Sunday, May 4, 2014

2014-2015 All Star Teams

Oh, tryout season! That time of year where every athlete seems to be gaining new skills, parents are wracked with stress hoping their child makes her dream team for the upcoming season, and coaches are trying to combine kids to build winning teams. Here are some thoughts to help parents with the process.

1. TRUST YOUR COACHES: Just as you would not tell your doctor how to treat your ailment or your teacher how to educate your child, you need to allow your coaches to COACH YOUR CHILD. Their goal is to WIN!  They want the most qualified athletes to make up each team & despite your disbelief this may mean that your child may not be placed on  the team of their choice. It could be due to limited availability, age restriction or your coach may simply feel that your athlete needs more experience or another year on another team to focus on their skills.

2. As a parent you will always over estimate the talent, abilities, & contribution of your child. THIS IS NOT A BAD THING!!! Every child needs their own cheerleader to help them believe in themselves, support and encourage their aspirations & love them. It’s important, however, to point out that throwing skills IS NOT ENOUGH to make the team of their choice.  A backhand spring with bent arms and legs WILL NOT HELP A TEAM AND DOES NOT NECESSARILY MAKE YOUR ATHLETE LEVEL 2!!! Quality is ALWAYS better and score sheets have evolved to reflect a standard of excellence.

3. Remember that building a functioning team is not just about your kid.  Coaches try to balance the interests of ALL athletes. Sometimes your cheerleader may have the qualifications of being on a certain team but is "better suited elsewhere". You may not understand why... But this goes back to #1 --trust your coaches.

4. Allow your athlete to progress at their own pace. Cheerleading is not like school. You don't have to change teams or levels every year. It's okay to stay where you are and it doesn't mean you are not improving. There are so many skills within a level and so much room for you to grow. Embrace the opportunity to fully max out at each level and take pride in the quality of your skills.

5. It is the start of a new season & an opportunity for a fresh start. Encourage your cheerleader, support your coaches, set realistic goals, look at each situation as a learning opportunity & emphasize the importance of proper skill development and training. If you do all of this… the 2014-2015 season is sure to be a memorable one.