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Natasha Wang recently shared this article on what to eat before exercising to get competitors ready to perform their best! Click here to read! With that she shared some inspirational words. “1) Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s best to take the last few days off before a competition to ‘rest’ your body. Yes, take it easier – no more marathon 12-hour training sessions – but remember to run your routine at least twice per day in the days leading up to the comp so the movement is fresh in your muscle memory. It’s also important that you focus during these training sessions. Instead of spending 2 hours mucking around on the pole before you run your routine, thus wasting what valuable remaining energy you have, once you arrive at the studio, do a proper warm up, put on your music, turn on your video camera, and GO! Refine the passes and tricks AFTER you’ve done your run-throughs and can evaluate your performance on camera. 2) Make sure and run your routine in full, in costume, to ensure there aren’t wardrobe malfunctions. And if there are, there’s boob tape for that. No excuses for point-deducting nip slips — or worse — on stage! 3) Visualize your routine every second you get. In the car, in the shower, before you sleep, in the loo…lots of studies have shown that visualization dramatically improves your physical performance…and you can do it in your pajamas. 4) Eat properly the day before and day-of the comp. If you’re competing in the morning, eat a carb-heavy dinner the night before and a light, easily digestible breakfast 2-3 hours before the comp (my mainstay is oatmeal on day of comps). If you’re competing in the afternoon, eat a hearty breakfast and a light carb-based lunch 2-3 hours before you hit the stage. If you’re competing at night, have a hearty breakfast and lunch, and a snack 1-2 hours before performance. Some good tips can be found here: 5) Pack up your competition bag the night before. Make sure you have your costume, grips, snacks, bottled water, boob tape, post-comp outfit, warm-up sweats, yoga mat, iPod with music, foam roller, etc. 6) When you’re at the event, be nice to your fellow competitors backstage and help create a supportive, convivial atmosphere. No cattiness or competitiveness! This will help you GREATLY in reducing pre-performance jitters, and thus will help your on-stage performance in the end. 7) Before you go on stage, reduce nervousness by taking slow deep inhales and exhales. I also always remind myself that I am so lucky and blessed to have a healthy, functioning body when there are so many in the world who do not. Celebrate how blessed you are by giving the judges and audience your everything on stage. 8) Finally, once the results are announced and if they are not to your liking, do not ruin the triumphs of your fellow competitors by saying you were robbed, or the judges’ decisions were flawed or biased. We’ve all felt the disappointment of not doing our best, or not winning that trophy, but a sore loser isn’t inspirational for anybody. If this wasn’t your time to stand on the podium, use this as ammunition for your next competition, to work harder and more focused! Hard work will always be rewarded – even if it’s not a trophy, it’s the satisfaction of knowing you did your best (and having a killer video for YouTube.) And if today was YOUR DAY, celebrate! And make sure you thank your choreographer, home studio, trainer, costume designer, friends and family, because they’ve all helped you get there. Good luck everyone!!!!”

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