It doesn’t matter if you’re a cheerleading coach or another type of sports coach; there are specific tools for success that coaching requires. Before a new season starts, find out how to be a successful coach just by changing simple daily habits. January is the best time of year to evaluate your daily habits and restart any you may have let fall to the wayside. If you’re a coach, you probably have a standard set of tasks you do whenever your team has practice, a game, or a competition. However, there are also tasks you should constantly be doing almost every day. Take a look at five things successful coaches do all the time: Challenge yourself every day to be a better coach. A good coach doesn’t rely on a single technique. A good coach listens to her cheerleaders; a good coach sees what other coaches are doing; a good coach always looks for ways to help her cheerleaders succeed. The easiest way to start is to research online for coaching tips and advice. You can also read instructional or self-help books on coaching. Think of coaching as a school subject, like algebra. You can’t rely on one formula to solve all your problems. You constantly have to study and expand your knowledge. Find inspiration outside of cheerleading. Having trouble creating a unique routine or cheer? Want to change up your cheerleaders’ warm-up exercises? Don’t just rely on cheerleading videos and other teams’ routines and exercises. Watch a ballet performance on YouTube. Research how volleyball players stretch. Find out how the school’s trivia team gets motivated before a competition. You can find inspiration almost anywhere; you just have to look! Write it all down. Every day after practice, a game, or competition, jot down a few notes on how the day went. Were your cheerleaders in a good mood? What motivated them to cheer up? How long did they stretch before practice? How did you react to their mood or actions? It’s too easy to forget things so don’t rely on your memory to remember the small details of the day. Keep a notepad on you (or use a notes app on your phone) and keep a journal on your daily coaching habits. Ask. A good coach constantly talks openly with her cheerleaders. Ask them about their daily lives and how their schedules are going. Ask them how they learn best. Ask what troubles them the most and how they recover from those difficulties. By knowing how your cheerleaders best learn and improve, the easier it is for you to know how to act and how to treat them. Some cheerleaders need a push to get motivated; others don’t handle constructive criticism well; different tactics work for different people. The easiest way to know what will work is to talk to the person. Connect with your team via social media. Coaches are often much closer to their teammates than teachers are to their students. While coaches should maintain a healthy, professional relationship with the teammates, a good coach connects with her team members more than a teacher would. Create a coach Facebook and/or Twitter account and keep it private. Only allow your team members (and parents, if you want) to have access. Use these social media accounts to post a positive message after practices, games, and competitions. This allows you to remind them about how awesome they’re doing. This is especially great to do after a difficult practice or a heartbreaking competition. You can motivate your team, even from off the field, and inspire them to show up to the next practice session bright and bubbly. What are other traits of successful coaches?