The MAJORS Athletes Q&A
In a few short days, teams competing at The MAJORS will be arriving in Indianapolis to put on the show of a lifetime! As the big day gets closer and closer, athletes are practicing harder and coaches are nitpicking every aspect of the routine, all to put on a MAJOR production for the fans who will be watching the event. The MAJORS staff caught up with an athlete from each of the teams attending The MAJORS and asked them some questions for tips, advice, and how-to’s. Here’s what they had to say!
LARGE COED DIVISION
- Matt Smith – Cheer Athletics Cheetahs
- Q: What are some good ways to stay in shape outside of the gym that make running the routine easier when practice comes? (at home conditioning circuits, specific exercises, stamina building)
- A: When I’m outside the gym, the best way to stay in shape for my routine is eating healthy. On top of that, running, sit ups, push ups, or just going to tumble for fun at the gym.
- Jordan Lukens – Cheer Extreme Coed Elite
- Q: How do you and other veterans welcome new athletes to the team?
- A: I welcome the new members of the team by making them feel like a regular member of coed. Veterans hold them to the same standard as the other members so we make sure we don’t treat them any different. Also, I think team bonding is an important part in welcoming new athletes. Coed takes part in activities to let everyone get to know each other. We even have a group chat to talk about most everything!
- Malik Bailey – Stingray All Stars Steel
- Q: How do you control your nerves backstage as you are about to perform?
- A: From a personal standpoint, my way of staying focused is making sure my entire team is on the same page and is ready to take the floor. It’s funny because in doing that I myself look like a total spaz… I pace the backstage area checking in on everyone, yelling encouragement, and in some cases making people do jumping jacks with me to stay warm. The worlds announcers last season even joked about how anxious I looked to get out there because all they saw was a guy running around clapping and getting his team excited! I do promise that when I do look like a total spaz, I’m actually at complete peace and am ready to take the mat. So you could say that to get calm and relaxed I do just about the opposite!
SENIOR ALL GIRL DIVISION
- Esther Verges – Cheer Athletics Panthers
- Q: We all know everything is bigger in Texas. What are your secrets to getting the perfect competition hair?
- A: First, you have to have hair that is at least two days dirty (three days if you’re feeling risqué). Next you need a teasing brush- that is an absolute necessity! Next take 1 inch pieces and tease the heck out of each one. It’s absolutely imperative that you spray each 1″ section with hairspray (personally, I like Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play) before AND after you tease each one. A ponytail (I like Goody Ouchless Elastic Thick Ponytailers.. we Texas girls have A LOT of hair!) NOW, to get that fabulous BAB look, put. Then gently form your pouf (this takes a little BAB finesse). Next bobby pin that perfect pouf in place. Put the rest of your hair in bobby pins at the base of the pony tail hair tie facing up ( to help your pony tail stand up more). Then tease each 1″ section of your ponytail (adding hairspray before and after.) Gently smooth over the top of the ponytail with a soft-bristled brush. Add more hairspray. Continue to add hairspray every 15 mins until you”re on deck! And Voilá…. Texas hair!
- Lauryn Hughes – Cheer Extreme Senior Elite
- Q:What types of team bonding activities does your team have that help you become closer outside the gym?
- A: Senior elite is very close this season. At the very beginning of the season we made a group chat with all team members and some coaches. This has helped us become close as team and get to know each other. Also, some weekends when we have practice we go to team dinners or lunches and even once went to play laser tag. This was just something fun that we decided to even after a long day of practice. With no doubt these things have brought closer than any other team I have been on.
- Maria Lane – Fire and Ice 5 Alarm
- Q: What are three things a cheerleader cannot survive without for a competition weekend?
- A: Three things a cheerleader absolutely cannot survive without for competition weekend is hair spray, your uniform, and beats/headphones!
- Taryn Burke – Maryland Twisters F5
- Q: What are some tips you have for other flyers?
- A: My biggest tip to other flyers is to be confident. If you fly with confidence the crowd will be drawn to you! You should take 20-30 minutes out of everyday to stretch your body positions. When you’re in the air make sure you smile and do facials because all eyes are on you! If you love what you’re doing it will come across when you’re flying.
- Caroline Manning – Stingray All Stars Orange
- Q: What types of stretching/conditioning does your team do to make jumps hyper-extended, superbly executed, and timed perfectly?
- A: At The Stingray Allstars we do a lot of strength training for full body, but within that we do lots of leg workouts to gain muscles that will help us out when we are tired. We focus on timing as a team throughout our whole routine. It helps when you’re tired to have a muscle memory to kick in so our jumps can be executed well. From then on we focus strictly on maintaining the same jump technique that we were taught as a team. Consistency is very important so if every team member focuses on using great technique and timing every time they jump, we can all trust that our jumps will be well executed the exact same way they would be at practice! We stretch on our own and sometimes do splits. We jump over and over sometimes with rubber bands, but mainly it is about repetition.
- Lyric Generals – World Cup Shooting Stars
- Q: Describe something about your team that you believe makes you stand out from everyone else.
- A: I believe that Shooting Stars stand out from everyone else because of the traditions and legacies that we’ve carried out for over 20 years. These traditions and legacies definitely help to keep the team together. For instance, we’ve worn our leopard bows since the first Shooting Stars team back in 1994. We also have unconventional music and choreography! Our team has unique themes every year which makes our routines different and exciting to watch. These traditions and legacies make us who we are and without them, we wouldn’t be the same team that we’ve been for the past 20 years.
MEDIUM COED DIVISION
- Deejay Wright – Maryland Twisters Reign
- Q: How do you balance schoolwork, practice, and a social life? What tips do you have for time management?
- A: It’s not easy! However I have a super strong support system that helps keep my life balanced. Not only do I cheer, but I also play football for my high school. So when I’m not practicing with my football team, I’m making my way to cheer. Although my gym is in Maryland, I live in Virginia. Thankfully there are a handful of athletes on my team from the same area so we carpool. Sometimes I have to miss some social events with friends but I know it comes with the territory of being an elite athlete. I cherish the free time I have but love being a part of a team.
- Harrison Milford – Spirit of Texas Purple Royalty
- Q: How we fuel our bodies before we perform is extremely important. What is your favorite pre-competition snack/meal? What kinds of food give you the energy you need to perform?
- A: Before I compete, I like to drink Gatorade for electrolytes, sour patch kids for energy and sugar, and saltine crackers so my stomach won’t get upset.
- Braxton Predmore – Twist and Shout Obsession
- Q: What is your team’s favorite pre-competition ritual/tradition that helps with calming your nerves/getting y’all pumped to perform?
- A: One of our favorite pre-competition rituals is singing. We sing a lot just to help us relax and get ready to put on a show. We’re kind of superstitious in the fact that we don’t split poles for stairways. The entire team has to walk on the exact same side. We’ll break out and circle up with our stunt groups to help motivate each other and let our teammates know that we’re all in it together. Then we’ll circle back up as a team to pray.
We hope everyone is excited to see the talented teams attending this year’s competition. Be sure to follow @MAJORScheer on twitter for updates and watch the action on CheerLive! This year will be the biggest MAJORS yet… 2015 here we come!