The Time is Now!
Over the last few months there has been a steady buildup of excitement for the 2017 NACAI (National Acrobatics Cup & Aerobics Invitational) competition this weekend. I am sure that all of the organizers and volunteers feel like an elastic band stretched to its limit. Starting Friday, May 26th, that elastic band will snap free and fly far and fast!
Organizers have been extremely busy for months and months; nit-picking every detail in order to make sure that the event runs smoothly and is a great success for the athletes and spectators alike.
Volunteers have been engaged in diligently promoting the event and helping organizers with various tasks including vendor and tradeshow coordination, enlisting event sponsors, etc. … not to mention the many, many volunteers who are lined up to help run this weekend’s event. It is true that without them, an event like this would not be possible. We rely on our extensive network of volunteers to supply food and drink for coaches, judges and athletes, help with admissions, registration, transportation and security, assistance with scoring, award presentations, emceeing the event, floor marshaling …. etc., etc., etc.
Coaches have prepared their athletes both physically and mentally for this event. We often forget about the role coaches play in our children’s success. They work long and hard so that our sons and daughters can excel in a sport they love. Playing coach, psychologist, mentor, teacher, first aid responder, mediator, choreographer, etc. We may forget from time to time, but our children never forget, and they are appreciative of all that their coaches do for them. I am sure that, although the coaches are confident in their athletes’ abilities, they are nervous for them and will be cheering them on, hoping they are able to put forth personal best performances.
As for the athletes … each handles the lead up to competition in their own way. Some will be calm and confident, others will be nervous and have stomachs all tied up in knots. Most athletes will work with their coaches and lean on teammates, friends and family to help calm any nerves. One thing is for sure, all the individuals and teams train long hours and do many routine and skill repetitions. They are ready!
“. . . wait for the judge’s signal, take a deep breathe, be confident in your training regime and the skills you have learned, put a smile on your face and walk out on to the floor knowing your best is good enough … and enjoy it!!!!!”
I’d like to think that all of the spectators can sit back, relax and enjoy the fabulous show that these gymnasts put on, but some of the spectators are nervous parents. I have been on the receiving end of many a tight grip on my arm from parents who are “competing” just as hard as their children. Make no mistake – being the parent of a talented high performance athlete is exhausting! We do every move with our children – some of us without breathing until the end of their routines. It may be in our head, but we are as worn out when the competition is done as if we had been out on the floor ourselves. We hope that after all of the hours they put in to training for an event, our talented children don’t get hurt, they perform their routines flawlessly and they are happy with their performances. No matter what the outcome we are incredibly proud of our talented children. They inspire us with their dedication to their sport and with their work ethic. It is wonderful to see your children do something they love.
There are some lucky spectators who are anticipating this weekend’s event only for the opportunity to sit back and see some remarkable routines. They will be treated to high flying, dazzling, well-choreographed, and incredibly well executed performances from both Acrobatic and Aerobic gymnasts alike – two fairly new disciplines that are gaining popularity because of their artistic flair and high energy routines. I intend to be one of these spectators. My daughter and I are eager to see what aerobic gymnastics is all about, watch friends compete in the acrobatic events and see some beautiful routines from gymnasts across the country.
Best of luck to all those competing! Friends and family – don’t forget to breathe! Enjoy the wonderful performances and don’t forget to thank the amazing volunteers and organizers who have worked incredibly hard to make sure the event runs so smoothly that your only concern will be getting to the arena on time and getting a great vantage point to watch the competition from.