With the many benefits that come from co-ed teams in cheerleading, at times there may be some conflict. One issue that teams often seem to run into is dating drama among members. Here are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with dating drama as a coach or team member.

If you date a teammate...

Don't keep it a secret. Your coach and teammates need to know what is happening because you all have to work together doing dangerous stunts. If there is anything that might disrupt the synergy of the group or make anyone uncomfortable, your teammates deserve to have that information.

Think it through. You'll need a lot of maturity to handle dating a teammate, so you should be mature enough to think about your options. Make sure that you are 100% comfortable with the situation. Consider how it might affect you and your teammates if the relationship ends badly. Would you be comfortable with still having to see and work closely with that person everyday? If not, would you have to quit the team?

Save the drama. If you bring relationship drama to the mat, there will be consequences. You could get benched or even suspended from the team.

If you have any doubts about the outcome of dating a teammate, you probably shouldn't do it.

If your teammates are dating...

Never compromise your safety. When two people are close, it can increase their ability to work well together. However, if you are on a team with two people that are dating and going through a rough time, always speak up if you feel like it will impact your safety.

Be understanding. As long as a couple keeps their relationship professional on the mat, it isn't any of your business. Don't be the cause of drama by creating tension where there isn't any.

Don't take sides. If something does go wrong with teammates that are dating, stay neutral. You should worry about the team, not about siding with one person or another during their personal fight. If one of them is a good friend that is offended by your decision, remind them that they made the choice to get into this situation and that it isn't personal, it's about the team.

Overall, keep an eye out for situations that might interfer with the team, but otherwise try to stay out of other people's personal lives.

If you coach a coed team...

Take action from the beginning. Let the members of your team know that if they are going to pursue a relationship with a teammate, it needs to be handled in a mature manner, and that drama needs to be checked at the door.

Prepare for the situation. It is likely that teammates will date on a coed team. Prepare yourself by thinking out possible outcomes, and planning ways to deal with them. That way, before addressing any situation, you'll know the right approach and it will be easy to handle any circumstances.

Make tough calls. If you have a star team member, but he or she is the root of dating drama, don't hesitate to bench or suspend them. This will send the right message to them and the team "“ you have a zero tolerance policy for any kind of drama, from anyone.

Conflict can make a team stronger, but it can also tear them down. A hands-on approach to dealing with the issue of team dating is the best way to make sure your coed team focuses on being fun, dynamic and different.