance. Don’t stay up late practicing or thinking about your routine, apart from a positive visualization or two before you nod off. Instead, plan on doing any activity that helps you to unwind, such as watching a movie or reading a book.
- Perfecting your look ahead of time. The morning of a big performance is not the best time to “try out” a new hair style. If your team is all wearing a particular hair style for the big day, style yours that way for one practice or two to be sure you’ve got it down.
Make sure you have everything you need by:
- Making a checklist and keeping it in your bag. At minimum, you’ll need your uniform; two or more pairs of clean white socks; make up; hair spray, bands, pins, and any bows or special accessories your team is wearing, as well as any brushes, combs or other tools; a water bottle; and healthy snacks. Don’t forget any medication or straps if you need them.
- Packing up early. If you can, pack everything the day before so that you’ll have time to do laundry or shop for hair spray if need be. Set out what you’re going to wear the night before.