Coaching is no easy feat, especially when things don’t go your way throughout
the season. As a coach, you’re the one making the tough calls; the one that has
to motivate the team to bounce back after a big loss; the one that has to make
perfect arrangements for travel, ordering, etc. You have to be on your game at
all times, with a whole team of kids and their parents depending on you, and
that pressure compounds with whatever is going on in your personal life.
Sometimes, you wish you could break down and cry, crumpled up into a ball on
the floor, and swear off this whole coaching thing for good. But, there is
something inside you that won’t let that happen. That little voice in your head
saying that you can and WILL get through this isn’t you losing your mind–it’s
you being a natural born leader.
Whether you believe it or not, you have led the team even before you met your
squad. The minute that you signed up to coach cheer, you started making
decisions to better your chances at winning those competition trophies, or
wowing the crowd at halftime performances. Schools and organizations don’t fund
your sport–your efforts do. Sure, the parents foot the bill, but you have to
convince them that their money is being invested into the success of their
child. You also have to fundraise strategically anywhere money falls short
throughout the year. You balance budgets, you work within time constraints, and
you jump through hoops to get the best deals on cheer gear. You are the one
truly building the team’s foundation!
If that’s not enough, you’re also the go-to problem solver. Your team looks to
you for not only guidance, but clarification on rules, routines, and more! You
put in the hours to mold your athletes into competitors–both physically and
mentally. As the coach, you set the tone for the team: you spell out squad
decorum, and what will and will not be tolerated, both on and off the mat. You
also let your cheerleaders know the repercussions that happen when they step
out of line, and unfortunately, have to stick to punishments! The last thing
you want to do is crack down a whip in an already overly demanding sport, but
as a leader, you have to set the standard. Somebody has to wear the black hat,
and that’s just ONE hat coaches have to wear.
To recap, you lead your team in finances, decisions, and demeanor, but that’s
not all–you have to consistently come up with creative solutions. If you went
into coaching not thinking outside the box, you sure do now! Routines aren’t
just motions and stunts all thrown together; you have to consider what you’re
team is capable of, how it can fit to music, and above all, throw in a
wow-factor that either is rare, new, or straight unthinkable… without putting
your cheerleaders at risk of injury, of course! That’s a tall order all in
itself, let alone everything else you have to do.
So, when a bad score comes in, or anything else unexpected takes the wind out
of your sails, cheer coaches have to remember that no matter what–win or
lose–they are still leaders. There’s no easy way to go about a season, but you
seem to do it year after year, and that is commendable. Keep your chin
up, you’ve got this!
Are you a cheer coach?
Share how you remain motivated and more in the comments!