Back to School reinvigorates your cheerleading squad – why? Because it’s show time.
Not only are your cheerleaders’ skills on display at athletic events, cheering, dancing, stunting and tumbling, but cheerleaders are also in the spotlight among their peers as representatives of the student body. As cheerleaders, we have a responsibility to represent our school with good behavior and good performance in the classroom, often meeting or exceeding other student athlete requirements. It’s a task not to be taken lightly, and while everything is new, fresh and buzzing with back to school excitement, it’s a great time to reflect on the past few months of training and practice, to put yourself and your cheerleaders in the right mindset for good behavior and success this school year.
As a coach, it’s important to mentally prep yourself for back to school, so you’re equipped and ready when situational issues arise during school. Ask yourself these 3 questions to re-boot your mindset for coaching:
- What do I believe? Note your personal beliefs, and how they shape your day to day direction. Do you believe in equality? acceptance? leading by example? Does your faith play the main role, or take a back seat in your coaching philosophy?
- Who do I befriend? Keep good company. Do you confide in close friends, a sibling, a spouse, other coaches? Or are you confiding in cheer parents that have their own interests at heart and only want the gossip? It’s important to be able to talk through your coaching decisions, but also to be cognizant of who you’re sharing your time and details with. If you can name someone of bad influence in your circle, decrease the amount of time you’re giving to them.
- How do I behave? Generalize and list the types of behavior you expect of yourself. What behavior do you value? Are you courteous, honest, forgiving, respectful, thoughtful, sincere, forthright? If you’re being completely thorough, write down any undesirable behaviors on a separate sheet of paper. When your list is done, take the sheet of paper, wad them up and throw them out. It’s therapeutic to recognize the behaviors and physically destroy them. Carry and keep only your positive ones.
Keep your answers on notecards for reference, or just clip a page into the front of your coaching binder for a quick moment of clarity when the pressure gets turned up this season.
Now it’s your squad’s turn. At your next practice, take 20 minutes to have the girls individually answer each of the 3 questions, and keep it in their cheerleading binders for reference. They don’t need to share their answers, as a matter of fact, it should be a sheet for their personal reference only. It’ll be a helpful tool for you and your cheerleaders when situations arise during the season.
Have a great week! When doing this exercise GCITDOYD – CL4L!