Competition season is a cheerleader’s prime time, but they aren’t the only ones working hard day in and day out. The season doesn’t work without the extreme, almost fanatical dedication of the coaches. Being a competitive cheer coach isn’t a job to take lightly; the success of the team depends on an organized, motivated, and dependable leader! Being a competitive cheer coach, you definitely have more weighing on your shoulders than you originally signed up for, and sometimes literally when standing in the line of crumbling stunts! Needless to say, a cheer coach experiences competitive season a little differently. 1. Competition season never ends. Period. [Source:Giphy] Off-season? What off-season is this that you speak of?? The minute one season ends, another begins — you have tryouts, introduction practices, parent briefings, camp, clinics, summer practices, and then BOOM, the season is here. Flash forward through fall and winter-long practices, travel excursions, and countless community events between actual competitions, and before you know it, it’s late April and it’s time to start all over again. Good thing far-away competitions give you time to plan next season while in transit. 2. Dear brain: just stop. For one night. [Source: Giphy] You already are juggling your day job, your family, your team’s agenda, and your almost non-existent social life, but then you spy several motions in the routine that need changing. Oh, and there are a couple cheerleaders that are going on family vacations. And, your gym is closed for maintenance on‚ what day again? And, you need to place a team order before a certain date to get your items in time‚ when was that?? Halfway through the season, you realize that your personal journal has segued from daily rants to a running team to-do list. With your mind racing around the clock, you still manage to get it all handled. Thank you day planners, bulletin boards, phone notes, sticky notes, clipboards, notebooks, and your last shred of sanity! 3. Anxious? Drink more coffee, and calm down. [Source: Giphy] Competition season is high-stakes cheerleading, so a coach that wants to keep a “low-profile’ and is in it “just to have fun’ is doing it all wrong. Your cheerleaders are putting their lives in each other’s hands every day, and it’s your job to keep them from breaking‚ both physically and mentally. And, that’s not to mention making sure your cheerleaders are safe on the road, maintaining their attention enough to make progress at practice, and handing them over on time to competitions and community events. Cutting through a cheerleader’s sugar high is hard enough for any person, let alone the person who’s responsible to deliver the trophies. Bottom line: competitive coaching is not for the weak of spirit. Cue caffiene. 4. Despite the stress, coaching competitive cheer is the most rewarding feeling. [Source: Giphy] Some people volunteer to make a difference. You mold athletes on the mat, and help younger generations develop to be better adults. And, watching the routine that you thought up come to life and get recognized with awards on the mat is a feeling that money can’t buy. You are proud of your team, obsessed with their success, and every time you see them perform you want to cry. But, that’s fine: you let your emotions fuel you forward season after season. How else do competitive cheer coaches view competition season? Share your experiences in the comments!