What Most Don’t Know About All-Star Cheer Coaches

What Most Don’t Know About All-Star Cheer Coaches

As a coach, the success of my team is my main objective; I will literally lose sleep over things going on in the gym.

The number of times I have been called a bully as a coach is a painfully high. What most don’t understand about being good in my field of work is that you have to care; you have to care so much about the kids you coach even when it seems like they don’t care about themselves. It is my job to push and make sure these athletes are able to reach their full potential; this is where most pieces of constructive criticism gets lost in translation. It is never my intention to be hurtful to a child, but instead to coach them in a way that will produce the results they deserve to see.

I don’t coach for me, I coach for my athletes.

I have won the most prestigious competition that there is to win as an athlete: the Cheerleading Worlds, and I have won way more than just that in my 17 years of experience in the world of cheerleading. I am not trying to win any more jackets for myself, my closet is full, and my intention as a coach is to train athletes that can win titles for themselves. The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the pride that these athletes have in them when they hear their names called for first. This is why I do what I do.

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We care about their safety just as much as you do!

I understand that it is hard to see your child upset and hear them complain that their coach was hard on them. I hope that you can see that your children are not being picked on when they drop a stunt or bust a tumbling pass at practice or competition, but instead being held accountable for the mistakes they have made. As a coach, I know the capabilities of my athletes. If an athlete wasn’t capable of safely executing a skill, I would never have them do it. I would never put your children in harm's way. If you don’t believe me, I can promise you that not only do I want to see your athlete healthy, but also an injury to a team member isn’t worth it when it comes to throwing skills that aren’t safe.

We do not have it out for your child.

Kids give attitude, that is just in the nature of being a child, when they don’t like what they hear or they don’t like their spot, they give us attitude. As a coach there is not much that we can do when we get attitude, so if we call your child out, or condition them for it, it is not personal, it has nothing to do with how much I enjoy Sally, it is the standard of respect that all of the athletes are to be giving us as figures of authority. A huge role in how the athletes view us and respect us is how their parents talk about us at home with their children. If your child thinks you don’t have respect for us they think they don’t need to either. If a parent doesn’t think that I deserve respect as a coach, their child should be coached by someone that they do respect; in order to receive better results.

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I think about your children more than anything else in my life.

As a coach, the success of my team is my main objective; I will literally lose sleep over things going on in the gym. My job isn’t over when I get home from work; I bring work with me everywhere I go; I am constantly answering phone calls and text messages about my athletes. I am always looking at videos to see what the next best thing is as well as researching what ways to maximize our score sheets. When the season starts in May, my job isn’t over until after the last competition in May. Minus the one or two weeks off in-between the end of the season and tryouts, my job is a year-round gig, and I never get away from it. So next time you are concerned with how I feel about your kiddo, make sure that you take into account that I am only tough on them because I care about them, if I didn’t care I wouldn’t push and that is the truth about being an all star cheerleading coach!

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The Universal Love Of Soccer

Wrapped up in the beauty of a sport.

As a kid, I remember my parents signing me, along with my older siblings, up for a recreational soccer league. They enrolled us in a multitude of different activities as well, from dance to tennis to martial arts. But little did I know that I would later find myself coming back to soccer in my middle school years where I played for about two years on an Athena A travel league, and would later find myself in high school not being able to go a week without kicking or at least juggling the ball for a couple of minutes a day. Even though I no longer play for a competitive travel league and have instead picked up a passion for running, I still find myself loving the beauty behind the sport itself. If you’ve never played the sport before or are on the verge of giving it a try, these perks of the sport prove that soccer is the world's language for people of all ages and is mending the world's diversity through the love of one simple team sport.

1. Location is never an excuse.

When it comes to playing a game or just playing by yourself, you can pretty much find anywhere to kick. Other sports, like tennis, have to be played in its specific location -- on a tennis court -- and although some sports can technically be replicated in other areas, it’s not the most fitting as soccer is in just about any place. I remember being on vacation in Mexico one summer, and playing soccer with complete strangers who I’d never met before, on the beach, using random sticks we found to create markings for two goal posts and kicking barefoot on the sand. Whether it’s in the middle of the street in your neighborhood or at an actual soccer park, you can find pretty much anywhere to start a pickup game with anyone.

2. Accessibility

Whereas other sports require a ton of equipment, soccer is beautiful in its simplicity. Although some sports, such as football also follow this “simplicity rule” of just needing a ball and you’re good, the majority of other sports don’t carry the same way. For example, in volleyball, it’s difficult to play the sport without a net, which is unlikely to be randomly carrying around, or in basketball without a hoop. Soccer is one of the simplest sports to play, with only truly requiring one piece of equipment, a ball, if you just want to pass with other people or train by yourself.

3. Learnability

Whereas many sports ential complicated rules, soccer is universally much easier to understand how to play. Because there aren’t constricting positions in a pickup game, anyone can shoot or defend at any time or have fun doing anything in between. Other sports, such as football or basketball, that have more rules than soccer make the game harder to learn for anyone, whether they’re little kids or adults. Soccer isn’t a sport that requires for all players to be able to speak the same language either -- body language is key in the sport, to communicate with other players on a simpler and universal basis.

4. Weather permitting

The aspect I probably love most about soccer is that it can be played just about anywhere. Whether it’s an indoor league, outside on a hot summer day or in the pouring rain on muddy grass, the sport is always enjoyable in just about any circumstance. Because many parks are switching from grass to turf fields, this makes it much easier to play on a reliably flat surface, whereas other sports, such as tennis require a non-rainy day.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Keep The Columbus Crew In Ohio, Please

A plea to to people everywhere. #SaveTheCrew

Soccer is a sport that oftentimes revolves around the community a team is based in. It becomes part of the identity of a city, intertwining with the populations and becoming an integral part of any experience. Whether it be Glasgow, Madrid, Manchester, or Munich, soccer is such a vital part of the culture. It would be unthinkable to move them from their homes. While this is a "foreign" concept in many countries where soccer is king, it is not unusual in America. That does not make what Anthony Precourt wants to do with the Columbus Crew any less upsetting and worrying.

He wants to remove the team from its home in Ohio and move them all the way to Austin, Texas.

The idea of moving a team is not something unusual in America. The Seattle SuperSonics, the Kansas City Kings, the Browns, the Colts, etc. In soccer, however, it almost never occurs. The last high profile move of a club was AFC Wimbledon, who became MK Dons. This was met with scorn, outrage, and derision. Moves of this nature are generally rare in soccer, and this should not be another example of a team leaving its home.

Furthermore, Columbus has history with the sport of soccer in the United States. The Crew had the first soccer-specific stadium in America, which has become a crucial home stadium for the United States National Team. It was also one of the first teams established when the MLS began playing in 1996. It has never been the worst in the league in attendance, either, and it has won trophies. Overall, it is a successful team, so why move it? Money? There are issues there as well.

Austin and Columbus are fairly similar. They have the same population, roughly the same metro area, and a big red flag; college football teams, and two of the largest programs in the country as well. Also, the last time Austin had a team, it bombed out and moved to Florida! Why rip a team out of a place where it is "struggling" when the place the team would be transplanted to has not shown a desire to support their previous soccer teams and previous efforts?

This is not the biggest of issues in the world. This isn't fighting against poverty. Anti-vaxxers. Supporting causes with much larger ramifications on a global scale. This is still important to me. This is the first team I fell in love with. I watched as they marched towards the cup. This is my team and it embodies me just as much as I feel I embody them.

#SaveTheCrew.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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