Coaching is like Christmas
and Halloween wrapped up into April Fool’s Day! It doesn’t have to be Halloween
to be scared, so here are the top most terrifying cheer coach moments.10. First meeting your new team.
You have no idea what you’re going to get–they could
be incredible, lazy or mean! Then, you have to wait patiently for their true
colors to come through because we all know that in the beginning, it’s all
about giving the best impression.9. The nightmares.
like legit wake-you-up-from-your-sleep coachmares.
You may not think this is a
serious thing, but let me tell you, you are not a real coach unless you have
had at least ONE competition or practice nightmare.8. The lack of control over your own emotions.
Here you are, thinking you have your life together and then BAM! You experience
nerves, anxiety, stress, frustration, anger and depression all at one time.
It’s terrifying when you cannot get yourself together. 7. A cheerleader falling ill.
so this isn’t my own experience, but a very close friend of mine experienced
this as a coach. Her own child became extremely ill the night before a national
competition. They kept a throw up bucket on the side of the mat–it was that
bad. She was such a trooper; she still went out and performed.6. The practice (and week) prior to competition.
Is it just a Coach
Brittany’s team tradition? The practice prior to competition
is like rock
bottom. Or, if rock bottom had a rock bottom–that’s what it would be. Everything
falls: bows, shoes, flyers, tumblers, your hopes and dreams. It is a lingering
terror, too. You cry, they cry. You go home on edge and on competition day, you
replay that practice in your head a thousand times.5. The Illegal Stunt.
You worked hard to make it and teach it. The
cheerleaders’ worked hard to perfect it, and make it all you hoped for. They
hit, it’s glorious… and it’s also illegal. That deduction on the score sheets
could cost your team everything, which is scary in itself, but it is downright gut
wrenching knowing that it will all be your fault.4. Something so small can be absolutely horrifying.
The random object
hitting the mat: a shoe, a bow, a pair of glasses… no matter how tiny that
could realistically be, it looks magnified on the mat. Are they going to pick
it up? Who tied that shoe in the first place? I knew I she should have
double-checked her bow…3. The dreaded stunt fall.
It happens. We don’t know why. It could be the
entire pyramid, shoulder sit or a thigh stand. It just doesn’t matter. The gasp
from the crowd, the look on the cheerleaders’ faces, and the complete looks of
disgust that you IMAGINE are on the judges’ faces (even though they’re actually
not). There is no denial that stunt falls are every single coach’s and cheerleader’s
worst nightmare.2. Not being able to help calm your team
prior to hitting the mat.
Perhaps you didn’t even realize this as a
but it is. It kind of goes hand-in-hand with number one. You
feel their nerves and they feel yours. As they stand in the circle with their
heads bowed, sweaty hand in sweaty hand, all of your energy just mixing into a
big pile of mush covered in glitter, hair spray and a fake smile. We seriously
need to figure out a stress and nerve release that communicates, “You got this,
go out there have fun and smile.” Right–pots meet kettle.1. The loss.
I am sure some of you
are looking at this list going, “Her moments are not ordered right.” To you,
they may not be. I’m emotional, so my terrifying moments are moments that can’t
necessarily be forgotten. What comes along with that stunt fall, or that no-call,
no-show? Most of the time, it’s a loss.
Sometimes, they lose to a team that
fell when they hit everything. It doesn’t matter the situations that lead up to
it; those things happened, you dealt with it, and we are in the present. The
look on their faces–so full of disappointment, confusion and heartache–is scary
to even anticipate. It’s something you can’t help or solve with words. It takes
time to mend those shattered hearts, time to regain confidence and bounce back
from that loss. Time, in itself, is scary; the unknown is horrifying. It’s not
as much as the loss that is scary, it’s them. Those beautiful faces looking to
you for comfort, to be their strength and to smile, to offer a pep talk, but
deep down, you realize it doesn’t hit home to them yet. You telling them how
proud you are isn’t what they need right now, and honestly, it doesn’t matter to
them in that moment of time.
We could go on and on about terrifying moments: personalized moments, specific
moments, but for cheer coaches, it’s just best to outline the hardest hitting
ones.What gives you cheer coaching nightmares? Share us
your spine-tingling coach moments in the comments!