Coaching is not an easy job. You have to be able to make quick, informed decisions on top of setting an example to young athletes. You have to possess qualities of a true mentor: patience, humility, creativity, confidence, and respect. You have to be approachable, but not a pushover. You have to be organized, but not demanding. Plus, you have to have excellent communication skills to your athletes’ parents. As a parent, enrolling your child in a dangerous activity like cheerleading can be a major risk. If a coach isn’t properly trained, participants could get really hurt! The last thing a parent wants to do is hand their child over to someone that could potentially harm them. So, what should be required of a cheer coach? Besides the standard training credentials and safety certifications, what more should a cheer coach bring to the table? We’ve compiled these four articles addressing some of the main cheer parent concerns:

First and foremost, is cheerleading something you can learn as you go? Some coaches bring former cheerleading experience to the job, while others learn through a ‘hands-on’ approach after they are already heading up the position. Which is better? This is a big question in the industry, but what do you think: Does a Cheer Coach Need Cheerleading Experience in order to be successful?

Because there is such a high-injury rate in cheerleading, any given cheer team–whether sideline, rec, or competitive–should have an emergency sports med professional on hand. Accidents can happen anywhere, though, so what happens when a cheerleader gets hurt when the coach is the only one there? Should Cheer Coaches Be Required to Have Backgrounds in Sports Medicine on top of their safety training?

Even if a coach isn’t an ex-cheerleader and doesn’t have a background in sports medicine, knowledge about cheerleading is necessary. But, how much knowledge is enough? A high school diploma is the bare minimum for most jobs in this country, why should cheerleading be any different? And, even more than that! Let’s assume, since cheerleaders need to achieve a B+ average in most high schools to participate, that all cheer coaches have at least graduated from grade school. But, Does a Cheer Coach Need a College Degree? Higher education usually provides a growth in character for college students, skills that cheer coaches could definitely benefit from while working with young athletes. So, what do you think?

Best case scenario, your child lands on a cheer team with a great, qualified coach. However, there’s one last thing that could raise a red flag for parents–Should a Cheer Coach Have a Child On the Team? In some cases, this helps a cheer coach become attached to the team on a professional and personal level, allowing the team to really thrive to their full potential! However, preferential treatment is a big concern for parents when the coach’s son or daughter lands the lead spots on the squad. Or, perhaps the coach goes the opposite route and works their child harder than others, making the team uncomfortable from witnessing it. As a parent, what’s your opinion?

What are other areas of concern as a cheer parent concerning team coaches? We want to hear your opinions on these issues and more in the comments!