All-Star Beginning Coaching; Share Tips, Tricks And Help!

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Apr 11, 2011
Hello all! This will be my first season co-coaching for my gyms SR. team. I was curious what everyone elses thoughts were, cheerleader or coach, about what makes the best team,​
or the best practices if anyone wanted to spill some secrets!​

  • How is your practice run? Whats the best length of time? What do you do for conditioning?
  • Do you have strict rules that make your team a better team? Structure vs fun?
  • Thoughts on practice wear and hair bows?
  • How do I initiate team bonding?
Does your gym have a coaches training/orientation? My prior gym did this, and it was absolutely invaluable. They taught is the exact technique to be used for everything, effective ways to run practice, how to deal with certain issues, etc. Try talking to your owner/director and see what exactly it is that the expect of you. I can answer these in terms of how I was trained, but every gym is different:)

1. How is your practice run? Whats the best length of time? What do you do for conditioning?

We had to submit a practice plan to the director to be approved for each day. Two practices a week fo 3 hours plus a 60 or 90 min tumbling class every week. They would look something like this:

6-7 team tumble
7-730 jump conditioning
730-8 baskets
8-830 stunt 1
830-9 condition

Sun- 1p-4p
1-130 jump conditioning
130-2 stunt 2
2-230- pyramid
230-300- baskets
300-330 dance/motion cleaning
330-400 conditioning

2. Do you have strict rules that make your team a better team? Structure vs fun?

Work before play, at least as far as a senior team is concerned. If they have a good practice with full attendance and focus, I'd take the 30 min of conditioning out and do some fun team stuff at the end:) There is a thread on here about motivating your team and a lot of people put in some great ideas that they use at their gym. The best ones were from @FamousRudags and @HotCheerCoachCaleigh if I remember correctly:)

3. Thoughts on practice wear and hair bows?

Personally, I think it's important to look the part. If you look like a team, and your hair is pulled back neatly with a bow, you're going to be more focused at practice. It's also much easier to clean and work on timing when everyone looks the same IMO

4. How do I initiate team bonding?

I'm not sure what you mean by this... come up with games and activities, and ask your team to come up with ideas of things they think would be fun- bowling, laser tag, sleepover, etc. Try to do one a month, and let them vote on what they want to do:)
The biggest thing for me as a coach is to come to practice with a plan. For me it's not set to an exact time, but I know what skills I want to work. I find if I give myself exact times for everything I restrict my kids for by either stopping them when they really have a groove going (like when they are learning a new stunt) or the exact opposite I force them to work too long on something that just isn't working.

As for the fun vs structure thing, I find it's all about balance. Every team ive coached has a very different amount of time that they can be productive vs the time they need for a "brain break".

Something the team I'm on and both the teams that I coach do is we play a game we call chicken on the roof. Everyone has a partner, and everyone runs around on the floor, the coach then calls out one of many poses that the partners have to do together, last to do it is out. It's always competitive and it always ends in laughing. I find games like this encourage team bonding. As well getting out of the gym to do something is a great way to bond too because it allows the girls to see other sides of their teammates from the ones that they know at practice.