Wednesday, March 30, 2011

SNCC 2011 PS - XWonder

SNCC 2011 is over and everyone finally has a big load off their shoulders. A week has past now and the euphoria of winning or the sorrow of defeat by everyone should have more or less settle down; celebrations and emo-ing are over, and it did took me sometime to calm down and write this post with a cool head. It is the time now to move on and start the new season a fresh. Before we do so, we always take stock of the previous season to learn from the mistakes and build on the successes.

For XWonder, SNCC 2011 was the 1st time we took part in a partner stunt competition. You can say that it was more of me wanting to join than Snow. I always thought that we should at least join 1 PS competition before we finally retire from competitive cheerleading, as PS is what we trained ourselves a lot in, and what XWonder was built on from the start. I want to experience what it is like to join a PS competition so that I can share our experiences and feelings to others. Even though we did not win, we learnt a lot from it, some of the things we might not have learn or get to experience if we had won.

From every defeat, you learn something about yourself, your reaction to it and how you handle it. For me as I was walking out of the mats after the competition, there was just a huge feeling of major disappointment. I am sorry if I walked out glumly and not like how a cheerleader should be like, cheering on others no matter what. However I really cannot control my emotions then as I failed my stunts, even the stunts which I usually had no problems with, and then the finale stunt did not hit as well. I simply cannot bring myself to smile and cheer to the crowd after such a bad performance. However I will learn from this and hope to be able to show everyone the right cheerleading spirit when I take the stage again in future.

During the routine itself, lots of different emotions are going through my mind, from the time I prep for the 1st stunt, as we moved on and then after failing a stunt. I have to say that I was really very nervous when I prep for the beginning and it felt like my mind was separated from my body. I guess the stress was too big for me to handle and I did not perform well under that kind of stress. I cannot really remember what exactly happened as I was performing through the routine, all I know is that with each failed stunt, more and more disappointment sets in and totally demoralized me to the extent that I was not even focused on doing the stunt so much so that even the stunt that I always hit failed too.

What I learnt from this is that everyone has to learn to manage their stresses, some have more tolerance than others and you need to find out where’s your level at. Also find out if you can perform in front of crowd and whether the adrenaline can make you perform better or worse. For me, being out there, just the 2 of you, with too much stress and expectation on myself can really make you become so nervous that you will not be able to perform to your max capabilities. This might sound like an excuse, but no it isn’t, I take all responsibility and blame for the failure, but at the same time, I want to share how it feels out there. And my advice to people taking part in future PS competition to really go out there with a very confident routine and leave nothing to chance. As long as a stunt felt like it might not hit sometimes, when you go out there onto the mats, you will definitely be affected and do not hope that the adrenaline will take you through because it might not.

Other than the competition itself, there is also the training and if you never trained for a PS competition before, or tried doing a chain of PS for 1 minute, you should try it, even if you are not intending to join any PS competition. I have done both running a 2min30sec team routine and also a 1min group stunt routine and both are damn tiring for me. But after I tried PS training for a 1min PS routine, the other 2 pales in comparision; I think it is the most intense and tiring of the 3 different category. This is only true for bases though, for flyers I don’t think they feel as tiring as a base for PS (Snow thinks it is not tiring at all and can keep going and going). I know that I definitely have to improve on my stamina and endurance in order to do better and be more consistent the next time. Everyone should really try training a 1min PS routine even if you are only competing in the team category, because at the same time you will be training your team routine stamina and makes doing PS in the middle of the routine much easier. I highly recommend PS training especially for bases, it test your limits to the maximum.

Besides dealing with the “physical tortures” during the process of PS training, one have to deal with the mental aspect as well. This is especially so if you are competing together with your GF/BF, it is a totally different ballgame altogether compared to just stunting with a teammate or friend. Though I knew before this that stunting with your GF/BF can lead to quarrels sometimes, but only after really training for PS competition that I found out that it takes it to a whole new level. So for would be PS couples please beware. Haha. For PS stunting with teammates, even if you have disagreements during training sometimes, it ends there. But for couples, the disagreements and quarrels may continue on the way home and on the phone and even the next day. And usually teammates hold back their unhappiness, but for couples we usually just let fly. Lol. For Snow and myself, this journey together training for PS has made us more understanding of each other and also more enduring. And for Snow she even came up with a way to cope with whatever unhappiness she might feel if we fail a stunt or routine – that is to collect money from me each time a stunt fails so she will feel better even when a stunt fail. And guess how much she “earned” over this period? Over $1,000!!

Anyway even after some of the difficulties I said above, I really would still encourage couples to join the PS competition together. Not only will you learn a lot about yourself, but also of each other and how together as a couple can handle the collective stresses together. There are also a lot of fun times and happy times, especially when the stunts hits perfectly, you will get double the joy too and the joy spills over after training too and you can be very happy till at least the next training. Thinking and planning the routine together also adds that extra satisfaction. Joining as a couple also has that extra meaning to it, even if you may not be out to win, as compared to pairing up with a very good base/or flyer and going all out to win. It is an extra special journey that you can share with your GF/BF, something which team or group category cannot give you; you do it together, win or lose it is always/ and only the 2 of you.

So this pretty much sums up my journey with Snow joining the SNCC 2011 PS competition, from training to the actual performance. The experiences we had this time and lessons learnt will ensure that we will do better in future, and I also hoped that it may help anyone who is reading this and intending to join PS competition in future. The above are purely my own accounts and it totally varies from every individual, so the best is still to participate, path out your own journey and experience it for yourselves.

P.S: Since 2005 I have not experience any loss; and I have lost the true feeling of being a cheerleader for some time, the feeling of failing a stunt in a competition and the feeling of losing – it totally sucks. In that 1 split moment after the competition, all that feeling comes back to me in an instant. You will never truly win if you never experience defeat before. This is a timely reminder for me and a 1 time big 1 in the face, I will be back stronger than before!!

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