Being a cheerleader coach is a dream come true for many people. If that's the case for you and you have a successful business that allows you to do that, you are one of the lucky ones. However, being an effective cheerleader coach requires some dedication and flexibility. Whether you're the only coach on staff or you employ others to help you, using these tips and techniques can help you be the best cheer coach your cheerleaders will ever have.
Consider Ability Level
New cheerleaders won't be ready to perform the routines and cheers that more experienced ones can handle. When you organize your squads or teams, it's important to divide them by ability level. Beginners need more attention to the basics, while those who have been cheering for a while should be working on honing their skills and getting better at more sophisticated and complex routines.
One of the best things about cheerleaders is that they are happy and fun, even when things aren't going the way they want them to. After all, you still see them rallying the crowd, even when the team is losing. You need to model that positive attitude by staying that way yourself. Motivate and inspire your squad to be positive during each practice and you'll have a group that always wants to do their best.
As a coach, it's your job to help them become the best they can be. That means providing feedback on their performance on a regular basis, including when they are doing it correctly or need some improvement. Approach feedback individually so that it's effective for each member of your squad. A one-size-fits-all approach does not always work.
Enforce the Rules
You need to have a set of rules to keep your squad on task and working away at honing their skills. That means you have to enforce them on a consistent basis. You can't let the rules slide sometimes and enforce them other times. Outline what the rules are and what the consequences are for breaking them, then stick to it at all times.
Challenge Your Squad
The only way your group of cheerleaders is going to improve is if you challenge them on a regular basis. That means giving them brand new routines and moves all the time to keep them on their toes and help them learn new skills while also improving current skills. As your squad gets better at certain things, expand on them and keep the group motivated and excited about trying new things.
Don't go into practice sessions thinking that you're just going to wing it. Have a carefully laid out plan that you can work with at each session so that your squad stays on track and becomes the best they can be. Many coaches find it helpful to write down what the group will focus on, broken into time frames. That keeps everyone on task and ready to work throughout the entire session.
Now that you're ready to be the all-star coach your squad deserves, you need to take a minute to focus on the business end of things. Use a cheerleading software program like The Studio Director to help you keep track of your schedule, the skills that need work and anything else important that will benefit you and your squad. This will help keep you out of the office and in the gym with your squad - right where you want to be!