Everyone likes a good celebration. As a coach you should celebrate the small victories of your teams and athletes. Everyone celebrates Sally getting her tuck, but why not celebrate Sally progressing from throwing her head back to keeping it in when learning her tuck too? Add celebrating Sally landing that tuck for the first time when running the routine at practice, and again the first time landing that tuck at a competition. The more you celebrate, the more your athletes know they are making progress and you are proud of them, the harder they’ll want to work. I also think it makes the athletes that are around the celebration work harder so they’ll be the ones celebrated next time.
During practice you should stunt on lines. This makes it clear when stunts are moving side to side, which is more noticeable to judges than moving front to back. Not only does it make it clear to you, the coach, it makes it clear to the stunt group without the need for you to say anything, and having self-correcting athletes is the ultimate goal.
Remember, I’m saying you should do this at practice. In competition do what makes your routine look the best.
This is something I made my teams do in the past, but got away from. Kenny Feeley of Spring Tumbling reminded me of this at their Helsinki coaches conference. It’s a simple thing that will make your stunts more aware of their movement, allowing them to fix it on their own.
The first tip is probably going to be the easiest and at the same time the least followed. It is to drink more water. A significant portion of your body is water and you need to refresh and replenish it to keep your body healthy. It will have a positive impact on your life. It will help your body better recover from practice so you’ll be more ready to go at the next practice or workout. My minimum recommendation is to add drinking a glass within an hour of going to bed and to drink another glass as soon as you wake up. This will at least start and end your day the right way.
Improvement is a gradual thing. It’s very unlikely we’re going to find a breakthrough that moves us 10 steps forward. It’s much more likely we’ll have 10 incremental, small improvements that each move us 1 step forward. Over the course of this season my plan is publish 1 thing a week that will help us take 1 step forward, starting a little later today.
It’s likely you’ll already know some of them and others will be so simple that you’ll wonder why you haven’t thought of them. Some of the ideas come from my friends in the industry and I’ll do my best to give them credit for them.
And for the record I don’t yet have enough tips to make it through the season, so if you have any please contact me.