Tight Mind Tribe: ACE works on Mental Toughness for Cheer and Life
Dec 01, 2014
By Alison Arnold Ph.D and Sara Robinson M.A.
ACE Cheer Company strives to prepare their cheerleaders physically and mentally. Last month ACE cheerleaders attended the Tight Mind Tribe Event hosted by our friends from HeadGames, contributors of Mental Tip Monday on iC’s Facebook page. We were excited to learn more from Doc Ali and Coach Sara about their event with ACE Cheer Company.
iC: We saw HeadGames did a Tight Mind Tribe Event for ACE Cheer Company in November. Can you tell us what that was about?
Doc Ali: Yes! We were so excited to team up with ACE to put together a mental toughness clinic just for their teams. It was really awesome to work with all 17 locations in one webinar! Some cheerleaders logged in from home and a few ACE gyms made a big party out of it and put us on the big screen in their gym! With technology, we were able to bring the entire ACE Tribe together and teach them some tools to be mentally tough this cheer season! Over 200 athletes participated!
iC: Very cool! What kinds of things did you work on?
Doc Ali: First we talked to ACE coaches to learn about their strengths and areas to work on, and then created a program just for them. We started by helping their cheerleaders see how the mind and body are connected and how every thought they have affects their body. We wanted to help with fears and blocks so we taught tools that keep their minds “tight” and locked down. Having a tight mind, just like having a tight body, wards off fear and doubt! We also focused on changing frustration and negativity because we know how negative attitudes can influence the energy of the team and negatively affect a workout or performance. Finally, we united the entire ACE Tribe with a common purpose, goal, and mission! It was awesome to see the energy in the virtual “room” as everyone committed to the Vision of the Tribe! They all became a bunch of “tight mind tigers”!
iC: What does it take to be a Tight Mind Tiger?
Coach Sara: A Tight Mind Tiger is a cheerleader who is fierce, focused, and fearless. Sometimes we teach our cheerleaders how to be “more robo less emo”! That means more robotic when they walk into the gym leaving the drama-rama emotional side at the door! We know that cheerleaders spend so much time training stunts, tumbling, and dance, and we help with other important areas of cheerleading: confidence, focus, teamwork, living out your vision, and more. ACE Tribe knows how important these areas are and we were excited to work with their cheerleaders.
iC: More robo, less emo. We like that! Will you keep working with The Tribe?
Coach Sara: We sure hope so! We’ll likely do additional group sessions, or another option for the cheerleaders from ACE or any other cheer club, is our webcamps. It’s a great way for athletes to work on getting more mentally tough, from home, every week. Webcamp is something we’ve been doing for several years, and we’re so excited to now have sessions just for cheerleaders. Three times a week we run a live online session where cheerleaders from around the country can log in from home and learn about how to tame their fears, work through blocks, increase confidence, and more.
iC: That sounds like something cheerleaders would really benefit from. Our readers know that not only is cheerleading physically demanding, but mentally demanding as well. Did you work with ACE parents too?
Doc Ali: The parents were invited to sit in on the session and we had a Q and A at the end of the session for parents as well. The most important thing cheer parents need to know is that cheer is a training ground for life lessons. Everything that happens in cheer will be repeated later in life. So with all situations ask yourself, “How would I want my child to handle this when he or she is 20?” and then teach the life lesson! Cheer is the best training ground!
iC: Thanks for taking the time to share with us and tell us more!
Doc Ali and Coach Sara: Thank you!