You did it! You and your cheerleaders finally qualified to level up on the mat.
It’s an exhilarating feeling that you have the talent and drive to accomplish
taking on more complicated stunts and routines the next time you head to a
competition. However, after the initial victory dance wears off, you realize
what exactly this transition entails–a lot more hard work! You’re hanging with
the big dogs now, so you have to start being able to hold your own on the mat.
Your cheerleaders are up for the challenge, so now it’s up to you to take your
routines farther than you ever have before… without hurting anybody, of course!
While your imagination is running wild with possibilities, here are a few
things to keep in mind while you adjust.
1. You have some
rules to learn. You know your last division’s rules like the back of your
hand, but now, you have a different set of regulations to follow! Before you do
any planning for next season, make sure the stunts you’ve always envisioned for
your team are even allowed before you
find out if they are doable. Obviously, most of the safety rules are going to
stay the same no matter if you’re a Level 3, a Level 5, or your team falls
somewhere in between; just make sure you don’t cost your team any extra points
throughout the season by doing your due diligence ahead of time.
2. You just plummeted from the top of the ladder in one division, to the bottom
rung of another. Even though you and your cheerleaders have earned your
team’s new title, you earned it because you were just too dang good in your
last division. That means, the competitions you had in the bag last year are
now anyone’s game! If you’re accustomed to winning most of the time, it could
be a harsh reality that you have to lose a few as you learn the ropes.
Pertaining to other teams, you may have had a sneak peak watching some of them
last year as you waited for your division to be called, but keep in mind that
teams change season to season, and they too could have increased their skill
set! Keep your eye on the prize, and remember it’s a learning process!
3. Don’t get too down on yourself. You’ve had ideas for routines for the
longest time, but haven’t been able to put them in motion… until now! However,
some things like base strength, flexibility, and just plain gravity get in the
way of having your ideas spring to life. If what you thought was going to work
didn’t, you have to remain positive and pull your team out of a funk by getting
creative. You also may be discouraged about bouncing back after a losing
streak, thinking that you should have just kept your team at the level they
were at–why did you push for more?? At those times, a coach has to remember
that without progress, there’s stagnancy, and the whole point your cheerleaders
got into the sport is to push themselves to be the best they can be. It’s hard
to shake off a loss, but doing so will only push you to be better prepared for
4. Seek counsel from other coaches.
The last thing to keep in mind is that every cheer coach started off lower on
the proverbial totem pole than they are now – just like you! Make acquaintances
with coaches in your new division, and ask for their advice on transitioning fluidly.
Who knows? You may receive the advice you need!
How else can cheer coaches adjust to a
new cheer competition level? What worked for you? Share your tips in the