Observation: Execution Wins

Coaches often ask me 2 questions, what they should work on and what wins. I assume this is because I judge a lot of cheerleading, have judged for a long time, and watch even more cheerleading when not judging, giving me a pretty wide and long term view of what works. The short version of my answer is Execution.

In my opinion, executing cleanly and preparing in a way that allows your teams to execute cleanly, is the best thing you can do for a couple reasons. A team that executes cleanly has worked on the skill enough to move past the larger picture of just hitting the skill toward the finer details of exactly how the skill is being hit. This requires the group, coach included, to be confident the skill will hit and this confidence will show on the floor. Plus, once you get to the point that normal is hitting a clean routine, a bad day becomes having a couple bobbles. If normal isn’t having a clean routine, a bad day becomes falls and collapses.

Finally, I’m going to draw the unscientific conclusion that skills and routines that are executed cleanly and have fewer falls and collapses lead to fewer injuries. Fewer injuries are not only good for the athletes, but also the coaches that don’t have to replace the athletes in the routine, the programs that don’t have to explain the injury to the parents, and the industry for not making the news due to injuries, all wins in my book.

USASF: Cheer All Star Prep Guidelines Reminder

USASF LogoAs a reminder to all USASF members, the Cheer All Star Prep division has limitations placed upon it that are listed on the USASF Rules website.

Click the link, or copy/past this URL into your browser: http://usasfrules.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/USASF-All-Star-Prep_4_5_13.pdf

Of particular note is that cheer all star prep teams may perform no more than one time at a two-day event.  This includes performances of any type – competitive, exhibition, evaluation, etc.)  Allowing a cheer  all star prep team to take the performance mat more than once at a two-day event may result in the event producer being referred to the Compliance Committee of the USASF for review.

This issue in particular will be reviewed in the next 6 weeks by representatives of regional focus groups covering the 5 geographical regions of the USASF, in addition to separate meetings comprised of all four tiers of events producers.  Any discussion and/or recommendations made by these groups would potentially impact the 2015-16 season at the earliest.  For the current season (2014-15), the definition of Cheer  All Star Prep and the limitations placed upon it will follow those listed on the above web page.

Media: Why Aren’t There More Serious Movies About Cheerleading?

Entertainment Weekly published Why Aren’t There More Serious Movies About Cheerleading?, in reference to the American Cheerleader movie.

Combine that formula with the hours of hard work that come into play in preparation for nationals, and the film’s story practically writes itself. So when is Hollywood going to stop looking at cheerleading as something to scoff at? When will we stop writing scenes about girls putting Vaseline on their teeth—and start writing scenes about the gymnastic abilities necessary to complete a routine, or about the girl who’s spent a year trying to make up for the fact that she fell during last year’s national competition? What about the coach who put cheerleading before her marriage and is now working through a divorce?

6 Things I Wish Somebody Had Told Me When I Started My Small Business

Entrepreneur published 6 Things I Wish Somebody Had Told Me When I Started My Small Business, giving advice to new business owners.

Running your own business is one of the most exciting, and challenging, adventures you will embark upon. Take care of yourself as you set the tone and culture of your growing business. Protect yourself to ensure the business will survive the ups and downs. Running your business can be fun with a little bit of planning and with processes to make things run smoothly. Take time to set it up right so you can get back to doing what you love. I’m cheering for you!

How To Embrace Failure In Order To Become Successful

Forbes published How To Embrace Failure In Order To Become Successful, discussing learning from poor outcomes.

Some view failure as the ultimate loss of control. It isn’t. You can’t control the stock market, market forces, the weather or the dismal response your last marketing campaign received. What you can control is your reaction to it. Instead of blowing a fuse or assigning blame, you can choose to take responsibility, learn from your mistakes and make corrections going forward.

Varsity Triple Crown 2015

Varsity Spirit LogoVarsity All Star announced the Large Senior division will compete for the 2015 Triple Crown. Specifically Cheer Extreme Senior Elite, Maryland Twisters F5, Stingrays Orange, and World Cup Shooting Stars will compete at Cheersport, NCA, and UCA with the most successful team across the 3 events winning a donation for the cause of their choice.

Last season the Large Coed division was featured with Top Gun taking home the crown.

Observations Before Diving Into Competition Season

It’s almost time to dive into competition season. This weekend is my last open weekend before 5 straight weekend of events, with 3 of them being outside the United States. Judging by the number of upcoming showcases on CheerLive’s Schedule, I’m not the only one about to dive into competition season, and the next several months flying by. Before you get too deep into the speed and fury of competition season, take a minute to make sure your athletes and teams are ready. Re-read the scoring systems and rules and examine your routine. Have other coaches you work with or know take a look at your routine and give feedback. They’ll notice adjustments that need to be made that you’re too invested in to change on your own.

You not only need to make sure your athletes and teams are ready, you also need to be sure you are. Some of the things I do to get ready for the busy season are double check my calendar, make sure I make time for my non-cheer priorities, and ensure I schedule some me time. I’m pretty calendar based and don’t like cancelling events so I need to be sure every event, cheer or not, I’ve confirmed or discussed is noted on my calendar so I don’t create conflicts. I’ll also block off some me and friend time to ensure I keep my sanity and my friends don’t think I’ve forgot about them for half the year. I also make sure I’m exercising and eating healthy at home because I don’t usually do either on the road. I’m sure what you do is different, but take a minute to ensure you’re ready to do whatever it is you need to do.