A cheer coach is responsible for a long laundry list of things–including every cheerleader on the team, their belongings, and their safety! Being a cheer coach is far from a simple job, and it gets downright stressful most of the time. As a coach, you have to uphold the team’s motivation, positive attitude, and cooperation; you have to make sure you coordinate travel arrangements, practice schedules, and team events like photo day or fundraising efforts. And let’s not forget about all the planning and stress that goes into transporting your team to summer training camps! Since cheerleading is a yearlong activity, a cheer coach’s responsibilities never cease, so keeping a few things on-hand makes the juggling process a whole lot easier. Here’s a list of four things that all coaches must have:

1. A whistle. It seems like constantly blowing a whistle at your cheerleaders would render you like a drill sergeant, but it’s definitely the most effective way to get their attention! We’re talking cheerleaders here–little socialites who love to talk! Plus, if you’re coaching a travel team, a whistle can cut through any noisy bus ride and bustling competition parking lot. It’s all about team safety and a whistle will make sure your cheerleaders know exactly where you are at all times… whether they’re paying attention or not!

2. A clipboard and pencil. You’ve seen them practice the routine almost a thousand times, and have even busted out a video camera to make sure you correct the glaring mistakes. But you can’t film them every time! A clipboard makes it easy to take notes on any noticeable flaws during practice, so it doesn’t slip your mind when it’s time to give your team your end-of-the-day critiques. A clipboard also doesn’t involve battery power, making it the most dependable item in your arsenal.

3. A solar phone charger. Speaking of battery life, make sure you have an extra phone charger with you at all times–and a solar one at that! You’re not only the team coach, but also the team chaperone that must communicate any emergencies with all of the cheer parents if anything happens. You would be in pretty deep water if travel plans go awry and your team gets stuck en route to a competition without the parents knowing what is going on. Or perhaps an unfortunate injury happens during practice and a dead phone doesn’t allow you to call the hurt cheerleader’s parents to explain the situation; those parents would not be your biggest fans! A solar phone charger charges your phone off the sun, so you’ll have a full battery wherever you may be.

4. A dependable bag. With all of these necessary coaching items, you need a bag to hold them (along with all of your personal essentials, like your wallet and your car keys!) A small bag is great for practice and around town since it can compartmentalize your daily needs, such as the Chassé Micro Duffle Bag from Omni Cheer. You probably also need a bigger bag that can withstand all the cheerleading excursions you might embark on, so a travel bag like the Chassé Dream Duffle is perfect to sling over your shoulder on the road–especially with it’s comfortable padded shoulder-strap! Both of these bags can be bought with a cheer imprint or your team name embroidered on them, making it an easy and inexpensive way to proclaim to the world that you’re proud to be a cheer coach!

Are you a coach and have other items that you cannot coach without? Tell us your must-have coaching items in the comments below!