Win With The Little Things Judges Hint #1

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Coaches and cheerleaders invest a lot of time and money into a competition routine. You can hire an awesome and very expensive choreographer, have new eye catching uniforms, trendy flashy make up and a bright beautiful bow; hit every stunt and structure and not walk away from the competition with a first place trophy. The importance of the “little things” is often over looked, things that take effort, not skill.

In a recent study, one hundred trained and certified competition cheer/dance judges across the United States were asked the question “What would be the winning factor of a routine in case of a tie, difficulty, clean, or choreography?” The choice by 99% of the judges was CLEAN. So, if I were a coach heading to a competition I would spend time to clean and polish my routine. Clean and simple is better than difficult and messy.

Judges’ comments are seemingly ignored. They are written not only to justify the score given but also as a learning tool for the team to strive for improvement and receive higher scores.  Judges come from different backgrounds and they have divergent pet peeves. A judge coming from a strong dance background will comment on closing the feet, adding levels, watch spacing, needing more formations and flow of the routine. A tumbling coach on the panel will comment on getting legs straight, tight, together, setting back, blocking technique, body position in a layout, and adding combos. A choreographer on the panel will concentrate on transitions and placement of skills, visual effects.

Linda Lundy Owner Cheer Integrity Check back with Cheer News Network this week to get Judge’s Hints every day this week. These tips are provided by Linda Lundy, owner of Cheer Integrity – Cheer & Dance Judges Training. Linda’s judging certifications include: Judging certifications include: USASF Legality, Cheer LTD, American Cheer Power, UCA, COA, United Cheer, Cheer USA  Jam Brands  and Level IV Dance Judge, Dance & Drill Team Directors of America. She has published articles in Cheer Coach and Advisor Magazine and Texas Cheerleader Magazine.

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