Cheer is a year-round sport, there really is no off-season! Even if you don’t physically need a break, your brain probably does. Taking a mental break can help you reset and actually make your skills better and easier to achieve because you’re not so focused on that singular outcome. But, if you’re anything like I was as a kid, the thought of being away from the gym in summer makes your heart hurt.
So how do you give yourself time off without having time off?
Enjoy working technique on skills you already have.
Got a back tuck that travels back half a panel? Work on your set technique and try to land in the same spot every time. Piked over layouts? Work on getting the strong hollow body position to prepare for fulls. Get a stunt group together to work on keeping your legs together in double-downs, or throwing higher, faster baskets! Cleaning up basics can be fun and rewarding—and you’ll see the payoff when you work on your “reach” skills.
Make a plan to get to know your new teammates.
Summer practices are a great time to get to know your new family. Go into every practice with a question for your teammates—what’s their favorite color? Do they cheer HS/all-stars? Do they have any cute siblings you might want to date 😉
Set a conditioning goal
Was there a particular part in your routine that your could have done better last year? Something you struggled with? Talk to your coach and figure out a training plan you can do to specifically work on that part of your strength and fitness.
Work camps and clinics
Does your gym do summer camps and clinics? Ask if you can work and start learning how to coach. Being around younger athletes and helping them gain skills is a great way to reignite your love for cheer and give you a new perspective on the sport.
And above all, remember that it’s not the worst thing in the world to spend a bit of time away! Pool parties, lake days, family vacations—there really is a life outside cheer 😉