All-Star My Last Thoughts Before Worlds 2011

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Dec 16, 2010
To all Worlds competitors, coaches and parents,

Worlds are right around the corner and will be here before you know it! I know every day, hour and minute up until this event can be the most exciting, stressful and nerve wrecking time of your life.
I have judged, worked, and viewed over 20 events nationwide this year and have seen just about everything you can imagine. At 90% of the events I have been in attendance of, I see many of the same issues that I fear that the coaches, athletes and parents do not know of.
With this being said, and Worlds being so close, I would like to remind the coaches, athletes and parents of some VERY important information:
I want to remind you that you are the most direct representation of your gym. Keep in mind that Worlds weekend, you will not only representing your gym, you will be representing your country, and all of cheerleading in general. Wherever you go, people will be watching and listening. Know that if you have your gyms logo on, people will be affiliating every thing you do and say with your gym. This includes Facebook!
If your “status” makes negative remarks about other gyms, or anything related to worlds, everyone can see it (photo’s too)! Placements are placements; writing rude comments about it on a Facebook wall will only make you and your gym look bad.
Make friends, memories and enjoy your time! Instead of “whispering” about the other teams in your division, go and meet them! There will be cheerleaders there from all over the world, and if you get to know them, you will have more in common then you ever thought.
Don’t waste your time lingering on the negative or ranting about what place your teams in. I can personally say that the staff and judges at worlds are the most experience in the business. Contradicting to popular beliefs, they do not “play favorites”, take bribes, or give extra points if they know the coaches. These people are there solely because they truly LOVE cheer. They are the most professional, and amazing people I know. If you knew them, you would agree.
Clap for other teams, and remember that there can only be ONE team in your division that wins first. If you don’t win a medal, know that just being able to compete at worlds is an honor, and if you win silver or bronze, pride yourself in the fact that you are one in very few!

You are also a direct representative of your gym. Everything I just said to the athletes above, also applies to you. When you go have drinks, it’s in the best interest your gym to not wear the gyms logo. (I think the gym owner would also appreciate this). It doesn’t matter if you are just having one glass of wine, or a margarita with dinner… People can turn ANY situation around.
Meet parents from other gyms. Who knows? You might get some handy tips, or meet some really cool people.
Many times, I have seen parents “silent” cheer or get excited when a team in their kids division drops a stunt or gets a deduction. This is THE MOST disrespectful thing you as a parent could ever do. Turn the situation around and imagine someone being excited about your daughter falling from a stunt, or your son falling on his tumbling pass. It sickens me to see this poor sportsmanship. Take pride in your team, and represent it with class by cheering on everyone. Winning is MUCH sweeter when the title is undisputable and when you know that every team also did the best they could.
LEAVE THE COACHES ALONE! They are going to super stressed and do not need you asking them a thousand questions. 99% of the time, they will not be pleasant people to be around. Ask other parents first, look online and only ask the coach as a LAST resort. This is especially important when it comes to score sheets. The last thing a coach wants to do is explain the scoring system to you. There is nothing wrong with going online to and educating yourself beforehand. Learn the definition of the deductions, and the scoring grid. This is perfectly fine as long as you know that what you see, is you’re opinion. And your opinion will always be biased.
It’s fine to watch for deductions and scope out competition, but keep everything positive, and only share this self-attained information when asked. If you do share, know that 90% of the time, it will not be correct. Deduction judges are able to review routines in detail numerous times! Its their job to be right 100% of the time.
Don’t dispute results and go on a ranting spree because the crowd thinks that a certain team should of won. The judging system is not about which team pleased the crowd and stunts ARE NOT the only part of the score sheets.

Your weekend will be crazy. Guaranteed.
The athletes are not the only thing people will be watching when your team performs. Cheer for you athletes no matter if it’s the most tragic thing you have ever seen and you want to go hide in a box! The kids know by your face and your actions how they are doing in the routine. If you look mad or upset in the coach’s box, their performance will reflect. Keep positive in warm-ups and don’t stress if you feel like your team is falling apart before they hit the floor. You can only do so much. You provided the choreography, and the training… the only thing you can do now is keep positive and sit back, and watch the show.
Keep in mind your one of your athlete’s biggest role models! Your program feeds off of your emotions. Smiles are contagious, but frowns are too. Don’t vent all of your feelings to your athletes or parents. Talk to, or email someone in the USASF that can explain or even correct issues. People are ALWAYS willing to help. They might not can change scores, or change the way things are going this year, but they can always use your comments and concerns to make future events better. No matter what…. Stay positive!

Please keep these things in mind! A competition is only as enjoyable as the people who are taking part in it. This includes the athletes, parents, coaches and spectators!
I wish every team competing nothing but the best of luck! But above all, I would love to see nothing more then a Worlds weekend full of SAFE, injury free routines and an awesome representation of the cheerleading world.

Keep it Classy Cheerleading World,

-Jenna W.