Nationals season is quickly approaching, and as a veteran it’s time to step up and lead your team through one of the most exciting and challenging competitions of your life. You’ve been preparing all season for this event, and now it’s time to put your game face on!

  1. Prepare Yourself

Know your routine forwards and backwards. The music and crowd will be louder at nationals than it has sounded at any practice or showcase. When you practice full-out, practice counting for your teammates. It’s a great way to build up your endurance for a jam-packed routine, and it will keep the whole team in sync.

Stay humble, confident and focused. You’re a seasoned veteran who has experienced the big competition stage, so remember to lead by example for your new teammates. If you look disconnected, intimidated or distracted from the team, others will follow in your footsteps. Keep your chin up and be confident in your skills.

  1. Prepare Your Stunt Group

Keep the counts slow in your mind, and remember to stay calm and positive. Each stunt requires everyone to be 100% focused to hit. Don’t let one drop during warm-ups create a domino effect for your stunt group. Learn from it, let it go, and build your stunt group back up with encouragement and confidence.

Don’t let nervous energy get in the way of your technique. When we get nervous, we tend to rush our technique and rely on strength; but sound technique is what will make your stunts hit at the top and set your team apart from the competition!

  1. Prepare Your Team

Before the big trip, write down a list of every item your team could possibly need for nationals. Then, get together with the other captains or seniors and make a “nationals survival kit” for everyone. Fill up water bottles with anything from bobby pins to athletic tape to words of encouragement.

Win or lose, you need to be a poised and positive leader for your team. Demonstrate confidence and excitement walking on and off the mat. Remember to build your teammates up at each practice, warm-up and performance. You’ve come a long way this season and now is the perfect time to show off the skills you have all worked so hard for.