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Sterling von Shimmer

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Sidenote: I don't know that I actually realized how much of a small town the main CEA location's town is. Or what the cheer market in NC is like. It's somewhat sparse?

Disclaimer - I don't know a whole lot about NC outside of Charlotte and visiting there once so this is 10 min of lunchbreak googling here and not insider knowledge at all.

I googled Kernerville. Closest bigger cities are Winston-Salem and Greensboro.

I googled cheer gyms in Winston Salem - you get CEA Salem, Carolina Spirit (never heard of). But I am assuming no Worlds teams there.

Then I googled Greensboro cheer gyms - you get Greensboro AllStar (GAC), Cheer Elite something or other, and one other. I don't know if GAC has Worlds teams but I have heard of it on the boards before?

CEA is pretty much it unless you want to drive to RALEIGH which looks like almost 1.5 hours from Kernersville (and I don't know if traffic is a thing there to make it even longer.)

Even more interesting - even if you search gyms in Raleigh, you get a number of smaller gyms but again, the higher caliber D1 Worlds team gym is CEA Raleigh. I went as far out as CHARLOTTE where you do have CA, Charlotte All Stars, and another CEA location.

I even googled ROCKSTAR for the heck of it and their main location in SC is within a 3 hour drive if you're feeling up to it so it. There also appears to be one in Apex, NC as well?

So if a parent in that area is looking for a major D1 program with some measure of Worlds or Summit success, your options appear to be:

1. CEA Kern
2. Drive to CEA Raleigh
3. Drive to Charlotte for CAC or CA
4. Drive to Rockstar

*The smaller programs may be great but I don't live in NC so if any of them have amazing Summit teams pls comment!

That’s actually a really good point. All the other LAG gyms come from pretty heavily populated areas compared to CEA (of the four gyms with LAG teams, population-wise it goes Plano, Marietta, Freehold, Kville). And when you consider the number of girls you need to even enter LAG — regardless of whether they’re even talented or not — that’s a pretty big accomplishment alone for CEA.

The fact that they’re the only game in town doesn’t hurt, but still it’s not as if they’ve got the CA advantage of being a big deal gym in a state known for cheerleading.
 
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That’s actually a really good point. All the other LAG gyms come from pretty heavily populated areas compared to CEA (of the four gyms with LAG teams, population-wise it goes Plano, Marietta, Freehold, Kville). And when you consider the number of girls you need to even enter LAG — regardless of whether they’re even talented or not — that’s a pretty big accomplishment alone for CEA.

The fact that they’re the only game in town doesn’t hurt, but still it’s not as if they’ve got the CA advantage of being a big deal gym in a state known for cheerleading.
Agreed. I’m not the biggest SE or even CEA fan, but my fairly small(D1 but definitely not the likes of CA) gym has 3 full sized spring floors and a full sized dead mat. And we field one worlds team a season.
 
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oncecoolcoachnowmom

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It seems like a small town surrounded on all sides by places that are still not really that big. So you probably have no choice but to grow your own talent from Mini Elite up and grow it quickly-ish (e.g. kids coming in as Mini Elite and ideally growing a level per year.)

Sort of like Small Town High School. If you're not in a heavy cheer area with gyms, classes, multiple feeder middle schools, rec programs, etc. you have to rely on kids coming in with little experience and 0 tumbling and grow them quick starting in 7th or 8th or 9th.
 

luv2cheer92

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It seems like a small town surrounded on all sides by places that are still not really that big. So you probably have no choice but to grow your own talent from Mini Elite up and grow it quickly-ish (e.g. kids coming in as Mini Elite and ideally growing a level per year.)

Sort of like Small Town High School. If you're not in a heavy cheer area with gyms, classes, multiple feeder middle schools, rec programs, etc. you have to rely on kids coming in with little experience and 0 tumbling and grow them quick starting in 7th or 8th or 9th.
At one point in time CSP said in a thread on here that if a kid didn't move up a level each year it felt like a failure. So that mindset is definitely there.
 

catlady

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At one point in time CSP said in a thread on here that if a kid didn't move up a level each year it felt like a failure. So that mindset is definitely there.

I have always enjoyed watching CEA's higher level teams, but I'm in agreement with you, most of the drama surrounding CEA I've heard has to do with how they work their strategies within the rules. That's where I feel "don't hate the player, hate the game" comes in. What I am surprised to hear, if it's true, is that most of their talent is home grown, because CEA has most of their success in levels 4 and 5. Their lower levels don't reflect the same success as their higher levels and most successful World's gyms have become destination gyms for high level athletes. When I think of "home grown" I think of California All Stars and Cheer Athletics that are consistently successful in every single level and in the most competitive divisions. With that said, those gyms also have many destination athletes coming to World's tryouts.

These are the results of Summit 2019 for CEA:

Level 1:
Wild Card: Purple Crowns (Richmond) 23rd out of 26, Ladybugs (Raleigh) 7th out of 7
No teams in Semi's or Finals.

Level 2:
Wild Card: Lucky Charms (Chicago) 22nd out of 26, Sparkle (Raleigh) 32nd out of 38, Slay (Maryland) 7th out of 16
No teams in Semi's or Finals

Level 3:
Wild Card: Vogue (Chicago) 18th out of 39, Glamour Queens (Maryland) 7th out of 23, Golden Girls (Richmond) 22nd out of 23, Rage (Chicago) 7th out of 8, Sr Coed 3lite 1st out of 4
Semis: Emeralds (Roanoke) 17th out of 37, Jr 3lite Queens (Raleigh) 24th out of 25, Gucci (Chattanooga) 11th out of 11, Coex (Location ?) 12th out of 13
Finals: Sr Coed 3lite 10th out of 12

Level 4:
Wild Card: Angles 4.2 (Raleigh) 2nd out of 3, Jr 4lite (Raleigh) 2nd out of 17, Berries (Raleigh) 1st out of 6
Semis: Youth X Sharkbites (Raleigh) 1st out of 1, Sr 4lite (Raleigh) 7th out of 31, C4 (Location ?) 1st out of 13
Finals: Angels 4.2 (Raleigh) 2nd out of 6, Youth X Sharkbites (Raleigh) 1st out of 1, Jr 4lite (Raleigh) 7th out of 15, Sr 4lite (Raleigh) 5th out of 19, C4 (Location ?) 1st out of 12, Berries (Raleigh) 4th out of 12

Level 5:
Wild Card: Princesses (Charlotte) 2nd out of 4, SRX (Raleigh) 3rd out of 5, Crush 1st out of 1
Semis: Fireflies (Charlotte) 1st out of 1, JRX (Raleigh) 1st out of 1, Monarchs (Charlotte) 2nd out of 2, SJX (Raleigh) 3rd out of 5, Obsession (Chicago) 2nd out of 3
Finals: Fireflies (Charlotte) 1st out of 1, Princesses (Charlotte) 2nd out of 8, JRX (Raleigh) 1st out of 2, Monarchs (Charlotte) 2nd out of 7, SJX 3rd out of 8, Obsession (Chicago) 3rd out of 4, Crush 2nd out of 4
 

quitthedrama

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I have always enjoyed watching CEA's higher level teams, but I'm in agreement with you, most of the drama surrounding CEA I've heard has to do with how they work their strategies within the rules. That's where I feel "don't hate the player, hate the game" comes in. What I am surprised to hear, if it's true, is that most of their talent is home grown, because CEA has most of their success in levels 4 and 5. Their lower levels don't reflect the same success as their higher levels and most successful World's gyms have become destination gyms for high level athletes. When I think of "home grown" I think of California All Stars and Cheer Athletics that are consistently successful in every single level and in the most competitive divisions. With that said, those gyms also have many destination athletes coming to World's tryouts.

These are the results of Summit 2019 for CEA:

Level 1:
Wild Card: Purple Crowns (Richmond) 23rd out of 26, Ladybugs (Raleigh) 7th out of 7
No teams in Semi's or Finals.

Level 2:
Wild Card: Lucky Charms (Chicago) 22nd out of 26, Sparkle (Raleigh) 32nd out of 38, Slay (Maryland) 7th out of 16
No teams in Semi's or Finals

Level 3:
Wild Card: Vogue (Chicago) 18th out of 39, Glamour Queens (Maryland) 7th out of 23, Golden Girls (Richmond) 22nd out of 23, Rage (Chicago) 7th out of 8, Sr Coed 3lite 1st out of 4
Semis: Emeralds (Roanoke) 17th out of 37, Jr 3lite Queens (Raleigh) 24th out of 25, Gucci (Chattanooga) 11th out of 11, Coex (Location ?) 12th out of 13
Finals: Sr Coed 3lite 10th out of 12

Level 4:
Wild Card: Angles 4.2 (Raleigh) 2nd out of 3, Jr 4lite (Raleigh) 2nd out of 17, Berries (Raleigh) 1st out of 6
Semis: Youth X Sharkbites (Raleigh) 1st out of 1, Sr 4lite (Raleigh) 7th out of 31, C4 (Location ?) 1st out of 13
Finals: Angels 4.2 (Raleigh) 2nd out of 6, Youth X Sharkbites (Raleigh) 1st out of 1, Jr 4lite (Raleigh) 7th out of 15, Sr 4lite (Raleigh) 5th out of 19, C4 (Location ?) 1st out of 12, Berries (Raleigh) 4th out of 12

Level 5:
Wild Card: Princesses (Charlotte) 2nd out of 4, SRX (Raleigh) 3rd out of 5, Crush 1st out of 1
Semis: Fireflies (Charlotte) 1st out of 1, JRX (Raleigh) 1st out of 1, Monarchs (Charlotte) 2nd out of 2, SJX (Raleigh) 3rd out of 5, Obsession (Chicago) 2nd out of 3
Finals: Fireflies (Charlotte) 1st out of 1, Princesses (Charlotte) 2nd out of 8, JRX (Raleigh) 1st out of 2, Monarchs (Charlotte) 2nd out of 7, SJX 3rd out of 8, Obsession (Chicago) 3rd out of 4, Crush 2nd out of 4
You missed the part where CSP has said that generally speaking her athletes move up a level each year. Those lower level teams are competing against gyms that have kids on the same level for 2-6 years. Those two very different coaching philosophies will produce very different results. To me homegrown is your worlds athletes having been with the program for several years and coming from your lower level teams.
 

oncecoolcoachnowmom

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^^^^

I will say that CSP has been very vocal about how a good bit of their SE/Coed/LL talent is very much homegrown and has been cheering together in some form for a long time - there's an article floating around out there from a few seasons ago about how her kids and others came up through Mini Elite to Glitter Penguins to Youth Elite to Crush to SE/Coed. Or in other daughter's case, from those teams to 4.2 to LL.

Similar to how World Cup grows talent from say, Dippers to Twinkles to Lites to Suns/Odyssey to Stars.
 

catlady

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You missed the part where CSP has said that generally speaking her athletes move up a level each year. Those lower level teams are competing against gyms that have kids on the same level for 2-6 years. Those two very different coaching philosophies will produce very different results. To me homegrown is your worlds athletes having been with the program for several years and coming from your lower level teams.

Actually, the reason I posted was because someone said CSP said her athletes moved up a level each year, and that most of her World athletes were home grown (our definition is the same). I don't want anyone to take my post wrong, when I say "surprised," I'm truly surprised. I was assuming based on lower level results she must have a lot of destination athletes coming specifically for World's tryouts. Nothing, IMO, is wrong with that, she's a strategic World's coach and that attracts athletes. I'll rephrase and say, I'm truly surprised her athletes are able to catch up competitively by level 4. I would have assumed, based on her lower level results, she had a lot of destination athletes coming in for World's since her levels 1-3 aren't as competitive. Obviously, her philosophy works, she has a successful gym, and that must mean stamina, strength, technique, and elite skills must kick in for many of her athletes around year 4. No shade, that's fascinating to me.
 

123jump4!

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Actually, the reason I posted was because someone said CSP said her athletes moved up a level each year, and that most of her World athletes were home grown (our definition is the same). I don't want anyone to take my post wrong, when I say "surprised," I'm truly surprised. I was assuming based on lower level results she must have a lot of destination athletes coming specifically for World's tryouts. Nothing, IMO, is wrong with that, she's a strategic World's coach and that attracts athletes. I'll rephrase and say, I'm truly surprised her athletes are able to catch up competitively by level 4. I would have assumed, based on her lower level results, she had a lot of destination athletes coming in for World's since her levels 1-3 aren't as competitive. Obviously, her philosophy works, she has a successful gym, and that must mean stamina, strength, technique, and elite skills must kick in for many of her athletes around year 4. No shade, that's fascinating to me.

In most other sports spending more time on lower levels doesn’t mean someone will be better when they reach a higher level. More the opposite? I remember watching CEA’s Mini 2 and thinking it was a mess, but still admiring them for even having level 2 skills at all at that age.

I’m not posting as a CEA fan but I can understand why she doesn’t think it’s important to be competitive at lower levels. For them it’s about progressing quickly to higher levels.
 
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oncecoolcoachnowmom

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Here's the actual article where she talks about why she started many of the current SE girls on Mini Elite - Mini 3 and also why her athletes do not usually spend multiple years on L1 or 2. (Mini Elite still exists but is now M2 obviously.)

A New Generation of Senior Elite | Cheer Extreme

The program did not have options, or depth of widespread talent pool (per/location) to field multiple teams in different age groups at different levels. She says, “we had to grow them together, they had to cheer together… it was not an option” of how they progressed skills together over the last decade. Pope when pressed on what aided in making this happen, she credits the now retired division, Mini 3, for part of the athlete and team’s success. Adding, “they never had to learn Level 1 or 2 stunts. They never had to break the habits of flying reclined on their back spot from the very onset of their careers.”

Some outside perspective - hate it or love it, this happens a lot in HS cheer world, granted the kids are older. If you are not in a cheer-heavy area but are trying to be competitive, you are usually trying to take 7th, 8th, 9th graders and sometimes older than that - and somehow get them to flip at some point in the year. And you usually are not going to start with BWO, rolls, and cartwheels. You tend to start them off with Level 2. Same with stunts. Our JV and MS regularly got kids who had never stunted. If you're growing kids from ground up, they're not starting with the same lib as Tiny 1. You are probably starting them at prep level extensions with heavy support. Best practice? That's debateable - but in reality time is of the essence when you have to grow kids from the ground up.

Along the same lines - how many people on here have kids who have progressed into higher level teams but can't BWO to save their lives? Or were never even on a Level 1 team? I remember hearing on this board that someone's gym starts all their Never Cheered Before athletes on 4.2 because there is no Senior 1.
 
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Here's the actual article where she talks about why she started many of the current SE girls on Mini Elite - Mini 3 and also why her athletes do not usually spend multiple years on L1 or 2. (Mini Elite still exists but is now M2 obviously.)

A New Generation of Senior Elite | Cheer Extreme

The program did not have options, or depth of widespread talent pool (per/location) to field multiple teams in different age groups at different levels. She says, “we had to grow them together, they had to cheer together… it was not an option” of how they progressed skills together over the last decade. Pope when pressed on what aided in making this happen, she credits the now retired division, Mini 3, for part of the athlete and team’s success. Adding, “they never had to learn Level 1 or 2 stunts. They never had to break the habits of flying reclined on their back spot from the very onset of their careers.”

Some outside perspective - hate it or love it, this happens a lot in HS cheer world, granted the kids are older. If you are not in a cheer-heavy area but are trying to be competitive, you are usually trying to take 7th, 8th, 9th graders and sometimes older than that - and somehow get them to flip at some point in the year. And you usually are not going to start with BWO, rolls, and cartwheels. You tend to start them off with Level 2. Same with stunts. Our JV and MS regularly got kids who had never stunted. If you're growing kids from ground up, they're not starting with the same lib as Tiny 1. You are probably starting them at prep level extensions with heavy support. Best practice? That's debateable - but in reality time is of the essence when you have to grow kids from the ground up.

Along the same lines - how many people on here have kids who have progressed into higher level teams but can't BWO to save their lives? Or were never even on a Level 1 team? I remember hearing on this board that someone's gym starts all their Never Cheered Before athletes on 4.2 because there is no Senior 1.
This entire thread fascinates me. It’s really less of a discussion about CEA, but about different coaching styles and program developments.
 
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catlady

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In most other sports spending more time on lower levels doesn’t mean someone will be better when they reach a higher level. More the opposite?

I can't speak for all sports, but I do know the gymnastic programs around here stress slower progression for their athletes. With that said, you work with what you have and I find it impressive it works for them.

@oncecoolcoachnowmom thanks for posting the article. I definitely don't see a bwo being an end all skill for cheer. With that said, I'm definitely seeing a lot of current level 2 and 3 athletes with phenomenal bhs and running tuck technique with the recent slowed progression. Gym's that have slowed progression, also, are requiring additional elite level skills such as valdez, front handsprings, punch fronts, aerials, etc. and I wonder how that will translate in the level 6 teams 4-5 years from now. It may or may not make a big difference with additional elite level 6 tumble skills, if anything, I would love to believe slower progression in all star will translate into less injuries and fewer blocks.
 
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I love the conversation back and forth regarding coach's styles in this thread and insight provided to readers.

I just wanted to add that with such emphasis on progression for CEA Kernersville and intense focus on level 4&5 athletes, their tumbling coach ONLY works with level 5 athletes. All tumbling coaches that were willing to work with lower level athletes have left and many went to Raleigh. This has left a gap in progression for some athletes since not all gain a level a year.
 
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