Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Is that what your head is screaming right now? That routine you created just isn’t working out how it should be, is it? The first thing you have to do is breathe. Don’t throw that temper tantrum. You can cry on the way home or in the shower, but that’s only because I believe in the power of a good cry. We have all been there and we will all be there again. It happens, but it is not the end of the world. Give yourself the night to rest, and then go back to the drawing board. What is it about the routine that isn’t working? How much time do you have left before you compete? There are many things to consider here. After you answer all the possible questions, try the following: 1. Ask for help. Sometimes you just need an outside perspective to make things click. Maybe a very simple change could bring about a huge impact. Multiple eyes are better than just two. Swallow the pride; if you don’t use the life preserver being thrown to you, you may just drown. 2. Look up ideas. In this wonderful world of technology, ideas are at your fingertips. I do ask that you use this tool just for ideas, not to steal routines. Put your own spin on everything you see. Use this as a stepping-stone to recreate that sequence that just doesn’t look like what you imagined it would. 3. Take a risk and ask the team. I do this often. One of two things happens: I love what they show me, or I take pieces of it and add my own in. They will feel important and valued that you want their input for their routine. After all, they are the ones performing it, and may get more into it because they helped contribute in the creation of the routine. 4. Don’t be afraid of change. Whether you scrap the entire routine and start from the beginning or just change out stunt groups, formations or entire sequences. Some of the best things in life came from someone not being afraid of change. If you are going to change something out, make sure your sequences before and after flow together. You don’t want to change out a stunt group, and have two of the cheerleaders running all the way across the mat to get to their next spot. 5. Look at past score sheets. If you have competed already this season, you have an amazing guideline to go off of. Pay attention to what the judges were looking for and incorporate that. Adjust to what you need and the rest will fall into place. 6. As my cheer guru always says, “remember, clean wins. ” Time and time again, I sacrifice technique for something harder. It always hurts me in the end. It’s not playing it safe if you win. This not only gives you extra time to figure out creative entries or different motions, but it gives the cheerleaders time to learn the correct way of doing things. We all want a routine that will blow the judges and the crowd away. Just make sure you can blow them away without sacrificing key points on that score sheet. 7. If all else fails, bring in a professional. Maybe you don’t have helpful people that you can call on to diffuse the ticking time bomb inside of you. Choreographers are there to do what maybe you can’t do at that moment. It’s okay! If it takes one major stressor away from you to have someone create your entire routine or just parts of it, it’s a victory. If you’re an emotional mess, your cheerleaders are an emotional mess and‚ my goodness‚ that is just too much mess to clean up alone. 8. Remember to have fun with it! You may cry or get stressed out, but it comes and it goes. It won’t be the last time this happens to you. Breathe in, relax and work through it. Best of luck to all the cheerleading teams competing this season! What fixed your routine? Tell us your coaching hacks in the comments!
Have you ever felt like you needed to take a vacation from yourself? If your answer is yes, you most likely are a coach.
Between the balancing act of a family, social life, work, school and cheerleading, where do you find time for yourself? Think of it like this: take everything in your life and write it on a balloon. You are playing the game of
don’t let the balloon drop. If you never allow a balloon to fall, even for a brief moment in time, you eventually will fall, causing all balloons to fall because no one will be left to keep them up. You need time for YOU.
Make sure you are resting when you can. Sometimes a simple mental break is all you need to figure out the issues. That moment of clarity allows you to see things, well, clearer. All work and no play leads to a life of misery. No one likes to be around a miserable person. So, if you honestly think working your brain and
emotions in overdrive is going to help you and your team, you are fooling yourself. I sure don’t like to be around a miserable person. Know the signs and know when to take a step back, and have a moment to deal with yourself.
If you are coaching two teams, apply the above times two. Coaching two teams is like having more than one child‚ both are at a constant battle for attention. One always feels neglected and less loved. Give yourself the peace of mind to sometimes
merge practices together. It allows you an extra hour or two for yourself, and it gives a bonding experience for both teams. Make sure they both know you love them equally and that they equally drive you crazy. Let’s face it, you may have never said it, but you know you thought it.
Break up the stress. I have mentioned it before: doing the same thing over and over will eventually cause you to break. It will cause your team to break as well. Your brain goes into sabotage mode and the stress will come creeping in to make life, well, less boring. Breaking it up applies to all areas in your life: go get a massage, take a walk, sit outside and just breathe in the fresh air.
Escape the mundane for a moment. That moment will be the best thing you could have ever done.
Cry. Let it all out. Put on a Nicholas Sparks movie and have a good cry.
Throw yourself that pity party. Hear me out on this, there are just some mental breakdowns that can’t be avoided. Crying won’t help, and you honestly just need to complain and feel bad for yourself. Allow yourself to do so. Have a day of complaining and contemplating where you went wrong in life and then leave the party. The key is not overstaying your welcome. Stand up stronger, wipe off the tears, stop feeling sorry for yourself and realize the sun will come up and a new day will ALWAYS begin.
It’s tough juggling everything. Understand that we understand. You’re not alone. Remember that when the season ends, you are going to
miss the chaos.
What helps you avoid breaking down? Tell us your coaching tips in the comments.
Odds are, you are around each other enough that you have become a family. Families don’t always agree (they may not even like each other!!), which can result in some
inevitable fighting and bickering. Don’t roll your eyes. A picture-perfect family is a lie, so don’t even try to think you’re going to get that passed me.
your family (aka, team) has waged war with themselves, do not panic. Do not bust out the riot gear. It is best to stay calm and try some of these tactics to have a peaceful result. Think about when you’re at work‚ it’s stressful. The same daily routine over and over is exhausting, and can put anyone on edge. A cheer team is no different.
Break it up! Throw in some fun things, especially ones that rely on your cheerleaders working as a team. “Ships and Sailors’ is always a favorite amongst our cheerleaders. Team trivia, a dance off, or just turn on a random song when they think they are about to do another run-through and just watch them. Relay races, duck duck goose‚ I don’t care. All of these options are so simple, and sometimes just what they need to ease the tension.
2. Team bonding nights. Bake some cookies, have a movie night or a bonfire. We started a new tradition of a team dinner the week of competitions. You know, the week where all anxieties are sky-high. If you have a serious age gap on your team, this also helps. It forces them to interact outside of cheerleading (what? There is a world outside??) and to really get to know one another. Plus, it’s food. Come on, food solves everything.
3. Life talks. Sit those athletes down in a circle. Talk it out. Ask how their day was; ask if there are things going on that you should be aware of. Encourage them to talk it out in a safe and civil place. Explain that once they get what they need to out, it’s done. Due to them not being adults, they can’t properly express themselves. They have to know it is okay for them to say how they feel as long as they do so in a respectful manner. It’s better to get it out in the open than to hold it in for it to eventually blow up like a bomb. For the record, we try to do
weekly talks followed by meditating in the most obnoxious way.
4. Change it up! Is the stunt group the reason for the tension? Perhaps they don’t trust one another and don’t get along. Perhaps it’s just not getting up. You, as a coach,
need to be okay with change. Switch it out a few times and see if it works better. That adjustment can save you an earful of teen drama in the long run. While you’re at it, break up the cliques: have the girls form bonds with other teammates.
There are times where we could have, as coaches, taken steps to help the situation and sometimes we just can’t. Recognize those moments that you see tension and address it immediately. Unfortunately, as the pillars of the family, we need to be incredibly observant and need to eliminate a problem before it gets too serious. Here are some tips:
- Do not allow your athletes to individually call out another cheerleader. You are the coach, not them. No person on that team is perfect and they need to understand that immediately. You can’t call someone out when they are not perfect in every area themselves.
- Understand you can have favorites. It’s inevitable. However, you need to hold them to a higher standard; push them harder than you push the other ones. Discipline them when they deserve it. Just remember to make sure each member of the team realizes you love them all equally.
- Again, encourage open and honest discussions. It works for me, but it may not for you. You won’t know until you try. We treat our athletes like young adults. They are all held responsible for their own actions. In the beginning, we talk to them about bullying and peer pressure. After competitions, we discuss their score sheets and problem areas. It shows them respect. Most arguments stem from lack of respect towards another team member, a coach or a parent. When they realize what respect entails, you don’t have an excuse as to why they aren’t respecting another.
- Find what works for your team.They’re yours. Only you know what is best for the team as a whole. Do what you need to do to keep that family civil and happy. Do not let anyone convince you that your tactics are wrong. Who knows‚ if you listen to them, you may not find yourself on the brink of cheer World War I!
Have you had to mediate with a team at war with themselves? Share your coaching tips in the comments!
I have heard it said a thousand times, “I just wish a parent understood where we are coming from. ” It’s a true statement though. I believe I can safely say that anyone who has coached any sport has had that thought at least once. Why is it that we say that, but never actually
take the time to allow them to understand? Have you ever attempted to break it down to them? If not, feel free to print this out, leave my personal email address and let me take care of this.
Parents, you should know this sport requires dedication. The majority of the athletes rely on you to get them where they need to be, to pay for the things they need and to relay information that is valuable to them. Cheerleading is a team sport and lucky for you, the moment you signed your offspring up,
you became part of the team as well! Congratulations! Welcome to the team.
Why are we so strict on lateness?
As I stated, cheerleading is a team sport. No, it is NOT like any other sport. Each cheerleader is one piece of a giant puzzle. Without that piece, the puzzle is not‚ and cannot be‚ complete. If they’re late, time is being taken away from the people who showed up on time. That could have been an additional 20 minutes that the stunt needed to finally get it to work properly and beautifully. If you run late on an occasion, fine. A heads-up can make a world of difference. If you are constantly running late, well I just don’t know what to say. When I am late, it causes my entire day to be ruined. Perhaps you should write a counter-piece explaining to me why and how you are okay with always being late, because I just don’t get it. (Coaches, you could always tell these parents an earlier time; I started doing it and it works wonderfully.)
Why are we so strict on absences?
We can’t just sub someone out and still have it together. It just doesn’t work that way. We don’t have starters or others who sit on the bench. We don’t have an understudy who learns each part of a two minute and thirty second routine. If they are not there, well you just took away a valuable puzzle piece. “Susie was sick though, Coach Brittany. ” Listen. We are not asking for them to tumble or to jump around and risk throwing up.
We are asking that they just show up. Take some Tylenol, come in pajamas, bring a blanket and a pillow and just be there. If your cheerleader can lay on the couch, Snapchatting on their phone “#feelslikedeath #bingewatchingnetflix’, then they can sit at practice and see what is being taught. Most coaches have a plan of action. An unexpected absence throws a wrench into that. If the reason is valid, it is valid and the coach will understand. Missing a competition. Ugh. This literally just hurts my soul. It’s impossible. Unless it is an extreme emergency, there is just no excuse for your cheerleader to ever miss a competition without giving your coach ample notice to work around it. Attendance policies are not just in place for our amusement; they’re meant for the best of the team and your cheerleader. Lack of dedication and lack of showing up can create some serious tension between the team. It’s something we hate when it happens, but we unfortunately understand why it does. Most of us coaches volunteer our time to be there with your cheerleader and their team. Other parents volunteer their time to get their cheerleader to practices and competitions. If you are serious about this sport, you will find a way.
Why do you have to switch the routine when a cheerleader can’t compete?
Again, cheerleading is not like other sports. We don’t have back-ups to just throw in there for a one-time purpose. It wouldn’t be fair to those girls who are there day in and day out hoping for a chance to be on the team permanently. Is there a chance your cheerleader will lose their spot? Honestly, yes. If we rework the routine because we have to, everything falls into place better and they perform ridiculously better than your cheerleader did, they can and will lose their spot. It’s not a sport for favoritism. It’s not out of spite‚ it’s what is always best for the team.
The show must go on.
Why do you constantly make changes?
Did you ever take notice to the table or stage that the cheerleaders are facing when they are on the cheerleading mat? No? Take a look. There are people there. Those people are called “judges’. They hold the fate of our team in their hands. We cater to what they want, just as you would do if you were to receive a quarterly review from your boss. If we were to leave things in that were less than perfect, we aren’t doing our job. We aren’t doing what is best for those girls to set them up for disappointment when it could have been avoided. Plus, think on the bright side: it meant that your cheerleader progressed, and is able to learn new and harder skills.
What is on the score sheets? “But, those scores look good to me! “
HA HA! You want to learn about score sheets? How to read and translate the cheer language that the judges speak? Great, do you have a month for me to teach you? We are judged on so many different categories and subcategories. Those categories have guidelines and rules. You need four different skills, two elite in order to receive a “higher’ end score on that score sheet. There’s just too much to teach, I am sorry. Those who glance and go, “oh, that 9.3 looks good to me. ” You are not looking at it right. You see that 9.3 out of 10. In your head, it is 1-10. Your head is wrong. That 9.3 is honestly a .3 out of a max score of 1. Not looking hot now is it, Nancy?
We aren’t mean‚ well, most of us aren’t. What you see is being mean is us pushing: pushing your child out of their comfort zone so that they can reach the potential we know they are able to reach. It is not mean that I do not lie to them and tell them they looked absolutely amazing when the truth is they were a 3 out of 10. That’s called honesty. It’s genuine. Me not lying will have them knowing when they did do amazing, and trust me, it will mean more to them than me saying “great job ” when I did not mean it.
We, as coaches, wish parents understood. Yet,
parents will never be able to fully understand. You can’t explain your feelings, your bond or your emotions. Saying and explaining certain areas of our world is hard, but can be done. Parents actually grasping those words and fully understanding them is another thing. It goes through one ear and flows out the other, because it’s not something they deal with on an everyday basis. What we can do is try. Remember that parents don’t know the ins and outs, and have a bit of patience with them.
Be honest and open. Parents, please do the same. Take a moment and step outside of the parent role, and put yourself in our shoes. If you don’t get it, ask. If you’re mad at how we act or at something we do because you don’t fully understand, why don’t you give yourself 24 hours to calm down and come to us? If you are just going to nag and complain, expect the same treatment you give us. You know, where it goes through one ear and right out the other? We may nod, but trust me, it’s not sinking in.
Cheer coaches, how do you break it down for parents? Let us know in the comments!
No matter if you’re a new coach or a returning coach, tryouts are your first official introduction of who you are as a coach. If you cannot put together a successful round of tryouts, cheerleaders and parents may lose confidence in your ability to run a team. Cheerleading is a major commitment, both time-wise and financially, so you do not want potential cheerleaders going to another squad because your tryouts were unorganized. The best thing you can do is
be prepared down to the very last detail.
First, give yourself enough time to get everything together. Give yourself a month or two, and pick a date far enough out to get everything prepared and give people enough time to sign up. Depending on if you work at a gym or a school, you may need to get clearance from administrative staff first. Once you have any and all formalities out of the way, put in a formal request to reserve time at your location. You may want to reserve a gym for several days depending on how many cheerleaders you are adding to your team, and how many cheerleaders sign up to tryout. You can always cut back on tryout days, so overestimate‚ you do not want to need an extra day, and not have it!
Once you have the room booked, post tryout dates to give attendees enough time to sign up. After you post signup sheets and dates, you need to start coordinating your tryout process; make this as simple as possible. Plus, you need to ascertain what you expect out of your team! If your team is a yell squad, you do not need to include stunts at tryouts. If you are having multiple-day tryouts, you want to increase the degree of difficulty after every cut. Try and make your tryouts simple, because you will be
dealing with a lot of cheerleaders and you do not want things to get unorganized. Have your tryouts planned ahead of time as much as you can to avoid scrambling or ad-libbing on the spot.
Depending on if you coach a school team, an All Star team, or a Pop Warner group, you might want to have information packets or a meeting with the parents before tryouts. Cheerleading is a major commitment, and the parents should be informed before tryouts. If you are coaching a high school team, an informational meet-and-greet might be suitable.
Make pamphlets for parents including all tryout information and team expectations, like time commitments and any financial obligations if their cheerleader makes the team. If the age group of your team is younger, it is better to have a parent meeting to go over all the information in person rather than sending a packet home.
The day before tryouts, make sure you have all you scoring sheets and last-minute paperwork together. Make numbers for the cheerleaders, and have everything prepped and ready to go. Tryout day is going to be very busy, and you want everything to go as smooth as possible.
If you hired judges, make sure to give them a courtesy call to remind them of the date and time of tryouts. You also want to think about how you are going to post cuts: some people favor listing cuts on a board the next day, and others like to do cuts at the end of every tryout. Whichever you prefer, just be consistent and be sure to let your cheerleading hopefuls know when and where you will be posting the information at the end of every tryout period.
Tryouts can be very stressful, but as long as you are prepared, and they will run smoothly. Be sure to introduce yourself to all the cheerleading hopefuls, and have fun! Try not to stress too much on cuts, and remember to also enjoy the experience. Enthusiasm is contagious, and if you are excited,
you will end up with the best cheer team out of all potential candidates!
How else can cheer coaches prep and plan their cheerleading tryouts? What helped you to get organized? Share your story in the comments!
Team parents are a pivotal part in
parent-coach relationships. We all know that parents have lot of questions and want to stay informed, which can be hard for a coach when your main focus is to, you know, coach your team. Having a good team of parents can make or break relationships between coaches and cheerleaders, too! However, adjusting to a new team of parents can be difficult. Here are three easy ways cheer coaches can adjust to new team parents.
1. Have clear expectations for team help. You want to provide team parents with clear expectations of what an assistant position requires; you do not want someone to get in over their head who cannot commit the time and effort into helping you out with cheer activities on the calendar. As the coach, you need to provide a list of expectations and provide as much information as possible at parent meetings, including any upcoming deadlines for competitions or fundraising information. You also need to provide expectations of how much freedom your team parents have: do you need a team parent to run ideas by you before making decisions? Or, do you allow them the freedom to make those decisions on their own? Clear expectations make parents more comfortable transitioning into their new roles, and also makes adjusting from one set of parents to another simple and easy.
2. Do not compare. If you had the most amazing team of parents last year, you cannot expect new team parents will just pick up where the last team parents left off. First off, being a team parent is not a paid gig (just like most coaching positions aren’t), so cut your team parents some slack and know that you’re in this together! Second,
anyone new to something needs a bit of guidance and direction, so let them get settled and see what your new team parents can do for you. You might be surprised on some new ideas that they might come up with! Seeing new ideas through to fruition can sometimes bring about great results! If you constantly critique or compare your new team parents, they may start to resent you, which can lead to team parents not following through for you, or even removing their child from the squad!
Take some time to get to know your team parents. At any job, if you like the people you work with, it makes the job more enjoyable. Of course you do not need to be best friends with any of them, but having friendly relationships does help. Have a coffee date once a month with team moms, or meet up for happy hour to just touch base and see where they are at. If there are any team or
3. Be friendly.
parent concerns that arise during this time, tell them that you can discuss it further later and thank them for bringing it to your attention. Just take the time to get to know each other. Team parents do a lot for the team, and you want to express that, show that you care, and value the work they do.
Team parents are the unofficial members of any team sport. They are in charge of parent relations,
keeping your squad information together, party-planning, and fundraising. They do a lot, and adjusting to new team parents can be difficult. However, having clear expectations of what the team parents do, not comparing them to previous team parents, and maintaining friendly relationships can make the transition between new team parents and a coach go smoothly.
How else can cheer coaches adjust to new team parents? Share your tips in the comments!
Coaching is like Christmas and Halloween wrapped up into April Fool’s Day! It doesn’t have to be Halloween to be scared, so here are the top most terrifying cheer coach moments.
10. First meeting your new team. You have no idea what you’re going to get‚ they could be incredible, lazy or mean! Then, you have to wait patiently for their true colors to come through because we all know that in the beginning, it’s all about
giving the best impression.
9. The nightmares. Literally nightmares, like legit wake-you-up-from-your-sleep
coachmares. You may not think this is a serious thing, but let me tell you, you are not a real coach unless you have had at least ONE competition or practice nightmare.
8. The lack of control over your own emotions. Here you are, thinking you have your life together and then BAM! You experience nerves, anxiety, stress, frustration, anger and depression all at one time. It’s terrifying when you cannot get yourself together.
7. A cheerleader falling ill. Okay, so this isn’t my own experience, but a very close friend of mine experienced this as a coach. Her own child became extremely ill the night before a national competition. They kept a throw up bucket on the side of the mat‚ it was that bad. She was such a trooper; she still went out and performed.
6. The practice (and week) prior to competition. Is it just a Coach Brittany’s team tradition?
The practice prior to competition is like rock bottom. Or, if rock bottom had a rock bottom‚ that’s what it would be. Everything falls: bows, shoes, flyers, tumblers, your hopes and dreams. It is a lingering terror, too. You cry, they cry. You go home on edge and on competition day, you replay that practice in your head a thousand times.
5. The Illegal Stunt. You worked hard to make it and teach it. The cheerleaders’ worked hard to perfect it, and make it all you hoped for. They hit, it’s glorious‚ and it’s also illegal. That deduction on the score sheets could cost your team everything, which is scary in itself, but it is downright gut wrenching knowing that it will all be your fault.
4. Something so small can be absolutely horrifying. The random object hitting the mat: a shoe, a bow, a pair of glasses‚ no matter how tiny that could realistically be, it looks magnified on the mat. Are they going to pick it up? Who tied that shoe in the first place? I knew I she should have double-checked her bow‚
3. The dreaded stunt fall. It happens. We don’t know why. It could be the entire pyramid, shoulder sit or a thigh stand. It just doesn’t matter. The gasp from the crowd, the look on the cheerleaders’ faces, and the complete looks of disgust that you IMAGINE are on the judges’ faces (even though they’re actually not). There is no denial that stunt falls are every single coach’s and cheerleader’s worst nightmare.
2. Not being able to help calm your team prior to hitting the mat. Perhaps you didn’t even realize this as
a terrifying moment, but it is. It kind of goes hand-in-hand with number one. You feel their nerves and they feel yours. As they stand in the circle with their heads bowed, sweaty hand in sweaty hand, all of your energy just mixing into a big pile of mush covered in glitter, hair spray and a fake smile. We seriously need to figure out a stress and nerve release that communicates, “You got this, go out there have fun and smile. ” Right‚ pots meet kettle.
1. The loss. I am sure some of you are looking at this list going, “Her moments are not ordered right. ” To you, they may not be. I’m emotional, so my terrifying moments are moments that can’t necessarily be forgotten. What comes along with that stunt fall, or that no-call, no-show? Most of the time,
it’s a loss. Sometimes, they lose to a team that fell when they hit everything. It doesn’t matter the situations that lead up to it; those things happened, you dealt with it, and we are in the present. The look on their faces‚ so full of disappointment, confusion and heartache‚ is scary to even anticipate. It’s something you can’t help or solve with words. It takes time to mend those shattered hearts, time to regain confidence and bounce back from that loss. Time, in itself, is scary; the unknown is horrifying. It’s not as much as the loss that is scary, it’s them. Those beautiful faces looking to you for comfort, to be their strength and to smile, to offer a pep talk, but deep down, you realize it doesn’t hit home to them yet. You telling them how proud you are isn’t what they need right now, and honestly, it doesn’t matter to them in that moment of time.
We could go on and on about terrifying moments: personalized moments, specific moments, but for cheer coaches, it’s just best to outline the hardest hitting ones.
What gives you cheer coaching nightmares? Share us your spine-tingling coach moments in the comments!
Tryouts mean something very different between cheerleaders and cheer coaches.
For those trying out, winter is used to pump up your fitness routine, focus on your cheer goals, overcoming obstacles, and going full out to make the team of your dreams. For coaches, this time is spent a little differently. No matter if you’re a sideline or competitive team coach, tryouts can make or break your next season, and knowing how to approach them is key. You can’t just throw up a sign-up sheet and hope for the best! But, once you plan and prep your way through wintertime, it dawns on you that tryouts are nearly here.
Cheerleaders are experiencing a range of emotions thinking about the Big Day (or couple days, if there is a tiered tryout), and coaches are also experiencing something similar. And, these five emotions are coming at you increasingly as you power through the end of your season.
You reflect on all the organization and preparation that you’ve done, and you feel proud of yourself. In between your job, your family, your current team, and everything else in between, you have a legitimate foundation for a solid tryout process. You feel like a superhero that can do anything! Pressure? HA!
But, then you have this sneaking suspicion you’re forgetting an element or two. Like big ones that are so obvious, but you can’t quite put your finger on them. And, what about independent variables, like a sick judge or a last-minute relocation? What if you can’t chose between cheerleaders, and make the wrong decision? How are you going to pull this off at all? Ohhhh, the parents are going to make your life horrible if you don’t get this right‚
Speaking of parents, you hope that you land a cooperative bunch of cheerleaders and team parents. You’ve gotten this far as a cheer coach, but life has a funny way of interrupting your cheer responsibilities, and you hope that next season is worth all of this stress.
But, new team means new beginnings! You never know if new cheerleaders will have the skills to escalate your competitive team to a new level‚ or boost your team in general! Level 5, here we come!
The closer you get to the tryout date, the more reassured you are. Whatever happens happens, and you’ve put in the legwork to avoid tryout disasters. Cheers to next season!
How else do cheer coaches feel when anticipating tryouts? Share your coaching experience with us in the comments!
You’re at your wits’ end sometimes, but other times you’re over the moon. There is so much emotion that goes into being a cheer coach, that sometimes, you just can’t even process it. With your fair share amount of obstacles, what’s not to love about the stress of coaching?? Here is a list of five things that all cheer coaches know well:
1. Your car looks like a cheerleading store exploded in it.
As a coach, you know at least two cheerleaders on your team will forget something. They forgot to bring their bow to a competition, only brought one pom pom, or brought the wrong colored sock. Not to worry‚ you have extras of EVERYTHING! And, it’s not just cheerleading items either; you have a bag of must-have essentials at all times‚ you know, hair spray, extra glitter, and bobby pins galore! You may have forgotten your wallet, but you have everything you can possibly every need for your cheerleaders‚ because cheer is life.
2. Over-the-top parents.
There is always one parent who thinks their kid is better than everyone else, and should be the star of the show. Cheerleading is as much a team sport as any other sport, so dealing with parents who only focus on their cheerleader can be very difficult. Plus, you just spent all day coaching‚ the last thing you want to do is talk with a needy parents! Just gently remind those parents that cheerleading is a team sport, and you have made the best decision for the team. It can be hard keeping your cool, but just put on your competition smile, and be that great role model you already are.
3. Cheerleaders all hopped up on sugar.
Whosever bright idea it was to give your cheerleaders Frappuccinos before practices or competitions is dead to you. You are already outnumbered, and cheerleaders are already prone to being silly, but then someone gives them sugary caffeine it gets out of control, FAST. Trying to wrangle all of your cheerleaders together may cause you to use your scary coach voice that only comes out on special occasions, in attempts to break through that sugar high and get those cheerleaders to finally focus.
4. You make the tough choices.
You are the one who picks team positions‚ who is a flyer and who is going to tumble. This can be very difficult, and it comes down to you (and only you) to make these kind of choices. Not to mention, everyone will want to speak with you about your decision, and how wrong you are: you have parents who thinks their child deserves it more than another child, or you may having a crying kid who thinks they were going to be a flyer when they are going to be base. It can be really hard, but you are the coach and you know what is best for your team. No one ever said that being a coach was easy‚
5. You have too much fun!
You are a cheer coach‚ what could be more fun than that? Being a coach is incredibly rewarding: you learn a lot about yourself, and you become a role model for young cheerleaders. Cheerleading is a lot of hard work, and can be very challenging at times. But, when your team wins a competition, or even just gets invited to competition for the first time, it makes all the glitter, sweat, and tears worth it!
What are other problems that all cheer coaches would understand? Share your coaching woes in the comments!
Woah, who hit the fast-forward button on the school semester?? One second, sideline season was just starting, and then‚ BAM‚ your cheer team is ramping up to go to the playoffs. No matter if your school basketball and football teams are making the cut or not, a cheer team has to be prepared for anything. And, as a coach, it’s your job to make sure the transition from the regular season into overtime goes smoothly if the time comes. This is no easy task, considering that you have a million other cheer-related activities to take care of, so we’ve made a checklist for cheer coaches to follow in order to avoid letting anything fall through the cracks!
1. Change-up the routine. You’ve been performing the routines you planned back in the beginning of the season, so halftime routines (as well as a good chunk of the cheers and chants) have gotten a little stale. If your school’s basketball or football team has secured a playoff spot, why not act like your cheerleaders did, too? Shake up the halftime show by pumping up the spectacle: add sparkly poms, trickier tumble passes, or more personalized signage. Make the playoff games opportunities to communicate the dedication your team takes to their sport and their school. And, you better believe the players are going to notice the difference‚ and up their game as a result!
2. Make an effort around the school. Your school is in the running to grab a state or national trophy‚ make it known that your cheer team is proud! Not all kids are athletic-oriented at school, and championship games‚ although usually bolstering higher attendance‚ aren’t on every student’s radar. You can get outlying students interested in the playoffs by posting supportive signs around school, adding some fun blurbs to the school’s morning announcements, or having your JV or freshman cheerleaders set up something fun at the games‚ like a school spirit photo booth! Even if you can’t get the whole student body to show up to the playoff games, the school athletes will appreciate how your team is showing love off the field.
3. Mentally prep your team. Your cheerleaders have had a fun season, and there’s nothing like ending the season with a title! However, your cheerleaders need to be prepared for a big loss just as much as a big win. If you have new cheerleaders on the team, they might not understand the pressure these athletes are under until it’s too late; if the basketball or football players end their senior season on a loss, there will be tears. Seeing the athletes that you’ve cheered for all season break down like that can be more than disheartening, and cheerleaders can feel that they played a part in the loss‚ like they didn’t pep them up enough. It may seem petty to assure your cheerleaders that, win or lose, they did a great job, but it might be necessary in order to keep your team uplifted for next season.
4. Fit in some fun. Your cheerleaders are ready to buckle down and get serious about their sideline cheering, now that it’s being taken to the next level with playoffs. And, playoffs are not the time and place to have your cheerleaders slack off. However, it is necessary to fit fun into the mix as you go, whether that be with silly games in between quarters or off the field with a team slumber party or pizza night. Whatever you think is best for your cheer schedule, make sure your team bonds in a festive end-of-season way!
How else can cheer coaches prep for playoffs? Share your playoff experiences with us in the comments!