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Do’s and Don’ts for Parents and Coaches

Do’s and Don’ts for Parents and Coaches

To say the least, cheerleading practice can be overwhelming for parents as well as coaches. I am both a parent and a coach. Who better to give you tips than someone who functions in both roles? There are some things that only parents may understand, and some only coaches may understand.

Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to help us all coexist during practice:

FOR PARENTS

DO:

Allow the coaches to coach. Whether practice is closed or open, allow the coaches to do their job without interruptions. Nothing is more unnerving than a parent yelling corrections during their child’s practice. Athletes may get confused if you’re shouting corrections and giving instructions louder than the coach. Athletes may also find it distracting to have parents sitting in on a practice. Coaches may not always do things the way you may think they should, but every coach has a method that works for them.

“Trust them and their process.”

DON’T:

Skip out on practices. Cheerleading is a team sport, and all members are needed for the team to have an effective and productive practice. Emergencies and interruptions to schedules happen, but try not to miss unless it is absolutely necessary.

“Encourage your athlete to be physically present in mind and spirit and to practice with a purpose.”

FOR COACHES

DO: 

Come to every practice prepared. I recommend having a written plan in hand. This not only will help you stay focused; but it can also help you critique and measure your goals and progress. I have a notebook where I keep my plans and goals for each of my teams. It truly is my handy dandy notebook, and I “never leave home without it.” Athletes feed off their coach, their preparedness, and execution.

“Being prepared will help you and your team stay on task and have an effective practice.”

Also…

Make each practice an enjoyable experience. I’m in no way saying throw discipline, high expectations, and skill progression out the window. I am saying change it up according to the age and skill level. My mini’s love freeze dance. After a rough practice, I allow them to play freeze dance before leaving. My older teams enjoy having me practice with them or demonstrate for them. I also enlist the help of my parents. The dads seem to enjoy basing for their daughters, and the mothers love being a part of parent routines. I want each girl to enjoy coming to practice and leave with a smile.

“It’s a challenge, but it can be accomplished with creative thinking and planning.”

DON’T:

Disregard your parents’ concerns. Allow a time outside of practice when you are available to speak with parents to answer questions or address concerns that they may have about their child’s progress. Be up front and honest about your expectations and assessments. Most parents don’t go home and study cheerleading rules and practice procedures. We need the coach to help parents understand why there is such a thing as skill progression. “Why can’t my athlete just learn a backhand spring even though she can’t do a handstand just yet?”

“Parents will find it easier to trust you as coach if you address their concerns and you keep an open line of communication.”

COACH KELLI MARIN

Is owner and head coach Spirit Enhancers All Stars located in Portsmouth Va. Coach Kelli has been coaching for 17 years and gym owner for 11. She has received the “30 Under 30” coach of the year award awarded by Cheer ltd., top finalist for Ameri Cheer Coach of Year and 2016 choreography award recipient awarded by Eastern Cheer and Dance.

Loving these exercises and that CHEERFIT STRONG feeling? Sign up for the newsletter and we’ll send you weekly workouts, motivation – woot woot! 

How to make Confidence your Super Power

How to make Confidence your Super Power

Self confidence is a super power. Once you start believing in yourself, magic starts happening.”Confidence plays a huge role in all aspects of cheerleading. I have always believed that cheerleading is 25% physical and 75% mental. Here are some tips I have to help you stay confident.

PRACTICE BEFORE PRACTICE


As many of you know, I have been battling a mental block for about two years and still am today. Just like in everyday life, we have good and bad practices as cheerleaders. It is so easy for me to get in my head after just one skill goes wrong. One of the things my coach tells me is that you physically cannot forget how to do a skill in a day or even a week. The first time is always the hardest, get it out of the way and you will be fine! One thing that helps me is coming in early to throw a few passes before practice. This gives me time to warm myself up slowly and get my nerves out.

STOP COMPARING


One of the top tips I can give you is to stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone learns at a different pace. It is easy to get discouraged when you see your teammates working on a harder skill than you. You have to remember that a team is like a puzzle. Everyone has different strengths and brings something special to the team!

STAY POSITIVE


Positivity is key! I am my biggest critic in everything I do. This can be a little bit of a problem when it comes to cheer. Not every skill you throw is going to be perfect and that is ok. Part of the learning process as an athlete is making mistakes. You cannot let the fear of failure hold you back. Take a deep breath inhale confidence, exhale doubt and go for it! Chances are you don’t give yourself enough credit, the only one holding you back is you.

Ever since I became a CHEERFIT ambassador, the support from Danielle and my CHEERFIT family has been endless! Connecting with athletes that are going through the same thing that I am has been so helpful to me. Just knowing that you are not alone on this journey and that other cheerleaders have experienced the same thing and come out stronger is so amazing! One of the biggest lessons I have learned through my years of cheerleading is that confidence fuels dreams. Once you believe in yourself and your skills, anything is possible!

Ready to make this season the best, most confident yet? Join us and become part of the CHEERFIT Family!

BELLE FABIAN

I am sixteen years old and live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am going on my seventh year as a competitive cheerleader and cheer at Cheer Extreme Charlotte.

Learn how to advance flexibility and rock confidence

Learn how to advance flexibility and rock confidence

Hey moms is there anything more frustrating than watching your daughter stretch F-O-R-E-V-E-R, and not seeing those results??? Hmm, no too much right?

Don’t worry, I am here to help!

We all know stretching is important, which is why for many of us, it is the go-to thing to do to advance your flexibility. But what if I told you stretching isn’t the only answer?!?! I know, you must think I am crazy, but hear me out. While, yes stretching is very important, it’s not the only way to advance your flexibility!!

Although you should be stretching..you do not need to be stretching every day for hours (or what feels like hours) at a time.

Here at CHEERFIT, we focus on STRENGTHENING the muscles your cheerleader needs to advance flexibility. Strengthening the muscles you need to improve flexibility will in turn help increase your cheerleader’s range of motion, allowing her to advance FLEXIBILITY, confidence, and prevent injury! A win, win, win across the board!

So let’s get to it! As the fitness expert for cheerleaders, I’ve got a bunch of exercises for you that will help your cheerleader strengthen their hamstrings, lower back, and hip flexors – the key areas that are worked when stretching. And I bet these are things you guys have never tried before. So instead of stretching, and stretching, and stretching..give these CHEERFIT exercises a try. 

Hello CHEERFIT!

LOWER BACK FLEXIBILITY – Superman V-Up


This exercise will not only focus on improving your cheerleaders lower back, which helps increase flexibility, but also work on core strength and body control. All musts for flying with confidence!  Go for 10 reps x 2 rounds, and do 2-3 times a week.

HAMSTRING FLEXIBILITY – Single Leg Deadlift


Spoiler alert, this exercise is a MUST for any cheerleader! It focuses a majority on hamstrings, which again you NEED to strengthen to improve flexibility and increase range of motion, but also works technique, lower back, core and body control. To make the most of this exercise you need to make sure your cheerleader has proper form, so be sure to watch this video a few times with them and watch them as they do it to make sure they have the right form.

HIP FLEXOR FLEXIBILITY – Straddle Leg Lifts


If your cheerleader wants to increase their flexibility for stunting, tumbling or jumping..instead of sitting in splits and straddles forever, do this exercise! Another major area you want to focus on STRENGTHENING are your hip flexors! To increase flexibility your hip flexors need to be strong enough ..this will increase your range of motion AND improve flexibility!

As you can see, yo do not need to nor should you be stretching every day for hours at a time. Yes, I said it! What I want you guys to do is STRENGTHEN the muscles instead. So swap out 2 or your stretching days this week with this CHEERFIT workout and let me know how it goes! And if you want, even more, we’ve got tons of flexibility workouts and confidence boosting tips waiting for ya in the CHEERFIT Club !!

And there you have it, my top 3 exercises… to help your cheerleader advance FLEXIBILITY & CONFIDENCE in 3,2,1…GO! Let me know your favorite tip, and share your confidence boosting tips in the comments below!

DANIELLE DONOVAN

is the go-to fitness expert for the cheerleading industry and founder of CHEERFIT (www.cheerfittraining.com). Danielle holds national fitness certifications through the American Council on Exercise and specializes in sports conditioning, youth fitness, and group fitness as it pertains specifically to cheerleaders. Danielle has been featured on NBC,Inside Cheerleading Magazine, FITNESS Magazine, Livestrong, Yahoo Beauty, NY Post, American Cheerleader Magazine and more. Through fitness, Danielle focuses on helping cheerleaders build the confidence, strength, and flexibility they need to reach their goals and prevent injury.

Your Cheerleader’s Guide to Tumbling with Confidence

Your Cheerleader’s Guide to Tumbling with Confidence

If there is one thing to remember, it is that tumbling and confidence go hand in hand! If your cheerleader is lacking confidence, it will most definitely be seen in her tumbling. Tumbling is such a mental game, and you need all the support, motivation CONFIDENCE, to build strength in both body and mind!

Today, I am here to share my favorite tips and exercises to help YOU help your cheerleader build confidence!

So before we get started, let me share a little insight into why confidence is SO important for tumbling.  You see, the sport of cheerleading is very much focused on perfectionism. And our cheerleaders tend to think that if it is not perfect, it’s bad..NOT THE CASE! However, this mentality takes a toll on our cheerleaders and wears them down both physically and mentally! So let’s change that shall we??

TIP #1: TURBO LUNGES

Turbo lunges are a great exercise to build confidence in tumbling because they will help your cheerleader strengthen the muscles she needs to increase power, endurance, and strength! As your cheerleader builds the confidence in STRENGTH to supercharge her tumbling, guess what will also increase…her overall confidence!

 

Go for 15 reps x 3 rounds ..and if you do this with your cheerleader it will help her confidence even more!! *you can modify the exercise by taking out the jump

TIP #2: CHEERLEADERS NEED CHEERLEADERS

It is so important for your cheerleader (and you) to surround yourself with a positive group of people who lift you up! Having a go-to supportive community to share your goals, celebrate your wins, and root you on every step of the way is the #1 way to stay confidence, motivated, and supported! Looking for a supportive community of cheerleaders and parents – meet your CHEERFIT fam’! The CHEERFIT Family is our community of CHEERFIT  members and parents from around the world who support each other, celebrate success, understand the challenges, and motivate eachother every step of the way! This is an amazing community and we would love you and your cheerleader to be a part of it!

You can click here to learn more about joining the CHEERFIT family!

TIP #3: POSITIVE THINKING

Oh YES! The power of positive thinking is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!

If you think it, you’ll believe it and make it happen. It all starts with those positive thoughts! So share your positive thoughts, goals, and wins every week in a journal or with your community! Surrounding yourself with people who understand your crazy cheer world and are excited to see you win is the key to helping your cheerleader build confidence! So start that positive thinking and share your goals with us: @cheerfittraining (IG)

And there you have it, my top 3 tips…time to help you cheerleader SUPERCHARGE her tumbling in 3,2,1…GO! Let me know your favorite tip, and share your confidence boosting tips in the comments below!

DANIELLE DONOVAN

is the go-to fitness expert for the cheerleading industry and founder of CHEERFIT (www.cheerfittraining.com). Danielle holds national fitness certifications through the American Council on Exercise and specializes in sports conditioning, youth fitness, and group fitness as it pertains specifically to cheerleaders. Danielle has been featured on NBC,Inside Cheerleading Magazine, FITNESS Magazine, Livestrong, Yahoo Beauty, NY Post, American Cheerleader Magazine and more. Through fitness, Danielle focuses on helping cheerleaders build the confidence, strength, and flexibility they need to reach their goals and prevent injury.

The 4 Best Exercises for getting Fit this Summer

The 4 Best Exercises for getting Fit this Summer

Ok so I hear ya – it’s Summer time! While we hit the beach and enjoy the sun… Let’s get ready to STAY FIT AND CHEERFIT STRONG  THIS SUMMER! Although we are taking a break from cheering, doesn’t mean we need to take a break from staying fit and healthy! Cheering season is right around the corner and we (along with your CHEERFIT FAM) want to help you make this Summer your best one yet! These favorite exercises will definitely help you ROCK this Summer!! Are you ready to get CHEERFIT STRONG this Summer?? (more…)