This past weekend, the Spirit Fever Open championship took place in Lausanne. It was a great experience, and I want to thank all the participating teams for making it an awesome day! I’ve witnessed so much support between the different teams, not only on the competition floor, but also in the warm-up hall and on the stands.
What made it awesome
During the run-through of my junior team, I realised (while I was counting through the routine) that there were people standing behind me, counting with me and shouting encouragement. I turned to see a whole team of FCSG Cheerleaders, their actual opponents, rooting for them. Even their coaches! It warmed my heart. How cool is that!?
Right before our seniors went out to compete, we realised we were missing a prop. One of our assistant coaches ran up to the Hummingbirds cheerleaders, our only opponent, and asked to borrow one of theirs as they use the same colors. Without hesitation, they helped us out – even though they were up right after us and needed it themselves.
What a beautiful sport this is! These are, of course, only my personal experiences from the day. What were your impressions? Are there any teams you’d like to thank for their support? Did you form new friendships? Comment below and share your experiences!
What SFO was all about
As it’s one of only two championships in Switzerland, SFO is a valuable experience for athletes. For many, it’s the first time they show their routines in front of a large crowd. For new team members, it’s the first performance ever. Nobody is expected to hit perfectly with their most difficult stunts at SFO. After all, we still have two more months to prepare for Swiss Championships. It’s all about the experience, really.
Moving forward: The difficulty of execution
So now we’re all set, right? We’ve got a good routine, time to relax and wait for Swiss Championships to roll around. Wrong. It’s time for refinement!
In cheer, two kinds of scores are given by a panel of judges. One is for difficulty, the other one for execution. Unfortunately, they are already added up on the scoresheet we receive. So to see if we need to up our difficulty or improve execution, we rely on the comments that the judges add at the bottom and on our own experience in coaching.
Finding the balance between difficulty and execution can be hard. We all want to show the hardest stunts we have, but bad execution makes them dangerous (and ugly). The basic rule has always been: Perfection before progression. Having imperfect basics makes it extremely hard to hit difficult stunts reliably, so it’s worth investing time there. Still, having a high difficulty gives you a higher maximum score, so you can tolerate a few more deductions on execution.
For some teams, it’s back to the basics with a focus on perfect execution now. Others have already hit their routine perfectly, so they’re going to try and up the difficulty. For all of us, it’s important to improve endurance and confidence now, so we can keep up the energy throughout the whole routine.
Results & Videos
I will add the final results and all available videos here as soon as they are released. For now, there’s this archived livestream on the Spirit Fever Youtube channel. I’d like to thank everyone at SFO who was involved in organising this great event. It’s a blessing to have this competition so all Swiss teams can prepare for Swiss Championships. Thank you!
Don’t forget to comment your experiences! I, for one, am so happy and grateful to be part of such a supportive community. See you all at Swiss Championships!