Pre-Camp Prep-Work

I recently was talking with my mother-in-law about an old cheer book my school still has from the 1940's. She then proceeded to say a cheer that she was taught at NCA Camp in Dallas by the legendary Lawrence Herkimer the founder of NCA! Seeing the look on her face as she recited the cheer that she learned over 65 years ago reminded me how memorable cheer camp is. 

Cheer Camp will be one of the most memorable experiences for your cheerleaders. While it takes a lot of effort to get your team registered and coordinate all the logistics for camp, make sure you are doing the pre-camp prep-work so they are ready! 

While some coaches may have the philosophy that it is camp where the team will learn what they need to know for the year, you are going to get a lot more out of camp if you have taught them the basics prior. To make the most out of camp, put some prep-work in before going to camp. The work you put in now can make a noticeable difference in the skills your team will learn.

Learn the camp agenda

I typically take my teams to two different types of camps. One is focused solely on stunting. The other was a traditional camp such as a UCA/NCA/USA/FCC Camp. Find out what your team will be doing at camp. Then, practice and know your team so when it is time to put them in formations or stunt groups you can quickly put your team in the right positions. If there is a jump contest or a tryout for All American, have an idea before camp which cheerleaders you will select for these. Let your team know prior to camp how you will select these individuals.

Plan your stunt groups

Camp is not the time to begin figuring out your stunt groups and who will be in each position. Camp should not be the first time they stunt. Spend practice time solidifying the main positions of each team member. As a team, practice how you will load into stunts and dismount. Even if you have a brand new team, have synchronized thigh stands or preps. If you are more advanced, make sure your entire team is loading and dismounting from their liberties the same way. The goal is to have polished stunts that you can safely execute. So, when you go to camp, you can advance from that point. If you go to camp with very little practice, then you may spend a large amount of time perfecting a skill that could have easily been perfected at practice. You want to leave camp with new and more advanced skills, so make sure you have the basics prior to camp.

Prepare your team to mix it up

While point #2 says to plan your stunt groups, it does not mean those groups are permanent and set in stone. Make sure your team knows ahead of time that you will be mixing it up and they will stunt with other members on their team. When they are prepared prior to camp, then they will be less likely to get upset if you change the stunt groups.

Drill motions

If you are going to a traditional camp where they will teach cheers and dances, they will likely be competing for ribbons each day. They learn a great deal of material in a day and it is a lot to remember. While you should fix motions at camp, it is not the time to teach your team what a high V should look like. If their motions are correct at practices prior to camp, then they are going to be more synchronized when they learn a new cheer at camp and when they perform.

Teach jumps

Your routines will likely have jumps in them and they will likely have a jump class. Just like with motions, it is difficult to teach jumps while they need to incorporate it in a routine. Their jump incorporation will look better if they have learned them in advance. Also, if they have the basic jump technique, then they will pick up on additional information to make their jumps better.

Make sure to schedule practices prior to camp, so you will be ready! Just think what your team will accomplish if they can go to camp with some level of team experience. If your team leaves camp feeling like they are extremely improved, it will give them more confidence and further motivate them.

Be ready for camp with Stunt School 2.0. You will receive lifetime access to more than 100 stunts and drills as well as a number of training videos. Coach stunts with confidence – find out more Click here. 

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