Updated: Nov 21, 2020
I had no idea what I was coming into when I did my first pageant. One thing was clear to me when I signed up to my second pageant was that I needed a coach.
I have worked with 6 coaching so far in pageantry. The key thing to remember in pageantry, as with life, is there’s always more to learn. The moment you think you know it all, is the moment you lose in life. This is exactly where I was in life in my early 20s and since opening my eyes and ears and shutting my mouth more, I have learnt and grown way beyond what I thought was possible. Anyone who knows me, knows I love to talk, but I’m always listening and watching more, so you can image how much I am taking in.
Having a coach gives you a reliable source of pageantry information. A pageant coaches professional expertise is pageantry. Make sure you do your research before picking one and find one that works well for you, as well as for the pageant system you are competing in. If your coach has won the international crown for the pageant you want to win, she is much more likely to know how to get you there, as she has done it before. One of my favourite sayings is, “find someone who has done what you want to do, and copy them.” Please note this doesn’t mean coping who they are, just how they did it. I good coach will know how to keep you on track without you losing yourself.
Don’t think you know better, it blocks up your ears. Take the information on board and compare it to your own thoughts, check your facts, then move forward. Take notes, take more notes and take some notes again. Then read, reread and read once more for good measure. Many coaches will also give you some sort of training pack. Print it out, make more notes on it, sleep with it under your pillow. Sparkles & Rhinestones also have two amazing publications which you can purchase. The Pageant Manual & The Ultimate Pageant Handbook. Rock over to www.instagram.com/sparklesandrhinestonesuk to order yours now.
Maybe someone you admire in the pageant world isn’t a coach. Try asking them for advice or to be your mentor. My highest placing to date is 2nd runner up, but I am still asked for advice on one thing or another. Asking the one in the crown anything, when you are new to pageantry is super scary. I’m the first to say if I don’t know, or I will give advice, but recommend you double check it first. I never tell something as fact unless I fully believe it to be true, but we can all get it wrong from time to time.
My one “beware” is watch out for advise from people in the same category at the same pageant as you. In pageantry the girls are so supportive and anything else is hugely frowned upon. However, some girls may be new to it, might be overly competitive or it might be different in the pageant you are competing in. I have seen some bitterness and spite, so I know it happens and from what I hear (please don’t quote me) it’s often where girls have entered for the wrong reasons. Understandably it is a competition, and no one is going to give away all of their secrets, that’s just silly. To be fair and not put another young lady in an awkward position, always ask someone from a different age group and not someone who is new. Even better try and find someone who has just moved up and out of your age group.
I love the phrase “be a filter, not a sponge”. It’s not about doing everything, everyone tells you to do. But listen to all the advice and run it through your own filter. If “everyone” is saying where Tippy Tops and you don’t feel stable in such a high platform, then don’t where them. A coach or mentor can be a very helpful filter, but in the end, you are your best filter, because you know you best.
Written By Jessica Barclay – Young European International Ms Middlesex