The key to successful cheerleader coaching is motivating your cheerleaders. Check out these useful tips for keeping everyone engaged.
Being a cheerleader teacher or coach is a hard job. You have to be able to create and teach routines, foster a team environment, solve conflicts and work with the parents of your cheerleaders. Sometimes, the girls (and boys, if you have them on your squad) can get complacent and do not seem excited to learn and do new things. The atmosphere of a cheerleading squad hinges on excitement, so motivating your cheerleaders is important. Here are some fun and creative ways to get the job done.
Let Them Create the Squad Goals
When your cheerleaders are part of the goals process, they are more invested in reaching them. Use two large decorated containers or cans and have each of your cheerleaders place their own personal goal in one can and a goal for the team in the other. Use the goals your girls and guys give you to create the perfect squad. When everyone is excited to reach goals and do new things, it pays off in the amount of motivation and teamwork you see.
Make Spirit Journals
At the end of each cheerleading session, give each person a notebook and allow him or her to record successes, frustrations and ideas for next time. Ask some volunteers to share what they wrote. This can help the squad think collectively about solving problems and doing the stuff that is working all the time. It is also a good way to help squad members get closer and become more invested in each other, both as an individual and as a member of the team.
Give Positive Feedback
Coaches and teachers often fall into the trap of only working on things that aren’t going well. Make it a habit to celebrate when your squad is doing something right. Praise them on the spot so they know what they did and are more motivated to keep doing it. You might also consider sending personal notes to your squad with customized words of praise and encouragement. When the squad feels good, they are more likely to want to work for you. Take time to encourage the squad members to offer each other praise when it’s due because peers are a very powerful way to boost motivation.
Give Your Squad Coupons
A little bit of positive motivation can go a long way toward helping you create an awesome squad. Hand out coupons that entitle the guys and girls to special perks if they reach a goal. Perhaps they can skip an exercise they hate or take a day off if they want to. These little motivators won’t seem like much, but they offer recognition for a job well done and a small reward that the members of your squad will love. You can hand these out at the beginning of the season or periodically throughout the year.
Keeping it all organized as a cheer coach can be hard. That’s why you need some quality cheerleading software like The Studio Director. This allows you to keep your necessary information in a convenient place and cuts down on the paperwork side of things. This reduces your overall work load and allows you to do more of what you love, which is working with the students.
Do you have any ideas that keeps your cheerleading squad motivated?