Always Be Prepared
1. Cheer Shoes
Your cheer shoes are very important for cheer practice, especially for flyers. They are designed specifically for stunting and tumbling. It is smart to always keep them in your gym bag so that you always have them for practices and competitions.
2. Water Bottle
It is so important to have a water bottle with you during practice. Hydration is very important, especially during a hard practice. Drinking water can help prevent muscle cramps and give your body the energy it needs to perform at the highest level.
Bring a granola bar, trail mix, or a piece of fruit for a healthy snack to give you energy before, during, or after a hard practice.
If you need any extra support from a brace or tape, make sure that you bring them with you and have them in your gym bag at all times. It is hard to give your 100 percent at practice and if you're in pain. If you need the assistance of a brace or tape, you may also be risking injury.
5. Deodorant/Body Spray
You have to work very closely with all of your teammates- especially in group stunts and pyramids. It is a good idea to keep some deodorant and body spray in your gym bag both for your benefit and the benefit of your teammates.
6. Sweat Towel/Face Wipes
A sweat towel may come in handy for male cheerleaders who need to wipe their hands or shoulders for stunts and pyramids. Ladies can find it useful as well. Keep a sweat towel in your gym bag for those times when you need to wipe off some excess sweat. (Just remember to wash it!) Face wipes or baby wipes can also come in handy for the end of practice to wipe any sweat off of your face and neck and to prevent breakouts.
7. Extra Hair Ties/Brush
Hair ties are very important during practice to keep your hair out of your face while performing stunts and tumbling. Just to be safe, keep a few extra hair ties in your gym back so that you are always prepared at practice. A brush can come in handy as well to help put your hair up or to brush your hair after practice.
8. Extra Socks/Shirt/Spanks
Packing some extra clothes in your gym bag can be very useful to have just in case. Extra socks are important to have, especially in the summer, when it is more common to wear sandals. It can be easy to forget to bring socks to practice. If you have an extra pair in your bag at all times, you never need to worry. Having extra spanks and an extra shirt in your bag is helpful for the days when you sweat a lot. It can be uncomfortable to practice in sweaty clothing. If you have another pair of clothes to change into, it will make you more comfortable.
These are important for any muscles that are inflamed or sore. It may be useful to have some in your bag so you can take them before, during, or after practice to help ease your muscles. Just remember to consult a parent or a trainer before taking any medication.
10. BCAAs or Post Workout Recovery
BCAAs or Branch Chain Amino Acids are a great supplement to take for hard workout recovery. They can be taken before, during, or after a workout. There are many different benefits of BCAAs, and they include things like prolonging muscle fatigue, reducing muscle soreness, increasing protein synthesis, and many other things. A protein shake or smoothie can also help with post-workout recovery. For more information on how to choose the right supplements for you, visit NIH for more information on supplements and how to use them.