"Catch the SPIRIT!"
School Spirit is a theme that screams, "Leadership" and "Unity", therefore we must make it a priority to charge-it-up and make it authentic and encouraging to everyone - especially within our associated student body! That's why I'd like to introduce myself, and my belief as a coach for middle school cheer.
Cheerleading became an official sport in the late 1800's with the first three famous words,
"Rah, Rah, Sisboomba!"
But spectators didn't take it seriously until individuals became more creative and increased their athletic activity levels in areas such as gymnastics, partner stunts, pyramids, and advanced jumps. This helped cheerleaders become better known for not only their amazing talent, but also for their outstanding athletic ability. Not only do cheerleaders work hard exerting a lot of physical action, but they are also very strong, loud, and most importantly they put their heart into what they are doing, an expectation that's required from all athletes.
Many people still today assume that cheerleading was formed from a group of hyperactive girls wearing short, skimpy uniforms, and talking like 'valley-girl' style ("Oh my god" and "like totally"), while jumping up and down shouting phrases like, "Go-team-go", and "Go-fight-win!" Although most sports enthusiasts STILL deny it as a sport, the fact remains that cheerleading IS a sport and has numerous opportunities for gaining further achievements in more than just the "rah" talent it was first recognized for! Not only is cheerleading an amazing sport in itself, but it is also, 'a sport within a sport.' And how many times have you heard the phrase, "You can't have your cake and eat it too"...well, NOW you can!
Along with the growth of cheerleaders amazing showmanship came the invention of the megaphone and soon after came the famous pom-pons in the early 1930's. And "believe it or not", cheerleading and all aspects of cheer were entirely initiated by men! Furthermore, some of the most famous and talented US Presidents were cheerleaders such as, George W. Bush, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
As well as, famed actors, Samuel L. Jackson and Jimmy Stewart along with distinguished female actors and entertainers such as, Paula Abdul, Jamie Lee Curtis, Terri Hatcher, Reba McEntire, Mandy Moore, and Alicia Silverstone to name a few - there are many others! So you see, cheerleading has come a long way in the last century and will only continue to have a positive impact on boys and girls of all ages!
During my years as a cheer coach I've observed many kids having a lot of difficulty choosing between one sport over another. There's just not enough time during a season to participate in them all. However, if more individuals knew that cheerleading can offer them so much more than the 'sport of cheer', I know it would have a greater impact on the number of individuals who tryout. The opportunities to learn and get involved in other sports are endless! For instance, when you're cheering for the basketball team, you're not only focusing on when and what to cheer, but you also get to have the opportunity to concentrate on the techniques and basics of basketball too! What a GREAT concept to learning both activities at the same time!
As time moves on and the population grows, sports will require more than just showing up for practices. You will most likely be expected to have had experience. And due to limited time and space, most schools don't allow open gym to those who aren't in an active sport, limiting or diminishing the individual's time to experience and become proficient in a sport(s) of choice.
Although there are other options available, such as open-gym facilities, there's usually a huge fee to joining and almost always another significant amount for attaining a trainer or coach to help teach the skills and basics. Therefore, going out for cheer can open up the doors to other opportunities and possibilities to achieving in other sports and/or activities of your choice. The fee moreover is substantially smaller. So, the sooner you begin your quest to become a cheerleader, the sooner you begin your quest to becoming a well-rounded athlete!
Capturing the RAH! - Something SPECIAL in store for you...STAY TUNED!
Anticipate with ENTHUSIASM, you won't want to miss this!
Have you ever been a Cheerleader?
Would you like to become a Cheerleader, then stay tuned!
Been a Cheerleader before or have the desire to become one?
Cheerleading..."Peace, love, and harmony!"
Not only does cheerleading promote, "Peace, love, and harmony", it creates a combination of the following:
C = Confidence & Creativity
H = Hoorah's & High-5's
E = Enthusiasm & Energy!
E = Engagement & Entertainment
R = Radiance & Reflection
L = Leadership & Loyalty
E = Eminence & Empowerment
A = Achievement & Admiration
D = Discipline & Devotion
I = Impressionable & Involvement
N = Necessity & Notoritety
G = Guidance & Goodness
Which are ALL GREAT quality traits to endure!
Check it out!
Knowing the FUNdamentals!
All About Cheer! - "Ride with Pride!"Click thumbnail to view full-size
"Good sportsmanship is conduct which imposes a type of self-control involving honest rivalry, courteous relations, and graceful acceptance of results."
"Practice like you perform!"
"Without cheerleaders, it's just a game."
"Hoorah for all those who inspire and instill school spirit, sportsmanship, and pride in the student body!"
"Work hard, give it your all, and have FUN!"
"Believing that you can do it!"
"Ride with PRIDE!"
The DO's & DON'Ts of Cheer!
When TO cheer:
1. As your team comes on the floor or field.
2. When your team or a player makes an exceptional play.
3. When a substitution is made on your team, i.e., when appropriate, cheer outgoing player and incoming player.
4. As encouragement and tribute to an injured player when that player leaves the game.
5. When an opponent, who has played spectacularly, leaves the game.
6. As encouragement to own team in its drive for a score.
7. As encouragement to own team in defense of its goal.
When NOT to cheer:
1. When an opposing player makes a mistake or the opposing team is being penalized.
2. When an opposing player is injured.
3. As important announcements are being made over the public-address system.
4. When an unsportsmanlike act has occurred or is occurring.
NOTE: Negative or demeaning cheering is NEVER acceptable. Chanting or cheering for the purpose of taunting the opponents is also NEVER appropriate.
"I think. Therefore I am."
Over the years as a middle school cheer coach, I've learned a great deal about recognizing the unique developmental needs of the middle level students and it takes a lot of dedication and promoting activities that build student success through active participation, skill building, and positive sportsmanship to allow the boys and girls the freedom to mastering school pride and ownership within a team.
* Emphasizing participation over win/loss records
* Providing opportunities for EVERYONE to participate
* Balancing performance with cooperation
* Encouraging lifelong participation in activities
* Emphasizing having fun
*Developing age-appropriate skills
*Focusing on fundamentals
*Developing skills as a foundation for improvement
*Developing a positive team attitude
*Encouragement, cooperation, and collaborating with peers
*Presenting positive adult role models that demonstrate self-control and respect
MIDDLE LEVEL COACHES UNDERSTAND (Per W.I.A.A.)
*Students have varying levels of ability, and coaches need to present a developmentally appropriate program for students
*Positive encouragement is the strongest tool for learning
*Coaches should provide a safe environment for kids to "risk" and grow
*Activities should be meaningful and fun
*Coaches are a key role model
*Every team member's responsibility is to encourage one another
*Today's superstar could be tomorrow's bench warmer, and vice versa
Checklist to running an effective and meaningful program!
___"Coaches Handbook" (A MUST have!)
(Information to running an effective and meaningful practice...look for this, coming soon!)
___Current CPR/First Aid (Also a MUST!)
___"DISTRICT COACHES HANDBOOK" is a MUST!
(If you're a coach within a district)
___Subscription to popular Cheerleading magazine
(Checkout to members of the squad - they'll love it!)
___Links to popular Cheer sites
(Keeping important dates, links, notes, etc./Kept in "Coaches Handbook")
___Know Cheer terminology (Also a MUST)
___Check into your home state interscholastic activities association
___Daily structured practice routine
(Kept in "Coaches Handbook")
___Quality exercise/stretching & cool down 5-10 minute routine to be followed at beginning and ending daily practice routine
___Team Building is a MUST!
___Teach the basics/fundamentals before going on to higher levels of cheerleading
___Keep running records of progress for each individual
(Strength's and 'next steps'/Kept in "Coaches Handbook")
___Build 'life skills' of the following...(sportsmanship, leadership, unity, dedication, self-esteem, & professionalism)
___Do's & Don'ts of Cheer
___"Regulations for Coaches"
(National Federation Spirit Rules/Kept in "Coaches Handbook")
___Seasonal games to start the season off!
(Word Search, Crosswords, Fill-In's, Scavenger Hunts, etc./Kept in "Coaches Handbook")
___"Coaches Pledge" (Kept in "Coaches Handbook")
___"Cheerleader Pledge" (Kept in "Coaches Handbook")
___Cheerleading quotes, poems, inspirational documentaries, etc.
(Kept in "Coaches Handbook")
___Personal/Squad GOAL setting
(Kept in "Coaches Handbook")
(Kept in "Coaches Handbook")
___Updating Cheer Resources
(Kept in "Coaches Handbook")
"In The Coaches File"
Running a well-organized, fun, and attainable program!
The following objectives are ones I've accumulated over the years to running a more smoother program and to having an effective, well-organized, and meaningful Seasonal year. Also, for your convenience, I've put all the documents in alphabetical order as I've also tagged (*) forms that I organize in a folder for handing out at the beginning of the Season to each member of the squad.
"BEST WISHES and GOOD LUCK TO A WONDERFUL YEAR OF COACHING!" Cheers, Coach Smith
(*)"A Guide to Daily Food Choices"
(*)"Basic Cheer Positions"
(*)"Basic Individual Stretches"
"Basic Tumbling Skills"
(*)"Cheer & Chant Sample Sheets"
(*)"Cheerleader Parental Release Form"
(*)"Cheerleading Uniform Care & Responsibility/Liability"
"Daily Practice Schedule"
(*)"District Substance Abuse Policy"
(*)"Early Season Self-Evaluation"
"Eating for Energy"
"Exercises to Improve Your Motions"
(*)"Expectations & Guidelines"
"Focus On Flexibility"
"Game Planning and Information Sheet"
(*)"Guidelines" (Values, Skills & Procedures, Basic Responsibilities, Cheerleader Conduct, Uniform and Appearance, Expectations, Camps, etc.)
(*)"How to Act/Feel/Look/Like an Athlete"
(*)"Internet & Other Cheer Resources"
(*)"Making a Megaphone"
(*)"Making FLASH Cards"
"Member of the Community"
"Motivation/Inspirational Material" (poems, quotes, short stories, etc.)
"Official's Signals for Football & Basketball"
"Overcoming Tumble Phobias"
"Personal Information Index"
"Positive Quotes for Cheerleading"
"Practice Goal Sheet"
"Practice Schedule Sheet"
(*)"Regulations for Cheerleaders" per National Federation Spirit Rules
(*)"School Academic Requirements for Student Participation in Athletic Programs"
(*)"Skill Improvement Form"
(*)"Skill Sheet Progressions"
(*)"Spirit Words & Phrases"
(*)"Stretch Techniques to Improving Your Jumps"
(*)"Student Behavior Expectation Agreement"
"Team Building" (Boundary Breaking Games, Trust Activities, Goal Setting, TEAM Time, Team Worksheet)
"Tips for SUCCESS"
"Tips for Tryouts"
(*)"Tips for Workin' Your Jumps" (Do's & Don'ts)
"Tips on Motions"
"Tryout Scoring Rubric"
(*)"Types of Arm Motions"
(*)"What Every Cheerleader Should KNOW"
SPIRIT Words from A to Z
Up to 10 to help you begin!
These will hopefully support you in creating additional cheers, chants, posters, signs, etc. with a bit of enthusiasm!
X (play with words)
X-change a.k.a. exchange
X-pert a.k.a. expert
X--sealant a.k.a. excellent
X-stream a.k.a. extreme
Competitions - GAME ON! - REACH FOR IT!
Get ready for the launch!
"Bring it on!" - Let's GO!