It’s that time of year again! We’re heading to the end of another cheer season, which can only mean one thing: team placements are coming up!
We often have athletes approach us in the final term of the year, anxiously asking whether or not we think they will make a certain team, or if we think they can get a certain tumbling skill by the end of the year. While it is fantastic to see so many athletes taking their training and progress seriously, the first piece of advice we always give athletes is “relax”.
Tumbling can be stressful at the best of times and putting too much extra pressure on yourself as an athlete can be counter productive. Rather than focusing entirely on the destination (which team you will be placed on) it is a better idea to focus on the journey (working hard in tumbling classes to hone your skills). That way you can get the most out of your practices and feel proud of the work you have accomplished, no matter the result. If you focus on relaxing you will not only enjoy your training more, but you will probably do a better job when asked to perform your skills. It is important to remember that coaches are not only looking to see if you can do the skill, but if you can do it with confidence, style and skill.
A few other points to remember for athletes include:
- Coaches want you to succeed: Don’t be too stressed coming into team placements. No coach wants to see an athlete crash and burn on a tumbling pass, and we are not here to make your life difficult. We will set up placement day so that you have the best possible chance of succeeding. Trust and talk to your coaches, we are here to help!
- It’s about the work you have done over the past 12 months: It is exciting to see athletes coming into the gym to gain new skills in the final months of the season, but I would encourage athletes to remember that tumbling is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistent hard work throughout the year will always yield stronger results than a ‘mad-dash’ for skills at the end of the year.
- Safety first: As with all practices/competitions/events, coaches will be primarily concerned with your safety. New skills can take some time to settle into the body, and if coaches have any concerns about your safety, they may not ask to see certain skills. If you have a Back Tuck which you only land 3/10 times, don’t be offended when you are not asked to perform it on the floor.
- Don’t lose skills after placements!!!: This is a big pet-peeve for coaches. If an athlete performs a skill at tryouts, we expect to be able to put it into the routine the following season. There is nothing more frustrating than an athlete whipping a skill out once a year in order to get onto a team, only to then refuse to train or compete that skill (for whatever reason). Consistency is key.
- Teams are created for the benefit of the athletes and the gym: At no point in this process will MCA be looking to punish athletes or limit their contributions to our program. It can be disappointing if or when athletes are not placed on their team of choice, but I would ask everyone to remember that coaches make decisions which we believe are best for our athletes. Pushing athletes into teams for which they are not yet ready will only make them miserable in the long run, as they will struggle to meet requirements. Please trust that coaches want what is best for you, and that we put a great deal of thought and consideration into team placements.
We hope you all enjoy your tumbling training for the rest of the year, and that you all have lots of fun as you prepare for team placements!