There is always that coach that was there long before you who took a chance on you. The one who started off where you were, and grew to be the guru they are today. Someone who started everything, and allowed you to be a part of their family (whether they had a say so, or not). The one who’s blood sweat and tears built the very thing you love; the one who was the guinea pig, and spent countless hours doing research on how to make the organization into what it is now. Making it all the greatness it is today through sacrifice, and lots of trial and error. The one who typically is behind the scenes, and goes unnoticed for all the years and hard work that they put in. Coaches who are still their own enemies even though we see everything do as just‚ flawless. Thank you. Thank you for taking us under your wings, and telling us what you found out the hard way. You make this road the smoothest possible, even though your road was bumpy. Thanks for dealing with our rookie confidence, and know-it-all attitudes because we THINK we can just do it without any help. For shaping us as coaches, and teaching us all of your valuable wisdom even though you really don’t have to. Thank you for being our shoulder to cry on when we finally come to terms with the fact we should have just listened. The shoulder when things don’t go right, or when our nerves get the absolute best of us. For the countless hours you came to our practice to help teach us proper technique; the countless ideas you gave us when we aren’t at practice; for picking up the slack when your vision just isn’t working out. Thank you for never letting us fall‚ always assuring us we are not alone in this! Fixing any mistake that we made. Contributing to a portion or most of a routine without wanting any thanks or credit at all. The one who is right there holding our hand while we’re waiting for awards, just as much as they were there at practices. Calming our nerves while we’re waiting for, well, everything‚ telling you it will be okay. The coaches that picked up our shattered dreams, and with plans on how to fix them. You are probably under-appreciated, very rarely told just how much you mean to us. You’re not thanked nearly as much as you should be. You most likely don’t even realize the significance that you play in our lives, because we don’t always know just how important you are. Then, one day, it all clicks. We realize we would be at rock bottom without you, your knowledge, your compassion, and your help. In case you aren’t told enough, we look up to you, we appreciate you, and we would be a complete disaster without you. So, thank you. Thank you for everything. Are you a cheer coach? Comment if you can relate!
We all have to deal with losing at some point or another, but like most things in life, there are appropriate ways to handle it. If you are a coach, here are seven things you can keep in mind when your team doesn’t win.
1. Be their strength. I know it sounds much easier than it actually is, but this rule could also apply when your cheerleaders are on the mat. A stunt fell, someone is off, another forgot their spot. Whoops‚ it happens. I can guarantee that they already realized they messed up, and the first thing they are going to do is look to you. When their name gets called at a competition for any place other than first, they are going to look immediately to you, too. Put a big smile on your face. Nod at them. Assure them, without even having to speak, that it is okay. They are probably around you so much that you have developed telepathic communication. Use it for the greater good.
2. Have a pep talk. There is a time and place to dissect everything that went wrong; immediately following a loss is not that time. Tell them that you are proud of them, and that you’ll get the trophies next time. That’s what we coaches are here for‚ to make sure they DO get them next time. Wait until practice to go over the competition, if you even do it at all. The loss is a negative; it’s best to throw positives at them to keep their spirits up.
3. Explain the score sheets with parents and cheerleaders. Instead of me telling my team what went wrong, I show them. I explain what each score means, I read them what the judges wrote. It just makes a better connection for them if they understand what happened. That outside voice tends to give them more motivation to get the job done.
4. Have some fun. Yes, practicing and fixing all the mistakes are what is on your mind, but the sting can linger. If you notice your cheerleaders getting frustrated, break it up. Let them dance it out, shake it out, cry it out‚ whatever it takes to allow them to feel comfortable and happy again!
5. Take ownership if it’s on you. I am the first person that will admit if I didn’t put in enough, or if I felt something was legal that actually wasn’t. It’s easy to blame the cheerleaders themselves, and, yes, it can be their fault. However, chances are you haven’t always been 100%. Could you have encouraged them more? Maybe talked a bit nicer to them? Did you leave out a few stunts because you didn’t think they were ready for them? It’s okay if you did, just don’t put false failure on those who are looking up to you. Also, don’t allow them to point fingers at one another. It’s different if you pull someone to the side to help them with a problem area, but don’t shame them in front of everyone, and do not allow others to shame them either. There is no “I’ in “team’; if they lose, they lose as a team.
6. Let them feel like they have a say. The routine isn’t going well‚ why? Have you ever sat down and asked them what was going on? I have noticed that ever since I started to do that, my cheerleaders have been a lot more responsive. We address direct problem areas to clear up any confusion. Let them pick a song they like for the routine, and allow them to have a say so (or, think they do) in the routine. “What do you think about this? ” Odds are, they’ll tell you that they love it. They will feel special that they helped you in making their routine, and they’ll want to give their all.
7. Remember, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not the first time a loss happened, and it definitely won’t be the last. We have off-days, we have rough practices. It is okay. Pick your head up, wipe their tears (and your own), and try again. Take it easy on the self-hate, and the finger pointing, and just breathe. There is always next time.
How else can coaches shake off a competition loss? What worked for your team? Share your stories in the comments!
School is over, and summer is here to stay! Keeping a team focused during those lazy summer days can be difficult. People go on vacation, or sometimes team members stop showing up to practice. Even when your whole team happens to show, they aren’t too motivated to be there. In a sport like cheerleading, it can be dangerous if your team is not focused. Here are a few ways to keep your team focused during those dog days of summer.
Change it up. Change up the location, the practice routine, have a themed practice day, or even split your team up and have a friendly competition.
1. Beach day.
You’re probably scratching your head, thinking that you’re trying to keep your cheerleaders off the beach instead of at it. But, instead of day in and out cheering at your gym, have a practice at the beach or at your local park. It is summertime‚ everyone wants to be outside! So, hold one practice a week at a different location. Be sure to bring plenty of water!
2. Take your team to a water park.
You might be thinking, “A water park? Why? ” Swimming and walking around all day is a good way to get into shape, and helps you work out different muscles. It also lets your team have a little fun while they work out without even knowing it. You can also substitute yoga for a regular practice, do a boot camp, have a strength-training day, or take your entire team hiking. Sometimes, it is just nice to do something different; it does not have to be too complicated, just something new.
3. Alter the routine.
Your team usually practices a routine over and over to get it down‚ why not switch it up a bit? Take elements of your current routine that the team needs to work on, and mix it up. That way, you are still working on what your team struggles with, but they won’t get bored with the some ol’ routine they have been working on for months. Change up the music to something fun and current, or have a “cheer off’. You want to keep your team excited, so why not experiment with your routine in a new way?
4. Themed days.
Why not have your team dress up for an 80’s day, or a superhero theme? Break out one of those old 80’s workout videos and have an unconventional conditioning day. It may seem silly, but if it gets your team excited to come to practice, it is worth it! Plus, you might get some nostalgia creep up on you in the process. Cue an awesome practice mixtape.
5. Divide your team up into two groups and have a summer competition.
Usually during summer, you are trying to get into shape: working on conditioning, and brushing up on skills before you get into season. Split up your team, and have each team work on skills they need to improve on. Then, right before the fall season starts, have each team show off their skills and the team who has improved the most wins a gift card, a trophy, or maybe a pizza lunch. Anytime you can make conditioning or working on skills a fun endeavor is a win!
It is summer, so get out there and have some fun! Be sure to remind your cheerleaders to stay hydrated, and take plenty of breaks in the shade.
How else have you kept your team focused during the off-season? Share your coaching tips in the comments!
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 there‚ go 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!
Coaching is no easy feat, especially when things don’t go your way throughout the season. As a coach, you’re the one making the tough calls; the one that has to motivate the team to bounce back after a big loss; the one that has to make perfect arrangements for travel, ordering, etc. You have to be on your game at all times, with a whole team of kids and their parents depending on you, and that pressure compounds with whatever is going on in your personal life. Sometimes, you wish you could break down and cry, crumpled up into a ball on the floor, and swear off this whole coaching thing for good. But, there is something inside you that won’t let that happen. That little voice in your head saying that you can and WILL get through this isn’t you losing your mind‚ it’s you being a natural born leader.
Whether you believe it or not, you have led the team even before you met your squad. The minute that you signed up to coach cheer, you started making decisions to better your chances at winning those competition trophies, or wowing the crowd at halftime performances. Schools and organizations don’t fund your sport‚ your efforts do. Sure, the parents foot the bill, but you have to convince them that their money is being invested into the success of their child. You also have to fundraise strategically anywhere money falls short throughout the year. You balance budgets, you work within time constraints, and you jump through hoops to get the best deals on cheer gear. You are the one truly building the team’s foundation!
If that’s not enough, you’re also the go-to problem solver. Your team looks to you for not only guidance, but clarification on rules, routines, and more! You put in the hours to mold your athletes into competitors‚ both physically and mentally. As the coach, you set the tone for the team: you spell out squad decorum, and what will and will not be tolerated, both on and off the mat. You also let your cheerleaders know the repercussions that happen when they step out of line, and unfortunately, have to stick to punishments! The last thing you want to do is crack down a whip in an already overly demanding sport, but as a leader, you have to set the standard. Somebody has to wear the black hat, and that’s just ONE hat coaches have to wear.
To recap, you lead your team in finances, decisions, and demeanor, but that’s not all‚ you have to consistently come up with creative solutions. If you went into coaching not thinking outside the box, you sure do now! Routines aren’t just motions and stunts all thrown together; you have to consider what you’re team is capable of, how it can fit to music, and above all, throw in a wow-factor that either is rare, new, or straight unthinkable‚ without putting your cheerleaders at risk of injury, of course! That’s a tall order all in itself, let alone everything else you have to do.
So, when a bad score comes in, or anything else unexpected takes the wind out of your sails, cheer coaches have to remember that no matter what‚ win or lose‚ they are still leaders. There’s no easy way to go about a season, but you seem to do it year after year, and that is commendable. Keep your chin up, you’ve got this!
Are you a cheer coach? Share how you remain motivated and more in the comments!
Cheerleaders have a difficult job learning choreography, countless cheers, dangerous stunts, and all while staying positive no matter the score of the game or on the mat. To provide the most support for their teams and each other, they have to be strong as a group and physically on an individual level. Cheer practice isn’t the only way to develop these skills; there are many opportunities to build strength and stronger bonds between teammates. Try one or a few of these five ideas.
1. Sign up for a race. Sign up as a team for a 5K, a fun run, or a charity race. The squad can train together and get exercise outside of practice. If you choose to do a race for a cause, encourage the team to work together to raise funds for the charity or organization. On the day of the race, challenge your team to finish together. This will allow the faster team members to encourage the slower individuals, and teach the team to stick together instead of competing for individual accolades. Better yet, choose an obstacle race or team relay, where your cheerleaders will need to work together to complete the race.
2. Go rock climbing. Rock climbing is fun and challenging, and can be a great confidence booster for young boys and girls. Not to mention, in a
survey of 3,500 Americans, rock climbing ranked second as the hobby people most want to try‚ so your cheerleaders may be especially excited for this team outing! The best part: it doesn’t just challenge physical skills; it also helps to build trust and communication among teammates. Since the person on the rock wall is depending on their partner below to make sure they return to the ground safely, it’s the ultimate opportunity for your team to work together. Challenge teammates to pair up with someone they don’t normally work with to make it even more impactful.
3. Host a self-defense class. Self-defense classes are fantastic for team building and allow participants to learn important, life-saving skills. Not to mention it’s an opportunity for your cheer squad to learn self-discipline, improve their balance and strength, and boost their confidence‚ all of which help them to be stronger teammates on the sidelines. The key is finding the right instructor, so look for someone who specifically works with kids or young girls. Someone who specializes in this area will likely be able to present the self-defense ideas more effectively to your cheerleaders.
4. Create team relay races. Head to your local park or beach for an afternoon of casual, fun relay races. Break up your team into smaller groups, determine the relay activities, and set-up some cones or a starting line. Activities might include running to a cone in the distance and doing 10 jumping jacks or five pushups, and then running back to tag the next person in. The first group to have every member complete the race and/or task is the winner. Bring snacks and drinks so everyone can refuel and relax after running around. Turn it into a family event, encouraging event parents to join in for
a post-relay barbecue.
5. Play the hot lava game. If your squad is in high school or college, this will take them back to their elementary school days. They may have played this game in their P.E. classes, but it’s just as effective with older kids or teenagers. You can play in a gym, on a blacktop, at the beach, at the park, or in someone’s backyard. Have players line up in a designated spot, and mark an area a good distance away as the finish line or “safe zone’. The grass, ground, or sand between the players and the finish line is “hot lava’. The team must work together to cross over the hot lava and get to the finish line, but they cannot touch the ground. You will need some materials for this game like planks or bricks, or the rubber dots used in P.E. classes. The team can use these items and work together to cross the lava without standing directly on the ground. It will take creativity and a whole lot of teamwork, but your team will also have a lot of fun.
Note that this popular team-building game is also called swamp crossing, toxic waste and alligator swamp. The rules may vary slightly, but the concept is the same.
Team-building activities give your squad the opportunity to build strength and bond with their teammates at the same time. There’s no limit to the activities you can try; the more creative you can be, the better. Start with these ideas or use them as inspiration to find something better suited to your cheerleaders.
About the Author:
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and is currently a full-time freelance writer. She is also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition specialist, and the owner of her own personal training business, Honest Body Fitness. Follow her Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for health articles, new workouts and more.
This is a sensitive topic. It’s a topic that I have always debated, wanting to shout from the rooftops, but never have. Why? Most likely out of fear of what others may say. If you are a cheerleading coach, cheerleader, cheer parent, or honestly, if you are involved in cheerleading at all, you will totally understand why I am bringing this topic to light. It’s about time someone does it and does it the correct way.
Cheerleading is, in fact, a sport. A sport that is recognized worldwide, and considered to be one of the most dangerous sports in existence. We are not here to debate that, because if you find yourself having to explain why to anyone, you shouldn’t be associating with those kinds of people anyway. No one needs that kind of negativity in their lives.
We finally broke through that barrier and moved along to the next hurdle.
Not all cheerleaders cheer for another sport, but half or more do. Football, basketball, soccer, etc. It is our foundation, and I respect it; it doesn’t bother me to have to cheer someone on. If you have read my articles, you most likely know sportsmanship is important to me and to this sport. Cheering another team on goes hand-in-hand with that. Cheerleading was the entertainment, but cheerleading has progressed. Drastically.
So, why are we compared to other sports? One sport in particular being football. I absolutely love football, so this is not me saying anything bad towards the sport itself. There is just something I have to get off my chest‚ one being cheerleaders are NOT football players. The athlete signed up to cheer, not to play football. Most of the time, that cheerleader didn’t sign up to
cheer on football players, but they have to in order to compete. We will push that aside for a moment though.
When cheerleading coaches, parents or girls themselves complain about the rain, or the cold or the extreme heat, there is no need for the following, “Well, the football players are out with full pads in the heat. ” Or, “You don’t hear the football players complaining about being outside playing a game in the cold or the rain. ” First of all, that contradicts itself. Pick one: full pads make them hotter or full pads make them colder‚ which is it? You can’t have both. Honestly, I just don’t care what football players are doing or where they are practicing or what weather they are playing in. We didn’t sign up to stand outside in the freezing cold or the
extreme heat or the downpours‚ they did. While you’re busy comparing us to them, are you saying the same to those football players? “The cheerleaders are out there with you in the downpour. They don’t have full pads on and are getting drenched. ” No, you will never hear that. So, why say it to us? If I want to complain or they want to complain about the weather element, just let us complain. There is no need for smart remarks of comparisons. Again, we did not sign up for that.
Some of the worst critics of this sport are coaches themselves. The double standard of what I don’t put up with on my team is what I am going to do to yours. It’s a rare breed of coaches that do this, but trust me they are out there. The ones struck with a pride complex. What they do is the best, their sport is the best, and you either fall in line or deal with the consequences. The ones who, upon reading this, will close out the article at this very moment because they don’t need to hear any more. The coaches stuck so far back in time that they haven’t realized what cheerleading really is about now; those that haven’t seen the growth and all that cheerleaders, coaches, directors and judges have made it become.
We cheer for a sport or we don’t. Either way, it doesn’t take away the importance of our own sport‚ those competitions we are training for! On top of our competitions, we are also training for a
halftime routine and all those sideline chants. We work just as hard, if not harder. We practice at 9:00am and are at the game by 11:30am, done around 1:30 just to go home and get ready for the competition the next morning that will have us up at 6:00am to get ready to go. Not to mention spending hours in a gym that literally feels like you walked into the gates of hell with your inner emotions battling like demons, just to go back to practice the next day and do it all over again. We are forced to deal with
cheerleaders missing practices because they “should’ be at this football game instead‚ because, didn’t you know, that is more important?
Yet, we don’t do enough and we aren’t as important? Cheerleaders everywhere lack the respect that they deserve. We show support‚
it’s literally expected of us. What support do we get in return? Do you see those football players showing up to the competitions to support you and cheer on the girls that cheer them on? You know those athletes on the sidelines that if they weren’t there because they had to practice, the world would literally spin off of its axis and crash into the moon? If you do (and I am sure it has happened), consider yourself extremely lucky.
For those who see cheerleaders as nothing more than sideline entertainment, I have a challenge for you: come to one two-hour practice and see what these cheerleaders are doing. Then, I need you to go to ONE competition. Sit the entire duration of the competition. Observe the teams, observe the uniforms, the hair, the makeup and think about
all the effort and time it takes to go into everything. Think about how many games they went to, how many days they practice, how long those practices were; think about how many cheers they learned, the length of the halftime routine and everything that goes into the competition routine. Listen to the comparisons you made, every time you thought this was easy, and that cheerleaders don’t do enough every time you or someone said something about those cheerleaders. I challenge for you really think it through, and then compare.
What do you think about drawing comparisons? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Nothing is worse than patiently waiting for your package to arrive, then you open the box and realize, “OH MAN! I ordered the wrong thing. ” We have all been there at one point or another-accidentally selecting the wrong color or only ordering one instead of four. It happens to the best of us. Here are some helpful tips on how to prevent ordering incorrectly.
Get organized: Before you place your order, get organized. Have the items numbers, sizes and colors grouped together when you are ready to order. Many times coaches have the sizes listed per girl and are trying to count sizes while speaking to a representative. This can cause miscounts when entering the sizes because you counted the skirts sizes instead of top sizes-it can get confusing. You do not want to accidentally order too many larges when you meant to order a medium and then be forced to do exchanges or buy additional pieces because you missed a cheerleader. The best option is to have all your information together so no miscounts happen.
Ordering as a team: I know trying to collect money from parents and fundraising can be difficult and time consuming but ordering as a team in one bulk order is your best option. Not only will it save you money, it also insures your order will match. As a coach you know you always have that one cheerleader who always forgets to give the order information to their parents, or the parent is someone who does everything last minute. By ordering in one bulk order you will insure that all your items are delivered at the same time and the items will match. You will avoid spending extra money on shipping costs and unnecessary returns and exchanges. Nothing is worse than a cheerleading missing out on a game or competition because they did not get their order on time, or they ordered the wrong items.
Individual ordering: I do not recommend this option but sometimes, it cannot be avoided. If you have to order individually for your cheerleader, especially if your order contains customization, the coach needs to call in and place the original order. If the order contains customization an approval email will be sent to the coach to approve. Once the order is approved the parents can then call in and reference the original order. The parents must reference that order number when ordering to avoid any errors or ordering wrong items. As the coach I would recommend having a team meeting with all the parents, provide them a copy of the original order, and really stress that the parents need to call in to place the ordering and must reference the original order number. This method again is not recommended because there is still a high probability that something could be ordered incorrectly. Sometimes parents do not reference the original order, transpose an item number, or they order navy instead of royal. The best option, especially for a large teams, is to order one bulk order together.
Ordering flubs happen. By simply getting organized and communicating with your team, you can avoid ordering incorrectly.
Omni Cheer does allow returns and exchanges for all orders that adhere to our return policy, just in case you do happen to order the wrong items. If you have any questions about placing an order or would like to get a quote, contact our Customer Engagement team at (800) 299-7822, and they will be happy to answer any of your questions. Happy ordering!
How do you keep in contact with your squad? Texts? Emails? What about upcoming events and games? How do you make sure your team has access to times, locations, and what bow or uniform to wear? Here are some great apps and websites that have helped my team have the information they need at their fingertips!
1. First Touch App.
This is a free app the whole team can download, regardless of what kind of phone they have. This app has everything a coach needs to get in touch with their team: a team calendar, alerts, group chats, photo sharing, and news. In the past, I received countless text messages and emails asking, “Where is the event again? ” or “When do we meet? ” Instead of continuously having to search for the address or find the email with all the information to copy and paste, I found my responses had changed to, “Please view the team calendar on the app, thank you! “ My team is well aware of our new system, and it seems to be working quite well! Parents can even stay well informed by using this app. It makes it easy to send quick alerts to inform squad members of a cancelled practice or a sudden location change. Unlike text messaging, no one is accidentally left out of an alert.
Most teams now have a Facebook page that the coach has created. If not, this is a great way to keep squad members and the community informed. It is also a great tool to showcase pictures and videos of your team! Parents will love to take part on their child’s sports page, and will enjoy watching videos and looking at squad pictures. You can get a lot of support from the school and fans, as well. We also use Facebook as a way to connect with our community when we have a fundraising event or tryouts approaching. Most people have Facebook today and are typically connected by phone‚ receiving alerts and messages from pages they follow. Add the Pages App on your phone to access your page quickly and easily!
Twitter is popular in the high school world. This is a great social media tool to use for quick reminders for your team. Twitter is great, however tweets can only contain 140 characters. If you want to announce an event to the public or to your team, Twitter is probably not your best route. I typically will use Twitter as an advertisement to our website, for new members to learn about what we offer.
This is a website that allows coaches to make their own site for their team. It is fully customizable, and such a great resource for your cheerleaders and their parents. I have added everything my team needs on this website, including cheer and chant lists, videos, photos, a team calendar, parent info page, tryout information, and so much more! It is easy to use, and fun to make the site fit your team’s needs. My team is required to use this site as their main source of information. If they need to print something out, they can click on “Handouts’ and get what they need. I have a parent’s page to make sure they are also fully informed, and know where to find important information.
5. TeachAide App.
I use this app to take attendance for my squad. Although it is not specifically designed for teams, I still find this app a helpful tool. You can easily input your students through your contact list. When we have practice, I add a date and mark those who are absent, tardy, or present. By clicking reports, you can see their attendance up to that date. It also has a feature that allows you to randomly pick athletes for whatever purpose you need it for. Sometimes, I have to pick someone to run an errand, and using this tool is AWESOME! There are no arguments! It can randomly select groups as well, which is great! Again, no arguments!
Those are a few helpful apps I have found throughout my coaching experience that have helped me to stay organized and keep team members, parents, and other coaches informed.
What are some handy tech tools you’ve found to work for your team? Tell us in the comments!
If this isn’t your first year coaching cheerleading, then you’ve probably had some ideas here and there for next season as they came to mind. With tryouts around the corner in the spring, it’s time to put those ideas into action and really determine what’s possible for your team. The whole point of cheerleading is to take the sport to the next level, so getting the right team in place to do so is paramount. In order to make the most out of tryouts without compromising on your future team goals, there are some things you need to be ready.
Judges. There are a lot of elements that go into tryouts, but the main thing is a second eye. Do you have an assistant coach, a team captain, or a prime team parent that can assist you in hosting the tryouts? Let them know what your plans for next year may be at this point in time and what they can keep in mind as they watch. Remind them not to judge too harshly on new cheerleaders‚ you never know what they may be capable of! Make sure to create judging forms so that your judges will not only take accurate and helpful notes, but also every cheerleader gets judged fairly and in the same fashion.
A gym. Competitive coaches usually have this one set in stone already, but for sideline cheer coaches or coaches who share a practice space, you have to make sure that you can secure a gym ahead of time. Since it’s most likely on a weekend morning, try to coordinate with the basketball coach to use the school gym, or try an open track field if the weather is nice. The last thing you want to do is postpone tryouts due to an unexpected time confliction with another team. Once everything is squared away and you have a green light for a tryout space, double-check with a school janitor or gym caretaker that you will have the lights on and doors unlocked the day of! This minor detail can cost you, so do your due diligence to have everything go smoothly.
A pre-tryout meeting. Potential cheerleaders and their parents are most likely unaware of exactly how much time goes into cheering. Attempt to lessen the number of team dropouts by getting all of the information out on the table and by answering any questions in a group setting. This significantly cuts down on individual questions you get by cheer parents, which gives you more time to focus on team growth next year! Frequently asked questions include how much does cheerleading cost? What is the prospective schedule like? When is practice? What about traveling? How much commitment do the parents have to put forth? Make everything crystal clear, and have informed applicants show up on tryout day.
A compromising attitude. With so many thoughts to juggle in your head while you try to pull off successful tryouts, it’s tough to remember that you’re not going to have the same team as the year before. Seniors are leaving sideline teams, some of your main cheerleaders are aging out of your competitive teams, and you will have to piece together a whole new team dynamic. Connecting the dots won’t be easy, but it can be done with a little compromise. Your goals for next season don’t have to be thrown in the trash, just amended a little to what you have to work with. And once you figure out who goes where, you will realize how strong your new team is going to be!
What else do coaches need for tryouts? What helped you during this process? Tell us your tips in the comments below.