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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Soccer's Holy Grail: The Champions League

The Beautiful Game's Biggest Stage

All around the world, when spectators see the "starball" logo and hear "the chaaampioons", instant feelings of giddiness ensue for a Champions League soccer match. For everyone knows, the Champions League pits together the best talents in world soccer and the beautiful game will be played at the highest level. It truly is something to marvel at.

One of the reasons that soccer is such a worldwide phenomenon is the ability to have such an entity as the Champions League. No other sport in the world comes close to how much soccer is played, watched and analyzed. Every season, the struggle to become known as the champion of world club soccer is fought tooth and nail for millions and millions of people to see.

The structure of the champions league is fairly simple; throughout Europe's top leagues in many different countries, the clubs that become champions of their respective league gains a bid to the Champions League. Additionally, certain major leagues in Europe are awarded more places in the Champions League. For example, the English Premier League is awarded four spots in the Champions League for the four best finishers in their domestic league.

When all of this adds up, you have a tournament in which the best and hottest teams in the world play against each other. For teams around Europe, the center of soccer around the globe, winning the Champions League is the highest honor. To win the Champions League, a team must best a field of clubs who are at the peak of their game. Winning the Champions League is a feat that only 22 teams can boast.

Whenever I think about the Champions League as a whole, I always draw comparisons to the March Madness tournament of college basketball. Both events provide opportunities for two things: teams get to play other teams that would normally never play each other and the proclivity for upsets.

Similar to the upsets that undoubtedly happen at every March Madness tournament, the Champions League consistently allows for a team coming from a smaller league to make a run at the final. Additionally, teams from around Europe that would never play each other get to face off on the biggest stage. This allows for spectators to not only view different ways of playing soccer but also how playing styles clash and what works best.

This year, Real Madrid has made the semi-finals and is in prime position to win the competition for the third year in a row. Surely, this will continue to spark the Messi versus Ronaldo debate, but we all know who is the real best player in the world.. (Messi of course).

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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10 Vivid Memories You Have If You Grew Up Playing Soccer

The tan lines were the absolute worst.

I grew up playing soccer from the first season my parents could sign me up, all the way until I started college.

Playing this sport has definitely helped shape me into the person I am today and I wouldn't trade it for the world. No matter what season of the year it was, my time was dedicated to soccer.

It has been there for me through the good, the bad and most definitely the ugly. If soccer was apart of your life like it was mine, the following memories are probably engraved into your brain for life.

1. You have weird tan lines in all of your pictures

This is by far the WOAT. Pretty much every hour I spent outside was in my uniform and shin guards, so only my knees and forearms ever saw the sun.

Everything else was pretty much as white as a ghost. Walking around Disney World like this definitely made some heads turn.

2. You owned every color of pre-wrap at some point

This was a staple product in everyone's bags. Even though it's pre-wrap, it was never used for that purpose. It was always used as a headband.

Taking out pre-wrap in front of the team was like taking a pack of gum out in the middle of class... everyone asked for a piece.

3. You always had electrical tape in your bag

This is just another product that wasn't used for its intended purpose. To a normal person, electrical tape seems like a strange thing to carry around in your soccer bag. But this was the best way to tape up your shin guards.

Bonus points to whoever could make the biggest tape ball by the end of the season.

4. Most of your excitement came from buying a fresh pair of cleats for a new season

You were lucky if your cleats were still intact by the end of the season. There was no better excitement than walking up to the big wall of cleats in Dick's Sporting Goods.

5. You spent most weekends traveling for tournaments

The best part about playing travel soccer was getting to stay in hotels with your team for the weekend.

Some of my favorite memories are sitting in a hotel courtyard with all of my teammates and the parents.

6. You had turf burns and bruises all over your legs

Turf burns are worse than any other burn. You slide or fall on the turf at least once during practices and games. Accompanying the burn are all of those little black turf beads that you have to brush out of the wound too.

Compression shorts are a must and if you forget them then you're SOL. Definitely should have worn mine during flag football too.

7. If someone was playing dirty, you remembered her jersey number so you could get her back later

Nothing gets you heated more than when a player on the other team starts taking cheap shots at you and doesn't get caught. There's nothing quite like sweet revenge.

8. You could never wear heels without someone commenting on your calves

Homecoming season was always a struggle.

9. You look pissed in all of the pictures your parents took during games

I'm furrowing my brows and have my hands on my hips in every picture. Literally. Every single one.

10. The friends you grew up playing with are still your friends now

Thanks for giving me lots of mems and friends over the years.

Cover Image Credit: Karli Haubenreiser

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