Cheerleading: Promoting Positivity For Coaches
Experience has shown that a positive environment in any sport or recreational activity helps your athletes practice and perform better as well as keeping them attracted to that said activity. In this particular article we will discuss how to best be a positive coach for cheerleaders.
Positivity By Using The Correct Wording
Being a positive coach is more than just saying “good job” and “nice work”, although these are great things your athletes need to hear, it also means avoiding statements that the mind takes negatively. Coaches need to be able to make suggestions and corrections to their athletes but in way that still encourages positivity. For example, one of your athletes is doing a tumbling pass of a back handspring layout and she bends her knees in her layout. You say “good job, but your knees were bent.” wrong! This seems appropriate but what this says to the athlete is “your knees are bent” and the brain hears “I bend my knees in my layout” and therefore she/he will likely continue this process of having bent knees because her brain tell her she does. You might instead try saying good job, now lets see that beautiful layout with straight legs. Both statements are meant to accomplish the same thing but the brain this time hears the words “straight legs” as opposed to the negative words “bent legs” in the previous correction to the athlete. Here’s another example “don’t drop that stunt” instead say “lets keep that stunt in the air “or “I know you can keep that stunt in the air.” can you see where both of these statements are meant to correct the same problem but in the latter statements your athletes are only hearing positive words which the brain responds much better to. This process can take some getting used to and practice in getting the wording right but once you do you will notice a difference.
How Does Positivity Help My Athletes Performance?
When your cheerleaders feel good about them selves they will practice and perform with greater strength. It has been shown that when a person feels sad, down or defeated he/or she is physically weaker. You can see where this would affect the ability of a cheerleader to do their best. Cheerleaders require a lot of strength in every aspect of the cheerleading sport. Have ever been really frustrated with your athletes and notice that the more frustrated you are the worse the practice/performance gets? This can be as a result of actual physical weakness in your athletes. You can see how the opposite of this also applies when a person is happy and smiling they are stronger and more confident and as result will perform better. I hope this article has given you a little insight into how to correctly promote positivity and how to use these skills in your next practice or competition. You might also be interested in our program on how to clear cheer fear and mental blocks.