20 Things Your Old Coaches Wish You Knew About Switching Cheer Gyms

20 Things Your Old Coaches Wish You Knew About Switching Cheer Gyms

There can be good in goodbye.
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When someone moves from one cheerleading gym to the next, it is a heartbreaking decision for everyone that has been involved in their career as a cheerleader, especially for that athlete. The fact is, this athlete is being pulled from their comfort zone and placed in a new environment, and that is scary for adults, let alone children. Kids become so attached to not only their coaches and the style of coaching, as well as basically growing up with their teammates. They experience so many emotions together in one season alone, becoming a little family in the process, so having to step away from your family to jump into another one can more often than not be unsettling. However, as a coach and former athlete, I know that change is good. I absolutely love my athletes, past and present, I will always care about them and have great hopes for their well being and success. Every gym is not for every person, and athletes and parents have to set aside their goals and put themselves before anything else. So there are many misconceptions about leaving a gym, but I am here to set the record straight. Here are 20 things your old coaches wish you knew about switching cheer gyms.

1. We could never hate you!

2. Everyone that cared about you before still cares about you now.

3. We LOVE running into you at competitions, so no need to hide when you see us.

4. Your cheer family is still here for you.

5. We know and understand that you needed growth.

6. Your success with your new program doesn't make us sad, it makes us really proud of you.

7. We do look at your Instagram videos and smile when you get a new skill.

8. When your mom posts a new photo of your accomplishments on Facebook we are happy for you.

9. We would coach you again in a heartbeat.

10. If you needed anything, even a shoulder to cry on after a tough practice, we still have no problem being there for you.

11. Leaving a gym doesn't mean leaving our lives.

12. Memories have us talking and thinking about you often!

13. We always tell each other how much we miss coaching you.

14. You are so important to us.

15. We hope that you are being pushed to your full potential.

16. We miss your parents just as much as we miss you!

17. If you left the gym on good terms, you will always be welcomed back.

18. Stepping out of your comfort zone and broadening your horizons can be a good thing.

19. There is no need to cower from change, it is more often than not, a good thing!

20. Believe in yourself and never stop pushing, know your worth and don't ever quit, because no matter where you are and where you want to be, with hard work and dedication to your sport, you can do amazing things little ones! I love all of my athletes and I cannot wait to see who they become when they reach their full potential.


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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Truly Good Coaching Is More Than Winning And Losing

Saban, and many other greats, have made this evident within their programs.

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After a highly disappointing loss, many people were intrigued to see how Nick Saban and his players would handle themselves in regards to the press and post-game interviews. However, there was no need for predictions regarding these situations because both Saban himself and his players have set clear standards for how they will present themselves to the masses, win or lose.

It is a common idea that sports, specifically coaching, can truly shape the character of young adults due to the malleability of their minds and abilities in their developing years. The way a coach leads their players to handle great adversity, and even more importantly, great successes, defines the true value of a team. Many of the great coaches such as Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and Dabo Swinney have been out in the spotlight for not only their athletic success but the success they have in building great character within their athletes. Making it known that winning and losing only scrapes the surface of what these coaches have to offer to athletes is something that sets apart the good from the great.

Nick Saban is known throughout the football world as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, coaches of all time. His dominating record shows his obvious football knowledge and ability to execute in times of pressure. He is known for his stern coaching ways, ones that often end in broken headsets and many days of a hoarse voice. Near the end of the 2018-19 season, the SEC Championship was full of exciting Saban outbursts, including the fan-favorite broken headset scene. Although the TIde came out on top in this game, there were many points of frustrations for Saban during this game, and he was not afraid to express his feelings. However, during the end celebration, Saban had a moment with star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa that presented the true values of the program that Saban runs at the University of Alabama.

After Tua received the Offensive MVP award after the great Orange Bowl win, he accepted his award gracefully from the presenter and began to walk away as any normal young man would. However, if you pay close attention to that very moment, you would see Nick Saban stop Tagavailoa from walking away, and say something in his ear. Immediately after this encounter, Tua reverses his path and proceeds to shake hands with the President of the Orange Bowl Committee. This was such a small moment, but the emphasis on the respect that Saban places within his program was more than evident here and shows that Saban is shaping great humans, not just great athletes.

Postgame interviews of Saban and his players after the extremely disappointing loss in the 2019 National Championship continued to present the great values that this program has in place. Both the coach and the players handled themselves with grace, letting their disappointments be known, but not letting it affect their character.

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