Starting To Cheer At Age 21

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Kaytastrophe

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Jun 27, 2012
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Yessiree!

I'm going to look in to joining an open team with a local all star gym in my area. I've only ever cheered in middle school for about a year, and I was a back spot and base at the time. Now that I'm all old and grey, I figured it would be nice to try cheering again. I can't tumble, haven't done any stunts in ages, and have mediocre jumps at best. Ill be going to next Thursday to sit in/ participate in a practice, so I was wondering what I should expect! It's a level 4.2 team ( the gym owner assured me there was no tumbleing requirement ) and I'm really nervose about going because I'll be joining late and will probably stick out like a sore thumb :(

I was also wondering what you would recommend as far as training/ practicing outside of team practices. (drills, workouts, ect). I haven't really been physically active in ages and I really want to get back up and feeling better, plus I don't know vary many people in my area so I figured I could make a few friends too.

Thanks for reading my rant!

Any advice?
 
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Aussiekat

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Apr 23, 2011
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Congratulations on making the best decision of your life :D I have so much to say but imagine me jumping up and down and squealing for the next 8 hours while I sleep and mull over some sage advice. #southernhemisphereprobz

ETA: Aaaargh! I just used a # on fierceboard #ohwell #judgeme #pleasedontbanme
 

Aussiekat

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The gym I work/live at is almost exclusively adults who started cheer 18+ or older. Most are in their early 20s and all have fallen in love with it. Some observations and personal experiences that might help you out:
  1. Don't doubt yourself before you've even started.
  2. At the same time, don’t do anything you’re not comfortable doing. Cheer pushes your boundaries but there’s nothing wrong or dumb about saying “I am terrified of dropping this person please may I have sixteen spotters and can you show me exactly what I’m supposed to do”.
  3. Train your jumps and your motions. You may not have the tumbling or stunting skills (yet), but there's no excuse for back-row jumps or sloppy motions if you work at it. Use the search bar, there are loads of threads on improving jumps and flexibility.
  4. Outside of training, do basic cardio stuff (swimming, walking, skipping ropes, treadmills, just get your heart going!) and weights to build your strength, fitness and confidence. Attend open gym, that’s where you really get to know coaches and team mates and work on your individual skills. Don’t be afraid to ask the coach for help or advice on skills, it will ALWAYS be better than asking a team mate. There’s a reason they are the coach (most of the time :rolleyes: ).
  5. You are only as good as you want to be. There are those who just want to be social and have fun and they are happy staying at lower levels. Then there are others who saw the potential to make it worlds even though they started late, and decided to do anything to get there. Neither is better than the other as long as YOU are happy.
  6. Never compare yourself to someone else. If you do, you'll give up before you start. There's no way I can fly like someone who has been in the air since the age of 7 and had a double at 8. The only person you should aim to be better than is the person you were yesterday.
  7. You will find your best friends in this sport. It may take you a while to meet them, and they may be all the way across the country or the world, or even underneath you for months before you realise (my base is my bestie :D ) but they are there. The cheer world is the best world in the world!
The fierceboard is a great place to get info and keep in touch. It's partly how I discovered I had the drive within me to work towards worlds and to be honest, without the people I have met here I probably would never have made it through the hard times. Feel free to ask me for help any time :)
 

Aussiekat

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Here's a video of some pretty awesome girls who all started cheer as adults (back is 18, bases are 21 and 25, flyer is 19... I think). Two of them started last year, two this year. Some of the hardest working athletes I've had the pleasure to coach. And they make me bows and cupcakes. What's not to love?! :D
 
May 25, 2012
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Be confident! If you don't want to stick out (and you probably don't but I'm giving you advice anyways), it would be good to stretch your back and splits and just do some extra jumps outside! :) haha if you stretch everyday, you will get better! :)
 
Jan 1, 2010
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Start conditioning now! If you start to wean your body into shape now, you'll be able to walk the day after practice. Cheer uses so many muscles you don't realize you have, so try to get in full body stretching/workouts now, so you'll feel more comfortable. This will especially help with stunting and jumps, which I'm sure you'll do first.
In regards to tumbling, I would hold off for a while until you're back into the swing of things. When you do start, start with basics, and work on perfecting them instead of trying for new skills. I'd rather have a perfect handstand or frontwalkover than a BHS that will prevent you from walking ;) Good luck with it! I'm glad your showing people that cheer doesn't really have an age limit.
 

Kaytastrophe

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Jun 27, 2012
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Thanks for all the responses everyone! I'm definitely going to try some of those workouts:) I have to admit that I definitely stretched some bits and pieces that I didn't even know I had last night :). The coaches said that they would get back to me later but seeing how good everyone else is makes me really want to work towards that! Even if I don't make the team I'm definitely going to try taking some classes and shaping up so that I can try again next year. I'm a rugby player and even I find cheer challenging, which is exactly why i want to do it!

Also; I based yesterday and didn't kill/ maim/ otherwise harm my flyer! Hurrah for me! I'm glad to know that basing uses a lot more leg muscle than I expected. My arms are like soggy spaghetti so if I had to rely more on them, things would have went verryyyy differently :)...

Thanks again everyone! I'll be sure to update either way once I hear back.
 
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Oct 26, 2010
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I'm SO glad I found this thread! I am 19 and want to do an open 4 team but with little experience I wasn't sure if it'd work out. I wish I had a gym near me with a O4 but the closest one I know of is Top Gun in Miami. I hope I am able to find one and join!
 
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