How to coach cheerleading
Ready, Set, Go -- learn how to coach cheerleading and lead your team to fitness
Cheerleading involves a lot more than just cheering. Coordination, physical strength and teamwork are all important aspects of being a successful cheerleader. And although cheerleaders are often well-versed in these traits, they still need guidance, which is why cheerleader coaches are crucial.
Young people need someone with experience to lead them in the right direction and help them achieve their cheerleading dreams. Knowing how to coach cheerleading helps you guide youngsters into becoming better athletes and people.
Knowing What You're Talking About
You don't have to be a professional cheerleader in order to coach, but you do need some basic understanding of the sport. If you don't have much experience in cheerleading or feel your skills are a little rusty, start learning. Watch videos or conduct some online research about cheerleading so your students will trust and respect what you have to teach them.
Knowing basic elements, such as cheers, tumbling skills and even what cheerleaders should wear and how to inspire school spirit in the crowd, are all essential to becoming a successful cheerleading coach and leading your team to excellence. You can also pick the brains of other cheerleading coaches you know and go to their practices to learn their techniques and teaching styles.
When you first meet your team, have each athlete give you a performance of his or her skills. You can ask the athlete to perform a stunt, routine or whatever you think will best display the athlete's skill level.
Once you know what each athlete knows, you'll be better suited to decide who does what. For instance, a experienced cheerleader who is great at tumbling will likely be able to perform those harder stunts you want to incorporate into your routines. A cheerleader that doesn't have much experience may be best suited simply performing cheers.
Knowing which cheerleaders are flexible and have an understanding of gymnastics is also important. When you know just how much experience they've had tumbling and how much they are able to bend comfortably, you can prevent injuries, and better formulate your routines.
Just about everyone, including cheerleaders, performs better when encouraged, instead of critiqued. Although you certainly need to guide your athletes in the right direction and tell them when they've done something wrong, you also need to let them know when they've done something right. Showing the athlete that you notice all of the positive aspects he or she has -- and not just the negative -- will boost the cheerleader's confidence and encourage him or her.
Additionally, you will likely become a parent-figure to the athlete. Therefore, it is always important to provide a good example and conduct yourself professionally and in a respectable manner.
Prepare yourself for helping some of the cheerleaders with problems they may have, and know that you will likely encounter some attitude from time to time, as well. But keeping a positive attitude and knowing that you are a role model for these cheerleaders will likely encourage you to keep your chin up and guide these athletes to become the best cheerleaders they can be.