One of the BIG challenges of being a Cheerleading Coach is to create a team that is cohesive and continually improving. From my 23+ years of coaching experience, there are 2 main areas to focus on that will help you reach your team and individual goals: 1. Creating a “family” environment and 2. Proper TEACHING techniques. Here are all of the details on how to create that family environment; for proper teaching techniques, please check out our other posts.
I hope this helps you and your cheerleaders create a bond that is truly magical!!!
Creating A “Family” Environment
Before you begin teaching any cheerleading skills, it is important that EVERY cheerleader on your team FEELS like they belong! This is SO IMPORTANT that I have to say it again: Before you begin teaching any cheerleading skills, it is important that EVERY cheerleader on your team FEELS like they belong!
If you have a cheerleader that does not feel connected to you or their teammates, you can be the best “skills” coach on the planet but this cheerleader will not reach their potential and in term will contribute to your team falling short of its goals. So how can you help your individual cheerleaders build that feeling of belonging? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Make a CONNECTION with EACH of your cheerleaders! At the beginning of the season, make some time with each of your members to get to know them and to set goals for them that you can help them with.
- Learn all of your team member NAMES! Everyone feels important when someone remembers their name 🙂
- Remember, EVERY CHEERLEADER wants a positive relationship with you and wants your approval. One easy way to help reinforce a positive relationship is to give positive reinforcement with compliments ( everyone loves a compliment ).
- EVERY cheerleader wants to feel that they are NEEDED! A great tip is to delegate responsibilities to all the members of the team so everyone has a place and is needed for the team to succeed.
- Make sure EVERYONE has a friend on the team and makes friends will all of the team members. At every practice, take a few minutes at the beginning of practice and do a team building activity to force the cheerleaders to speak to everyone. For TONS of team building activities, check out our Motivation section.
- Remember, you are the Leader of the Family / Team. Lead by example, don’t show favorites and show that every member is important and vital to your team’s success.
Now go out and build a meaningful and amazing team / family!