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Coaching Articles:


Coach information:


Coaching Musts -
consider these things
Tryouts -
From start to finsh. (judging, advertising, etc.)
Start of the Season -
dealing with camp and captains.
Practice -
How to get practices set up and organize them.
Things to Deal with -
Discipline, eating disorders, etc.
Planning -
How to plan games, pep rallies, fundraisers, etc.
Teaching -
How to teach each cheerleading skill
Competitions -
How to plan competitions from start to finish
 


 




Coaching musts
1.)Communication - Make the team aware of every decision that you make, even if you have to metion it multiple times.
2.)Motivation - Get the team excited with strong words and/or Hi-fives. It will bring a better team environment.
3.)Organization - Always know what you are doing a couple steps of the team. They will have more confidence in you and not be bored.
4.)Accountabilty - You need to have a contract with all rules and regulations to maintain order.
5.)Safety - Always stress safety and spotting with your team. No one needs to be injured.
6.)Fun - The reason why they joined the team in the first place. As as coach, make it fun for them.

 



Tryouts
Setting up tryouts is a tedious task. You need to make everyone aware of tryouts, you need to make sure you have your judges, you need to have the gym reserved, you need to have all proper safety precautions, and you need to cover your butt if anything goes wrong. Here is a tryout schedule and some tips for setting up tryouts:
1.)Make them aware. You can announce it over the intercom, make fliers, put it in the local newspaper, send letters to the girls/their parents in the mail, and/or just tell them to their face.
2.)Where to have it - find a gym or use a facility tall enough to have a successful tryout. Probably where you usually practice.
3.)Finding Judges - always try to get someone who does not know the girls. Avoid as much conflict as humanly possible. It is easy for a girl who did not make the team to blame her loss on someone who knew the judges. You can look for them as past cheerleaders from 5 to 10 years ago OR look at local colleges. IF you pay them, the will be much cheaper than any cheerleading association.
4.)Curriculum - You will want 1 or more tryout sessions to teach the girls the cheer, chants, and dance beforehand so you need to schedule a few days for that. You need to decide what you want in a squad and design your curriculum around that.
5.)Preparing curriculum - You can do it yourself, have past girls do it, or hire out someone. It is really up to you and your experience. The cheers and chants are pretty easy to make up, but the dance will take a little work.
6.) Creating Score sheets - [some examples of judges sheets]
You can have the judging sheets pick the squad that you want. IF you want more of a stunting team, then way your stunts heavily on the scoring sheets or have multiple stunts scored. Make sure that the cheerleaders trying out are aware of this so those who do not make the team assume too much without even knowing the whole truth. Here are some of the different categories to focus on:
a.) Appearance
b.) Enthusiasm (school spirit)
c.) jumps
d.) stunts
e.) tumbling
f.) baskets
g.) cheer
h.) chant
i.) dance
j.) motions
h.) execution
7.) Picking a Team-
You need to know exactly what type of a team that you want (i.e. cheering team, competition team, both)? From there you will pick accordingly. If you want just a cheering/game team, then you pick girls that have the best personality and energy. You will focus less on the skills and more on the cheers, chants, and enthusiasm scores, If you want more of a competition team then you will focus heavily on the skills scores at the tryouts, but you may lose some of the girls that are more reliable as game cheerleaders.
8.)Avoiding conflict from those who did not make the team and/or parents?
a.) Tell the girls upfront on how you are going to judge them. They need to know what they need to practice so they can give it their all. If you are judging them on their stunts and they don't have them as good as the other girls, then they will not make the team. It should be obvious to them. Though there are a few exceptions, and it is usually the girls that did not make the team by a small margin.
b.) You also need to make your superiors are aware of how tryouts are being run, that way they can defend your judgment.
c.) At tryouts you must also be stern with the girls/guys. Tell them upfront that you go by what the score sheets say and that's that. This will instill in them that nothing can be done if by chance they don't make the team.
d.) Have the tryout (and tryout session) closed. Don't allow anyone to watch. Parents and/or friends can instigate something from nothing.
e.) Have a waiver signed beforehand stating whatever is stated by the coach goes. The girls/guys and their parents will both have to sign it beforehand.
f.) Hold a tryout meeting with the parents so they understand your rule and regulations. If they understand the recommendations and restrictions beforehand, then they can't complain.
g.) If you do get into a confrontation be calm, do say to much, and stick to score sheets!



Start of the Cheer Season
1.)Planning Camp [camp tips]
Camp is a great experience for the girls. It gives them a chance to be a team, get out and see other teams, and compete. Start planning by deciding what type of camp you would like to go to. There are team camps and there are private camps. At team camps you will usually go offsite to a college campus and stay there for a couple of days. These camps give you the opportunity to get away, to see other teams, and compete. The other camp is a private camp. Though it is less exciting for the girls, you have an opportunity to learn a lot more due to the private coaching. Private camps are also LESS expensive due to the fact that you do not have to pay for housing and food.
2.)getting things together
Here is a list of items a coach needs to take for camp:
Here is a list of items a cheerleading needs to take for camp [click here for camp item list print out]:
3.)Picking Captains - a cheerleading captain(s) is very important to a coach and their squad. It is usually the middle man when it comes to getting points across from the coach to the team. Having someone who is easy to work with and cares for the team is usually the best choice. Though the best skilled cheerleading can get a lot of respect from the team, that is sometimes not the best person for the job. Here are some way to pick your captain:
a.) coaches decision
b.) team vote
c.) seniors left on the squad
d.) highest score at tryouts.

 


Practice
1.)Where to practice - Make sure you find a place where the ceilings are high enough for stunting, pyramids, and baskets, and have the mats available for safety issues. If your team does not have access to these things, then you may want to work on your stunting, tumbling, pyramids, and baskets outside and work on your cheers, chants, and dance in the inside (if available.)
2.)What to bring to practice
coach: paper, pencils/pens, absence sheet, team contract, daily informational papers/schedules,
safety kit:
*Band-aids (multiple sizes)
*Compresses (multiple sizes)
*Triangle bandages (6)
*Scissors & Tweezers
*Antiseptic Wipes
*Pencil & Paper
*Disinfectant
*Roll of Gauze
*Plastic Bags
*Close access to a phone
*Medical forms and releases of all the cheerleaders
*Paper bag
*Latex Gloves
*Sanitary Pads
*Safety Pins
*Small sewing kit
*Adhesive Tape
*Ice
*Splint Material
*Blankets
*Highway Flares
*Hard Candy
*Address of your location and closest cross road
*Pre-wrap
*Athletic Tape
3.)Exercises
Always start your practice with a stretch [go to cheer stretching]. From there start you cheerleading exercises [cheer exercises]
4.)Organize Practice
Have a set plan for the day and make sure you change it up daily so the team does not peek out and get bored.
5.)Get their attention
Make sure the team is quite when performing skills. Talk with confidence and enthusiasm to keep the team involved with what you are saying
6.)Get respect from your team-When first meeting your team make sure you are stern. You do not want to be their best friend on the first day. Let them know that you mean business, and they will respect you as long as you don't go overboard. Also make sure you know your cheerleading skills. The team will be looking to you for guidance, so don't let them down.
 

 


Things to Deal with (Discipline)
1.)Contracts [printable contract] - always start the season with a contract that the cheerleader and his/her parent's have to sign
2.)Late - try making them run after practice, or stay after for 20 minutes to clean up on numerous occasions. If getting out of hand you could demote them down to the squad below or dismiss them from the squad.
3.)No show to practice - You could make them run a mile or 2, stay after and clean up, dismissal if it happens on multiple occasions.
4.)NO show to game - You could make them run a mile or 2, stay after and clean up, dismissal if it happens on multiple occasions.
5.)Smoking - Make your own judgments. You could make them run or look to dismissal as a possibility. Dismissal is kind of harsh, but if it's in the contract for dismissal then do it.
6.)Drugs - dismissal from the team
7.)Alcohol - dismissal from the team
8.)Stealing - dismissal from the team
9.)Sick - Make sure they and/or their parents call in. A doctor's note can be recommended of sickness is out of control (or absences from sickness is out of control).
10.)Eating disorder - Do what you have to do for the cheerleader's safety. Keep in mind that she could hurt other members of the team accidentally. If you are not sure then taking her off to the side and talk with her or pull her parents aside an express your concern might be helpful. For more information Go to http://www.edreferral.com/ which is the Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center and they will be able to answer all of your questions.
11.)Injury - If they are injured to the point where it inhibits them to perform their skills, then they need to sit out. You do not want them to injure themselves and/or someone else.
12.)Dealing with Parents - Make sure you give the parents your expectation with a contract at the beginning of the year. If that fails and a conflict arises, then listen to the parent, and try to find a way to settle the dispute.
13.)Dealing with the Athletic Department - If you cheer team is under the athletic department then you have to appease them. They want NO problems coming up from your squad, so do what you can to keep your problems inside the team.
NOTE: Document all rules broken by all cheerleaders
 

 


Planning
1.)Planning Pep Rallies

[go here for pep rally information]
2.)Getting Ready for the Game

[go here for game tips]
3.)Fundraisers/Raising money

[go here for fundraiser tips]
4.)Working on a Float - coming soon!!!!
5.)Dances - coming soon!!!
 

 


Teaching
1.)Teaching Stunts - Make sure everyone is using hands on spotting. Tell the flier to "stay tight", "lift her head up", "lift her shoulders up", "squeeze her buttocks", "squeeze her abs", "don't bale", and "smile". This will help with most stunts. For the bases it more like "don't lift with your back"," look at the stunt", "dip with your legs", "catch high", etc. For the spotter they need to "keep your eyes on the flier", "hands on spotting at all times", "grab high", etc. Click on this link for some more information on stunts [All-girl stunting | COED stunting]
2.)Teaching Pyramids - Keep the same tips in mind as the stunts [High school pyramids | College Pyramids]
3.)Teaching Tumbling - Have the girls/guys remember to point their toes and keep their legs together. [go here to learn more about tumbling]
4.)Teaching Baskets - Remember to tell your team to catch the flier high and to not run away from the basket. The flier needs to catch her bases and not assume that they are going to just catch her. The flier needs to wrap her arms around the bases and squeeze for the cradle or else she will fall through. [go here to learn basics of baskets]
5.)Teaching Transitions - Have fun and make sure you have extra spotters on hand. [go here to learn basics of transitions]
 



Cheer Competitions
1.)Planning a Competition routine [go here for competition lessons and tips]
2.)Putting together music for competition
You can either go to a professional, a radio station, any DJ, purchase lots of expensive equipment, or do it yourself on your computer with a Music Maker software. I personally use Music Maker 6 and 7, but you can use whatever you want. Here are some pointers when making your music:
a.) Does your music have sound effects?
b.) Make sure you have 3 copies of the music.
c.) Make sure the music falls at least :30 seconds to 1 minute below recommended time. Some CD/tape players can be slower than yours, and you do not want to get deducted points when you don't need to.

 

 

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