Coach Name: Lindsey Howard & Ashley Strovers
School/ organization: Iowa X-Plosion Cheer & Tumbling City and State: Ottumwa, Iowa
Colors: yellow, black, and silver
Team that you coach (Varsity, JV, Competition): comp: senior level 2 comp: junior level
*How Long have you been coaching: the 2017/2018 season will be my first year coaching all on my own @ 19 years old.
Your Cheer Background: I began competitive cheer around 7 years old. I was a high school cheerleader and dancer. I began coaching under my own comp coach around age 13. I helped out with the younger teams.
Your Top 5 Coaching Tips:
1. Learn to be understanding. Not everyone is on the same skill level. Nor do they learn at the same pace.
2. Remember the issues you had with your coaches as an athlete. Be in the athletes shoes.
3. Keep your activities and conditioning fun, motivating, but yet helpful.
4. Listen to your athletes individual thoughts. All opinions madder.
5. Have an open mind. Compliment them on the good before letting them know the bad.
Your best conflict resolution: I always like to ask my girls if they know what the problem is first. If they cannot answer the question I point out the issue as soon as it occurs again. At this point they know.
Best Leadership Tip: Be confident in everything you teach. Teach your athletes to be confident in every skill they do.
What is your biggest challenge and how do you deal with it: As a coach, my biggest challenge is the athletes comparing themselves to others. Skills are learned at different paces by each and every athlete. Getting them to understand this is hard. I don’t like when they under estimate themselves.
How do you motivate your team(s)? My teams stay motivated by progression pics, and videos. Our number one goal is to be successful. Complimenting on improvement and how they have progressed always puts positive outlooks on them.
Top 2 MUST DO’s at practice:
1. Backhand spring drills are a must. We do a lot of frogs to help with our power for backhand springs.
2. Another must do for our gym is conditioning. Without proper conditioning the strength needed for strong stunts and tumbling would not be there. I like to push the girls to do inch worms with a push up in between every one. This tones the stomach, strengthens the arms, and also stretches the legs for better flexibility.
What advice would you have for a new Cheer Coach? I don’t have much advice for a new cheer coach because I am one myself. If I could help someone in any way, I would recommend understanding the costs, time, and responsibility it takes to be a coach. All of your athletes look up to you, their parents rely on you to teach their kids to their best ability. Be ready to be criticized.
Favorite thing to teach or work on during practice: I LOVE seeing new stunts hit. My favorite thing about being a coach is being able to see the athletes eyes light up when they achieve a new skill.