Hydrate before practice and bring water, a large towel to sit on for stretching, and any medical necessities (inhalers, protective sports eyeglasses, if needed, etc.). Appropriate dress for practice: sneakers, cotton shorts and t-shirt and hair pulled back into a ponytail. Take off ALL jewelry before the start of practice, and make sure fingernails have no polish.
Tick and mosquito repellant should be brought or applied before practice.
Eating for Energy Source: About.com Guide
Diet and nutrition are often overlooked aspects of training and conditioning for Cheerleaders. Learn what to eat before a practice, competition, game or tryouts - Eating for Energy.
As in any sport, diet and nutrition are important to Cheerleaders. A proper diet can help build strong muscles, keep your mind alert, give you energy and enhance your performance. Simply said, "Food fuels your body and mind."
There is so much focus on the appearance of Cheerleaders, they sometimes become victims of fad diets, fast weight loss and improper nutrition. Don't give in and fall into these ruts. Cheerleading is a high energy sport that takes fast thinking, good coordination and strong muscles. It is far better to maintain a healthy and nutritious diet, get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and exercise, to keep your body in peak condition for optimal performance. You are what you eat; eat healthy and be healthy.
Without getting into too much physiology, your body needs carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy. Proteins are the basis for your muscles and fats/oils help with your nerves and hormones among other things. A proper diet should include all of these, but the key to maximum performance is the ratio you intake. An athlete should eat a balanced diet that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and adequate in protein.
Follow these simple guidelines of what to eat before, during and after you perform, compete, or tryout.
What to Eat and When
Before •Eat high carbohydrate foods like bread, pasta, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Carbohydrates are digested quickly and provide glucose to the muscles. Stay away from dairy products and too much protein like greasy hamburgers, pizza, ice cream, and cheese. Avoid soda pop and candy bars. They can give you a quick burst of energy, but it will drop quickly, leaving you feeling spent.
•Timing your meal from 1 to 4 hours before strenuous activity will help keep plenty of blood glucose available for your muscles.
•It is also important to drink plenty of water to keep your muscles hydrated.
During •Drink plenty of water. Exertion and perspiration deplete your body of fluids and can lead to dehydration. It is recommended you drink at least a half of cup of water for every twenty minutes of exercise or strenuous activity.
•If your activity is hard and continuous, over 90 minutes, drink a sports beverage or a drink with sugar added.
After •This is the time to eat protein to replenish what you lost during your physical activity, but don't overdo it. Remember protein can not only come from meats but is also present in dairy products and eggs.
•Replace carbohydrates if your activity was long and exerting.
•Replace any potassium or sodium that has been lost during competition or training by eating fruits, vegetables and salty foods.
•Continue to replace fluids.
Knowing what foods your body needs for energy will payoff in your athletic accomplishments. Eat smart and you'll perform better.
What Makes a Cheerleader Great Tips on going from good to great in cheerleading Source: About.com Guide, Author Valerie Ninemire
Have you ever wondered what sets a great cheerleader apart from the rest of the squad? What makes her or him so special? And more importantly, how can you raise the level of your cheering from good to great.
Sure, the best cheerleaders are dedicated and very determined, but aren't you that way too? So, let's look at some things and then you can analyze the differences to see if or where you're lacking on what it takes to be a great cheerleader.
•Are you willing to try new things? Not just for yourself but for the overall benefit of the squad?
•Do you help your team mates? If you see a squad member struggling with a skill will you stop to offer constructive advice and help?
•Do you work on your cheerleading skills every day? Do you realize you can always improve something? And that Cheerleading is made up of a lot different aspects, i.e. voice, motions, jumps, dance, stunts and gymnastics, that all need work.
•Are you aware that your behavior and attitude are a big part of being a cheerleader? Do you work on these areas?
•Are you involved in the community? Do you volunteer to help younger people?
•Have you reached the point that you know you're not just a cheerleader at practice, a game or a performance? You're a cheerleader all the time, regardless of where you are or what you're doing.
•Can you follow directions and take constructive criticism?
Some of the best cheerleaders have to work the hardest on their skills, but they have what it takes to be great on the inside. They have a cheerleading heart and attitude. A squad can only be as good as its weakest member, so it benefits everyone to raise the level of cheerleading throughout the whole team and this what being a team player is all about.
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