As All Star Cheer athletes, we are constantly striving to improve, be it by working on getting a new skill, achieving a team stunt, or getting our routine a little cleaner. Cheerleading is a challenging sport, and it is that challenge which makes it so amazing and so rewarding!
However, sometimes in our pursuit of difficult new skills or challenging stunts, negative thinking can creep in if we don’t achieve our goal within our expected timeframe. Without strategies to stay positive we can quickly lose confidence and feel like we will never achieve our goal.
In this blog we will talk about ‘Evolving your Mindset’ to become more self-aware, to recognise when we have negative thoughts and to challenge these to become more positive. While doubt is a perfectly normal reaction to a difficult task, letting doubt get the better of us can lead to lack of motivation, and hinder our pursuit of higher skills. Using the power of a positive mindset, we can push through those doubts and achieve our goals.
Negative thinking in cheerleading impacts our determination levels and our commitment to achieving skills or stunts. In other words, if you think you won’t hit, or you will fall, then most of the time that will happen. Brilliant inventor Henry Ford knew the power of positive thinking when he wrote “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you are right”. I like to think of determination as our willpower to pursue seemingly impossible tasks. Negative thinking and doubt can hurt our determination, increasing our fear of making mistakes and ultimately stopping us from achieving our goals.
Embracing a positive mindset
A positive mindset and can help us overcome doubt and helps to build resilience towards making mistakes. An added benefit of staying positive is that it makes mistakes less likely! Building self-confidence and resilience are key benefits of being an All Star Cheerleader. At Evolve we aim to foster an environment to encourage self-reflection to help our athletes believe in themselves. This in turn builds self-confidence, positive mindset and creates a positive environment in which to train and develop.
Anxiety and nerves affect us all, but we can view them as just another set of challenges to overcome. By accepting that these feelings are normal we try and use them in positive ways, driving our determination to better ourselves and help our team succeed. If we ignore our nerves or can’t accept that it’s okay to feel nervous, this can lead us to becoming ambivalent towards achieving our goals which stalls development and can hurt self-confidence.
Learning from mistakes
The challenge as an athlete is to focus less on avoiding mistakes, and focus more on achieving goals. Achieving difficult goals usually means we will make mistakes along the way. Mistakes are crucial for learning, as they teach us what not to do! A positive and determined mindset leads to a willingness to try new things, even if it means making mistakes along the way. Also remember you are not alone. At Evolve, your coaches and your team are there for you. If you have doubts, they are there to build you up and encourage you to keep going!
Practice makes permanent
We often hear the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’. But we shouldn’t necessarily be striving for perfection (nobody is perfect!). A better motto is ‘practice makes permanent’. The more we practice (making mistakes along the way) the greater our ability to execute new skills and stunts more consistently, leading to permanent attainment of these new skills.
Setting achievable goals is a key component of keeping a positive mindset. We encourage our athletes to break down big goals into smaller, more attainable goals which help build up to the achievement of a bigger goal. This helps with a sense of achievement as each small goal is conquered, boosts confidence and reinforces a positive mindset.
Change can be negative or positive – it’s up to you!
In cheerleading, the ultimate goal of an athlete is to develop new skills and master new stunts which then get incorporated into the routine. This requires adjustments and re-learning parts of the routine, often with tight timeframes before the next competition. Routine changes can either be viewed as negative or positive, and the choice is yours.
Viewing routine changes as positive creates an opportunity for us to incorporate our new skills to help the team score higher. As a competitive team sport, a key goal is to put our best routine on the floor at competition time and to not hold back!
Viewing routine changes as a negative may result in a fear of failure, a fear of trying something new and a desire to stay in our comfort zones. Approaching changes in this way is likely to lead to resistance to change, and ultimately holding back on putting the best routine on the floor at competition time.
At Evolve, we encourage our athletes to set challenging, achievable goals, to pursue higher skills and to set the bar high, and to not be afraid to make mistakes along the way. By constantly pushing the boundaries of our comfort zone we give ourselves the best chance to achieve our goals, ultimately leading to a sense of achievement both personally and for the team.
A positive environment is crucial for success
Evolve All Stars core philosophy is to foster our athletes development in a safe, positive and friendly environment. We love seeing the bonds formed between our athletes and that our teams have become family, not just friends. Our team is there to support us in the pursuit of personal and team goals. As coaches, we are so happy that our athletes have the right people cheering them on. The most amazing thing about being a cheerleader at Evolve is that you are not alone. You are part of a community of athletes who will support you and help you to ‘cheer your heart out’.
Evolve All Stars is a cheerleading gym established in the City of Casey in 2017. Now in our second season, our club is growing quickly, with over 100 recreational and competitive athletes in our programmes. As a family run business, we welcome anyone interested in All Star Cheer to get in touch and find out more about the range of exiting teams and classes we will be offering for all ages and abilities in 2019.