So, this is it–it is your last day as a coach.Your squad is in tears, you’re in tears, and you instantly regret your decision to retire from coaching. Chances are that on your last day, you have never felt more loved by your team: they throw you a big party, and you receive some great gift, and in your heart, you know that you will have all these last memories to get you through the day. Then, as you walk out to your car and start to drive home, it hits you… what the heck am I going to do now?!

You now have nights and weekends free, though! Friday night! The day you have never had off ever! And now, you have absolutely nothing to do. “You’ve got this,” you say to yourself, “I will watch Netflix and just chill.” You come across Bring It On 1, 2, and 3… and after a bottle of wine and an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s® Chunky Monkey, you are cheering along in the middle of your living room floor with tears in your eyes… No you didn’t do that? Maybe it was just me. No matter what you do, you will always be a bit nostalgic for your coaching days. Those first few weeks after hanging up your coaching cap and whistle are the hardest. 

The best thing you can do after being a coach is to get back out therego out with those friends you haven’t seen in a while because you've always been too busy working on new routines and cheers. You can start crafting with all the extra glitter and bows you have lying around your house. Or, go to the Friday night game to visit your girls and cheer along in your seat. When the cheerleading bug bites you, it is hard to let go and you may feel that you have a void in your life. The great news is, there are a lot of things out there to help you get through this time in your life.

Cheerleading is great exercise, so after you stop coaching, you may feel like you need to find something new. There are some great classes offered at most gyms that are high intensity, and are perfect for someone with a cheerleading and dance background. Classes like Zumba, Hip-hop classes, and Bokwa are perfect dance-themed classes that keep you moving. All of the classes are upbeat and will make you feel like you are part of the squad again. There are also barre classes that are more ballet-oriented, but might be fun to try something different.

Maybe you miss being part of the team; if you check out your local rec center, they often offer adult sport leagues that you can join and try something like soccer, tennis, or basketball. If you feel like you want to keep coaching, but don’t want all the commitment that goes along with an all star team, then a rec team might be for you. There are a lot of rec football teams or Pop Warner leagues that are not as involved, but still teach kids the fundamentals of cheerleading. It is fun, and those little cheerleaders are absolutely adorable to coach. You can start your own cheer team with other adults for an adult flag football team, too. The possibilities are endless.

It is hard letting go, but sometimes life and work just get in the way, and that is okay. Cheerleading is a lifestyle, and no matter what you do, cheerleading will always be in your heart. You can use all the skills that you’ve learned as a coach in your everyday life. You know how to work on a team, you are spirited, determined, cool under pressure, and are a leader. You can bring all of these things to your day-to-day life, because you are a cheerleader–you always have been and you always will be.

How did you get through retiring from cheer? Are you feeling any adverse side effects? Tell us your experience in the comments below!