Your child has spent weeks working on choreography. They are super proud of their positions. One day he/she is pulled from a section and they are totally bummed about it. What can you do as a parent? What should they do as an athlete?
Here are a 3 tips to help you get through what seems like such a traumatic experience.
1. UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS
There are so many different elements that coaches and choreographers review and analyze when making formations. Understand choreographers and coaches consider height, previous position on the mat, stunt group strengths, and overall team benefits. Try to remember the movement is for the advantage of the team as a unit. Not all changes are punishment or due to lack of skill. If you understand the process, you will have no problem accepting the change.
2. TURN INTO A POSITIVE
Not all changes are punishment or due to lack of skill. Remember that cheerleading is a team sport; moves are made to benefit the team. Look at the change as positively affecting the entire team, not as a negative for you as an individual. As a parent you can find positives to help your athlete deal as well. My oldest daughter was moved to the back row for the dance section of a, routine. Of course, she took that as she wasn’t dancing well. It took me letting her know that the row in front of her was on the floor while she was up showing excitement and dancing full-out. Find a positive to boost your athlete.
3. TAKE TIME TO WORK ON SKILLS
Ask the coaches where extra work may be needed; not necessarily to gain the spot back, but to progress in skill to become a better cheerleader. Sign up for private lessons. Private lessons are a great way to get individual help. They also help increase confidence. Having one on one time can help an athlete gain a better understanding of what is required to improve in a specific skill. Practice outside of team practice. Don’t wait until the team practice to work on skills. Team practice is usually already planned out by the coach. The athlete most likely wont even get a chance to work on an individual problem area. Take critique and apply. I always tell my athletes to not just say ok to the coach’s critique, but to apply it as well. You are sure to get positive results when you listen and adhere to feedback given to you.
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.