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How One Cheer Coach Breaks it Down to Parents

How One Cheer Coach Breaks it Down to Parents - November 16, 2017

I have heard it said a thousand times, “I just wish a parent understood where we are coming from.” It’s a true statement though. I believe I can safely say that anyone who has coached any sport has had that thought at least once. Why is it that we say that, but never actually take the time to allow them to understand? Have you ever attempted to break it down to them? If not, feel free to print this out, leave my personal email address and let me take care of this.

Parents, you should know this sport requires dedication. The majority of the athletes rely on you to get them where they need to be, to pay for the things they need and to relay information that is valuable to them. Cheerleading is a team sport and lucky for you, the moment you signed your offspring up, you became part of the team as well! Congratulations! Welcome to the team.

Why are we so strict on lateness?

As I stated, cheerleading is a team sport. No, it is NOT like any other sport. Each cheerleader is one piece of a giant puzzle. Without that piece, the puzzle is not–and cannot be–complete. If they’re late, time is being taken away from the people who showed up on time. That could have been an additional 20 minutes that the stunt needed to finally get it to work properly and beautifully. If you run late on an occasion, fine. A heads-up can make a world of difference. If you are constantly running late, well I just don’t know what to say. When I am late, it causes my entire day to be ruined. Perhaps you should write a counter-piece explaining to me why and how you are okay with always being late, because I just don’t get it. (Coaches, you could always tell these parents an earlier time; I started doing it and it works wonderfully.)

Why are we so strict on absences?

We can’t just sub someone out and still have it together. It just doesn’t work that way. We don’t have starters or others who sit on the bench. We don’t have an understudy who learns each part of a two minute and thirty second routine. If they are not there, well you just took away a valuable puzzle piece. “Susie was sick though, Coach Brittany.” Listen. We are not asking for them to tumble or to jump around and risk throwing up. We are asking that they just show up. Take some Tylenol, come in pajamas, bring a blanket and a pillow and just be there. If your cheerleader can lay on the couch, Snapchatting on their phone ‘#feelslikedeath #bingewatchingnetflix’, then they can sit at practice and see what is being taught. Most coaches have a plan of action. An unexpected absence throws a wrench into that. If the reason is valid, it is valid and the coach will understand. Missing a competition. Ugh. This literally just hurts my soul. It’s impossible. Unless it is an extreme emergency, there is just no excuse for your cheerleader to ever miss a competition without giving your coach ample notice to work around it. Attendance policies are not just in place for our amusement; they’re meant for the best of the team and your cheerleader. Lack of dedication and lack of showing up can create some serious tension between the team. It’s something we hate when it happens, but we unfortunately understand why it does. Most of us coaches volunteer our time to be there with your cheerleader and their team. Other parents volunteer their time to get their cheerleader to practices and competitions. If you are serious about this sport, you will find a way.

Why do you have to switch the routine when a cheerleader can’t compete?

Again, cheerleading is not like other sports. We don’t have back-ups to just throw in there for a one-time purpose. It wouldn’t be fair to those girls who are there day in and day out hoping for a chance to be on the team permanently. Is there a chance your cheerleader will lose their spot? Honestly, yes. If we rework the routine because we have to, everything falls into place better and they perform ridiculously better than your cheerleader did, they can and will lose their spot. It’s not a sport for favoritism. It’s not out of spite–it’s what is always best for the team. The show must go on.

Why do you constantly make changes?

Did you ever take notice to the table or stage that the cheerleaders are facing when they are on the cheerleading mat? No? Take a look. There are people there. Those people are called ‘judges’. They hold the fate of our team in their hands. We cater to what they want, just as you would do if you were to receive a quarterly review from your boss. If we were to leave things in that were less than perfect, we aren’t doing our job. We aren’t doing what is best for those girls to set them up for disappointment when it could have been avoided. Plus, think on the bright side: it meant that your cheerleader progressed, and is able to learn new and harder skills.

What is on the score sheets? “But, those scores look good to me!”

HA HA! You want to learn about score sheets? How to read and translate the cheer language that the judges speak? Great, do you have a month for me to teach you? We are judged on so many different categories and subcategories. Those categories have guidelines and rules. You need four different skills, two elite in order to receive a ‘higher’ end score on that score sheet. There’s just too much to teach, I am sorry. Those who glance and go, “oh, that 9.3 looks good to me.” You are not looking at it right. You see that 9.3 out of 10. In your head, it is 1-10. Your head is wrong. That 9.3 is honestly a .3 out of a max score of 1. Not sure hot looking now is it, Nancy?

We aren’t mean–well, most of us aren’t. What you see is being mean is us pushing: pushing your child out of their comfort zone so that they can reach the potential we know they are able to reach. It is not mean that I do not lie to them and tell them they looked absolutely amazing when the truth is they were a 3 out of 10. That’s called honesty. It’s genuine. Me not lying will have them knowing when they did do amazing, and trust me, it will mean more to them than me saying “great job” when I did not mean it.

We, as coaches, wish parents understood. Yet, parents will never be able to fully understand. You can’t explain your feelings, your bond or your emotions. Saying and explaining certain areas of our world is hard, but can be done. Parents actually grasping those words and fully understanding them is another thing. It goes through one ear and flows out the other, because it’s not something they deal with on an everyday basis. What we can do is try. Remember that parents don’t know the ins and outs, and have a bit of patience with them. Be honest and open. Parents, please do the same. Take a moment and step outside of the parent role, and put yourself in our shoes. If you don’t get it, ask. If you’re mad at how we act or at something we do because you don’t fully understand, why don’t you give yourself 24 hours to calm down and come to us? If you are just going to nag and complain, expect the same treatment you give us. You know, where it goes through one ear and right out the other? We may nod, but trust me, it’s not sinking in.

Cheer coaches, how do you break it down for parents? Let us know in the comments!

Making Your Cheer Parent Schedule Healthier, in 5 Simple Steps

Making Your Cheer Parent Schedule Healthier, in 5 Simple Steps - November 8, 2017

A cheerleader’s life is always a whirlwind of activity, and as a parent, you’re caught dead in the middle of it. Not to mention you have a life of your own, and a job! There’s no need to risk your health over being stretched too thin, so here are some time-management and organizational tips to stay on top of your cheer parent game.

5. Keep a family calendar.


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I would be nothing without my family calendar. This could be a physical calendar on the wall or a digital calendar on your computer, and once you get it going, you’ll soon realize that it’s the perfect way to have everything organized in one place. It might start looking like a crazy mess after including all the practices, game times, work meeting, parent-teacher conferences, etc., but being prepared for your week will reduce a lot of stress. Without a doubt, things will pop up and your kids will forget to give you a letter from school, but hey–when you have kids, things happen! If you prepare as best as you can, you can tackle anything that comes your way. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my busiest days, and to make my life easier, I plan dinners ahead of time with primarily crock-pot meals. That way, there’s no need to rush to the grocery store and dinner is ready as soon as we come through the door.

4. HELP!!

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Parenting takes a village. As moms, we often think we can do it all and usually, we can! But, do you ever ask yourself, why should I do it all? There is no reason you should. The best thing about a village is you have a lot of people to help. Work out a plan: have your kids join a carpool, or split the schedule with your spouse or partner. Get Grandma or Grandpa involved by asking your parents if they can pick up the kids one day week. There are a lot of options out there to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all just want to be good moms, but you cannot be Super Mom if you are super stressed.

3. Learn to say no.

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Life is messy. Things come up, like your kid getting invited to a sleepover or birthday party last minute. You have in-laws asking you to come over to dinner every weekend, or friends come to town unexpectedly. At some point, you have to say no. Especially with kids–they always seem to have something going on. It’s this friend’s house and or that friend’s birthday party, but they also have a cheer tournament that weekend. You are going to have to say ‘no’… and it’s okay.

2. Be okay with making cuts.

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You’re double-booked. It is bound to happen, but what do you choose? Did you make a commitment, or is this something that you can reschedule? Is your schedule just getting out of control? At some point, you may need to see what can be cut back. I have a hyperactive child, and he NEEDS sports. When he was younger, he was in several different sports that allowed him to be active in some sort of sport year-round. As he got older, the seasons got longer and started to overlap. It became very overwhelming for him and myself! We had to make a choice on which sports he wanted to stick with. It all worked out for the best, and everyone is happier now. Don’t forget your kids can get stretched thin, too!

1. Don’t forget who/what is important.

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Family is the most important thing, and it can get lost in day-to-day hectic life. I know it seems silly, but schedule some family time. Put it on the calendar. On Friday nights, schedule a pizza dinner, game night, or movie night. Set a rule or standard in your home; for me, that is dinner. No matter what happens or is going on, we eat dinner as a family. Even if we picked up fast food on the way home, we all eat together at the dinner table. I know what you are thinking, “I don’t have time for that! Sometimes we are running all over the place!” I get it. Sometimes, we are running back late from practice and I need to get the kids bathed and ready for bed. So what? My kids take a bath and go to bed 30 minutes later than usual two days a week. Who cares?! What is 30 minutes? I can tell you, rushing your kids to bed versus spending that extra half hour to have dinner with your family is worth it. Even when life is hectic, just take the time. It truly does boost my mood, and reminds me that even when life is crazy, the moments together are the most important.

Also, don’t forget about yourself. Like I said, 30 minutes… that is nothing! So, why can’t you schedule 30 minutes in your busy life to do something for yourself? Maybe it is squeezing in a workout during your lunch break, reading a book, enjoying your coffee AT Starbucks, or even scheduling a lunch date with a friend. Just do it! Don’t let life go by because you are busy; we all know life does not stop, so you need to make the effort to slow it down. Take the time, cherish the moments, and you will have a happier, healthier life.

What are other tips for cheer parents balancing a busy schedule? Tell us your tips in the comments!

10 Most Terrifying Cheer Coach Moments

10 Most Terrifying Cheer Coach Moments - November 6, 2017

Coaching is like Christmas and Halloween wrapped up into April Fool’s Day! It doesn’t have to be Halloween to be scared, so here are the top most terrifying cheer coach moments.

10. First meeting your new team. You have no idea what you’re going to get–they could be incredible, lazy or mean! Then, you have to wait patiently for their true colors to come through because we all know that in the beginning, it’s all about giving the best impression.

9. The nightmares. Literally nightmares, like legit wake-you-up-from-your-sleep coachmares. You may not think this is a serious thing, but let me tell you, you are not a real coach unless you have had at least ONE competition or practice nightmare.

8. The lack of control over your own emotions. Here you are, thinking you have your life together and then BAM! You experience nerves, anxiety, stress, frustration, anger and depression all at one time. It’s terrifying when you cannot get yourself together. 

7. A cheerleader falling ill. Okay, so this isn’t my own experience, but a very close friend of mine experienced this as a coach. Her own child became extremely ill the night before a national competition. They kept a throw up bucket on the side of the mat–it was that bad. She was such a trooper; she still went out and performed.

6. The practice (and week) prior to competition. Is it just a Coach Brittany’s team tradition? The practice prior to competition is like rock bottom. Or, if rock bottom had a rock bottom–that’s what it would be. Everything falls: bows, shoes, flyers, tumblers, your hopes and dreams. It is a lingering terror, too. You cry, they cry. You go home on edge and on competition day, you replay that practice in your head a thousand times.

5. The Illegal Stunt. You worked hard to make it and teach it. The cheerleaders’ worked hard to perfect it, and make it all you hoped for. They hit, it’s glorious… and it’s also illegal. That deduction on the score sheets could cost your team everything, which is scary in itself, but it is downright gut wrenching knowing that it will all be your fault.

4. Something so small can be absolutely horrifying. The random object hitting the mat: a shoe, a bow, a pair of glasses… no matter how tiny that could realistically be, it looks magnified on the mat. Are they going to pick it up? Who tied that shoe in the first place? I knew I she should have double-checked her bow…

3. The dreaded stunt fall. It happens. We don’t know why. It could be the entire pyramid, shoulder sit or a thigh stand. It just doesn’t matter. The gasp from the crowd, the look on the cheerleaders’ faces, and the complete looks of disgust that you IMAGINE are on the judges’ faces (even though they’re actually not). There is no denial that stunt falls are every single coach’s and cheerleader’s worst nightmare.

2. Not being able to help calm your team prior to hitting the mat. Perhaps you didn’t even realize this as a terrifying moment, but it is. It kind of goes hand-in-hand with number one. You feel their nerves and they feel yours. As they stand in the circle with their heads bowed, sweaty hand in sweaty hand, all of your energy just mixing into a big pile of mush covered in glitter, hair spray and a fake smile. We seriously need to figure out a stress and nerve release that communicates, “You got this, go out there have fun and smile.” Right–pots meet kettle.

1. The loss. I am sure some of you are looking at this list going, “Her moments are not ordered right.” To you, they may not be. I’m emotional, so my terrifying moments are moments that can’t necessarily be forgotten. What comes along with that stunt fall, or that no-call, no-show? Most of the time, it’s a loss. Sometimes, they lose to a team that fell when they hit everything. It doesn’t matter the situations that lead up to it; those things happened, you dealt with it, and we are in the present. The look on their faces–so full of disappointment, confusion and heartache–is scary to even anticipate. It’s something you can’t help or solve with words. It takes time to mend those shattered hearts, time to regain confidence and bounce back from that loss. Time, in itself, is scary; the unknown is horrifying. It’s not as much as the loss that is scary, it’s them. Those beautiful faces looking to you for comfort, to be their strength and to smile, to offer a pep talk, but deep down, you realize it doesn’t hit home to them yet. You telling them how proud you are isn’t what they need right now, and honestly, it doesn’t matter to them in that moment of time.

We could go on and on about terrifying moments: personalized moments, specific moments, but for cheer coaches, it’s just best to outline the hardest hitting ones.

What gives you cheer coaching nightmares? Share us your spine-tingling coach moments in the comments!

5 Most Terrifying Cheer Parent Moments: Game of Thrones Edition

5 Most Terrifying Cheer Parent Moments: Game of Thrones Edition - October 31, 2017

The moment you become a parent is thrilling, but also terrifying. You hold that little screaming bundle of joy for the first time and your heart grows in size. The love you have instantly for this child is unimaginable and equally hard to explain. Cersei Lannister has her faults, but there is one thing we can all agree on, she loves her kids. So, here are five terrifying moments for cheer parents, courtesy of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

1. That one annoying parent.

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You are not going to like everyone. Sometimes, there are those people who get on your very last nerve. As a cheer parent, you know traveling and bonding with the other parents goes with the territory. You have to put your game face on just like your cheerleader. You can do your best to ignore and sit far away from that one person, but sometimes, you have the unfortunate luck of having to endure an entire competition sitting next to them and hearing their incessant commentary on how every team preformed. Worse things have happened, but it feels like a nightmare you cannot wake up from while it’s happening.

2. They lose.

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Let’s be real–losing sucks! Especially when you know how hard your cheerleaders have worked to get where they are, but sometimes, the other teams are just better. It is a harsh reality of the world–you cannot win all the time. However, it is hard to be rational when you child is clearly upset about the loss. The good news is, there is always next year. Yes, it is bummer the team lost, but that is unfortunately part of life and is a powerful lesson for your cheerleader to learn about how to deal with losing.

3. The long drive.

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This is horrible and frightening: driving for hours to competitions with a car full of teenage cheerleaders.  Enough said! Any parent who has driven long distances with a gaggle of teenage girls understands how loud, annoying, and painful it can be. What are they even talking about? NOTHING! They are literally talking about nothing for HOURS! Once you have safely arrived at your location and all the kids are safe and sound, the only thing that can save you from this nightmare is a glass of wine and silence.

4.  You cannot always be there.

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Your cheerleaders need to fly or travel for competitions, and for one reason or another, you cannot go. The world is scary out there and you want to make sure your child is safe. As a parent, there is a part of you that is always thinking about your child and now, you will be more stressed than normal until your child is back safe and sound. These are the days you are never more attached to your cell phone, and as soon as that phone rings, you have a miniature heart attack until you hear “hey mom” on the other end. Don’t stress out too much: your cheerleader will be back before you know it.

5. Ouch. 

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It is unfortunate, but accidents do happen. Sometimes, cheerleaders get hurt; sometimes people fall or land wrong and a knee gets tweaked or an arm gets broken. With any sport, there is the risk of getting injured. Nothing is more terrifying as a parent than seeing your child hurt and in pain. It is a hard reality, but sometimes your child is going to get hurt and maybe break a bone. Cheerleading is a dangerous sport; the good news is cheerleaders work hard to protect each other and practice hard to avoid injury.

These moments may be utterly terrifying, but you made it through. Here is one final Game of Thrones GIF of Khal Drogo and Khaleesi to make you feel better:


What are other terrifying cheer parent moments? Tell us your experiences in the comments!

Terrifying Moments at Competitions: Supernatural Edition

Terrifying Moments at Competitions: Supernatural Edition - October 20, 2017


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Competition season can be absolutely terrifying. The moment you walk out onto that battlefield, your fight or flight mode hits and all the butterflies start fluttering in your stomach. Here are the top six terrifying moments at cheer competitions, courtesy of the hit TV show Supernatural.

6. You got so into your routine that you forgot to smile! 

 

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As we all know, cheerleading judging can be a bit ridiculous. You have to keep your smile on throughout the entire routine and, honestly, that is not the most important thing on your priority list! So, your face might look at little crazy… it is not the worst thing in the world…

5. Nerves got the best of you.

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Nerves can get the best of you–it happens! You wouldn’t be the first person who has thrown up at competition: nothing is more nerve wrecking than lining up at the side of the stage, waiting for your teams turn to run out and start your routine. That moment lasts forever, and all those anticipation butterflies make your stomach turn. Once you get out there, you know you will be fine, but those seconds that feel like minutes before you run out make you so nervous that you might just throw up. Just take a deep breath, you’ve got this.

4. You're missing something.

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You checked, double-checked and even triple-checked, but you are missing something! Nothing can cause a complete freak out than missing a sock, hair bow, or even a shoe. You have never ripped apart a bag at such lighting speed until you think you are missing part of your uniform. You start thinking you’ve let the team down, the judges are going to deduct points, the competition is over before it even starts and you’ve already blew it for your team. Take a second, relax–your missing item is probably in there, you just need to relax and calmly look. If not, coaches always have extras.

3. You forgot the routine.

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A.K.A., the brain fart. There is nothing more frightening than just blanking out. The ‘deer caught in the headlights’ moment! When stress takes over, your brain sometimes freezes up. This is probably the most nightmarish scenario. Forget showing up in your underwear to class: forgetting your entire cheer routine the moment you get out onto the floor is a complete nightmare! However, you have practiced this routine a million times; once that music kicks in, muscle memory takes over and you are all good! (Woo, that was close!)

2. You're offbeat.

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You just missed a step. This one is a heartbreaker. You know these steps, you have practiced hard, have had dreams doing these motions, and it is now the big day… and you miss one. This is what nightmares are made of. This can cost your team a win by missing or being out of rhythm with your team. There is always a chance, since you recovered quickly, that no one saw it, but this one will keep you up at night.

1. You fall.

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You falling or not sticking a landing is the worst thing that can happen at competitions. Falling is hard to recover from, and it feels like you let down your entire team. It happens to even the best of athletes; even Olympians fall from time to time. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Plus, unlike the Olympics, there is always next year!

What are other terrifying moment at cheer competitions? Let us know in the comments!

5 Cheer Gear DIY Halloween Costumes

5 Cheer Gear DIY Halloween Costumes - October 16, 2017

It is finally that time of the year. What makes Halloween such a unique holiday is that everyone celebrates it differently. To many people, Halloween means everything spook-tacular, like ghosts, zombies, horror movies and haunted houses. To others, Halloween is all about spending time with friends and families, trick-or-treating or not. Whatever it means to you, there’s no denying that dressing up is the most important part of the holiday–whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart. It is that one chance of the year you can dress up as anyone you want to be, like your childhood hero, a princess or a character from your favorite show. However, costumes can sometimes be costly and stressful. Don’t put a dent in your wallet on an outfit that you can only wear once! Instead, get creative and express yourself. Here are some costume ideas using affordable and versatile cheerleading items.

1. Zombie Cheerleader (or just a cheerleader!)

Who doesn’t want to be a cheerleader? They’re fierce. They’re confident. They wear the cutest outfits in school. Cheerleaders are featured on multiple popular TV shows and movies such as Glee, Teen Wolf and Step It Up. Cheerleaders are also the theme of many hit songs. You can find online package deals that consist of a hair bow, uniform and socks in many colors and styles for only around $20… WHAT A STEAL! Don’t try to squeeze into a one-size-fits-most costume; find a size that fits you!

Creative twist: Already a cheerleader? Change up your makeup, and be zombie cheerleader this year. Just make sure to buy a new uniform so you don’t dirty up your performance one.

2. Disney Princess

Can you believe it’s already October? Boy, did time fly by this year when you realize Halloween is just around the corner. Don’t have time to plan an entire outfit, but still want enjoy in the spirit of the holiday? Whether your favorite princess is a dreamer who rules the sea, an intelligent beauty with a big heart, the fairest in all the land or a lighthearted spirit with long, golden locks–there’s a bow for that. Complete your princess costume with jumbo performance cheer bows in place of a tiara.

Creative twist: Create magic by adding some fairy glitter dust to your makeup look.

3. Bae Watch

Summer might be over but when life is a beach, you can bring the heat to any costume party this Halloween. Using a basic red cheer brief, a red racerback sports bra, and a red duffle bag, you have yourself an entire Baywatch costume. What’s amazing about this costume is that all the pieces are extremely inexpensive–and reusable!

Creative twist: Reenact a scene from the iconic movie by running in slow motion.

4. Flora the Explorer

A pink practice tee, orange practice shorts, some yellow socks and a purple backpack… what do these things have common? I’ll give you five seconds… Come on! I know you know this… YOU GOT IT! Your favorite explorer! Don’t waste time hunting for these colorful items by making multiple trips to different stores; cheer retailers offer these affordable items all in one place.

Creative twist: Gather all your friends together and represent the ‘Explorer Gang’!

5. Super Cheerleader

Show your ‘Girl Power’ by dressing up as one of most powerful female warriors in history. Even if you’re lucky enough to get your costume before everyone else, there’s still a high chance you’re dropping big bucks. Affordable cheer gear is here to save the day! Get the look with three easy pieces, consisting of a red cropped bodyliner, a blue cheer brief and glittery star socks to add a finishing touch to your Girl Power look. 

Creative twist: Join forces and have each of your friends dress up as their favorite superhero/villain.

Tag @OmniCheer in social pics of your cheer-inspired Halloween wear using the hashtag #OmniCheerHalloween, or post a pic in the comments below!

8 Horrifying Cheer Fears

8 Horrifying Cheer Fears - October 11, 2017

It is finally fall, which means it’s finally scarf weather and the start of the holiday season. So, get ready to get scared, because here are eight cheerleading nightmares to get you spooked for Halloween!

1. Conditioning day.

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We are cheerleaders–we are not trained for track and field. Conditioning day is important for building up endurance, but running is so boring and horrible! Do we really need conditioning day?? Unfortunately, conditioning day is a necessary evil and makes you a better cheerleader in the long run. But, that still does not mean you have like it.

2. Wrong outfit.

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This is not your first cheer team, and you brought the right shell top but packed the wrong skirt from an old team. Or, like many of us, you are getting ready in the dark. Instead of throwing navy Soffe® practice shorts in your bag, you grabbed black. It happens to the best of us, but you sure will stick out like a sore thumb at practice or performance today. WHOOPS!

3. You’re lost.

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Some schools are lucky to have team buses; other teams drive themselves to and from games. Nothing can be more stressful than getting lost on your way to a game. Why is finding a school so difficult? And, where the heck is the football field? Or, my favorite, you park on the opposite end of campus and have to walk all the way to other end to get to the football field.

4. AGAIN!

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You’re getting closer to competitions, and your coach wants everything to be perfect. At practice, you feel like your team has the routine down. Your coach, however, does not see it that way–making you do the routine over and over again. Come on, coach, we are tired and ready to go home!

5. Bad haircuts.

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You decided to get that really cute short haircut you have always wanted. You had one idea, but as always, your hairdresser cuts it way shorter than you asked for. You turn around in your chair, and freak out because it is way shorter then you thought. Your coach is not going to be happy, since you now don’t have enough hair to wear your hair bows.

6. Forgot something?

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Right before you went to bed, you thought to yourself, “I should really put my glitter in my makeup bag.” But, then thought, “I’ll just do it in the morning.” Then, you woke up, and completely forgot about it. You pull out your makeup bag four hours later and think to yourself, “CRAP! Why did I not put my makeup in the bag last night?!”

7.  Lost a pom.

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This happens way more than cheerleaders like to admit. Poms go missing like bobby pins: one minute they are there; next minute, they’ve disappeared into an alternate universe. Thank goodness coaches are prepared and have extras on hand!

8. Wardrobe malfunction.

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Okay, so your shell top probably won't just fall off like in Bring It On, but seams do split and skirts can tear. Cheerleading uniforms are built to withstand constant motion and move with a cheerleader, but accidents happen. But, if a little tear or rip is the most of your worries, you are doing pretty good!

What are other cheerleading fears? Let us know what gets you spooked and startled in the comments! 

Incorporating Pink Items into Pep Rallies

Incorporating Pink Items into Pep Rallies - September 27, 2017

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and everyone wears pink to bring awareness the disease that has touched so many of us! A cancer diagnoses is devastating, but due to early detection screenings, the mortality rate of cancers has gone down over recent years. What better way to support those affected by breast cancer than by wearing pink items and rocking pink cheer gear?

1. Poms. All of these poms are available in-stock, and ready to ship to you today! The streamer size is ¾” width and 6” length, with a baton handle and approximately 1,400 streamers.

  • The Crystal Holographic Pom. The crystal holographic pom is my FAVORITE pom we offer. This pom sparkles and shines just right. The colors are so vibrant that you will want to rock these poms all year long! If you looking for poms like the pro’s this is the pom you are looking for.  Many NFL teams use similar poms during the October months.


  • The 2-Color Holographic Pom. This pom is also similar to the poms used by NFL teams during the month of October–with just the right amount of pink and sparkle! If you want pink poms, but you also want something you might be able to use all year, these are the poms for you.


  • The Pink Plastic Pom. You cannot go wrong with the one-color plastic pom! These are the original and classic style poms. When you can order a set of poms under $13 dollars, how can you go wrong? Whether you use these poms all year long or just for the month of October, these poms never go out of style and are made to last.

2. BOWS! BOWS! BOWS! We all love our cheer bows. Chassé® offers an amazing variety and selection of bows. Most of our bows have a pink color option, so you will be able to find the perfect bow for your team.

  • The Chassé Cheer for the Cause® Hope Hair Bow. Brand new this year, we have our Cheer for the Cause Hope Hair Bow: everyone will know you have hope for a cure with this jumbo 7”x7” hair bow that comes with an elastic hair tie and pink rhinestones. This bow is adorable, and one you will want to wear year after year.


  • The Chassé Cheer for the Cause Performance Hair Bow. This is another one of my favorite items! It is cute in the picture, but is so much cuter in person. This bow is JUMBO at 8” x 7”, with white glitter ribbon print on bright pink ribbon. No clips here–there is an elastic hair tie to keep this bow in place! It is a perfect ribbon to show your support for a great cause.


  • The Pink Bow. If you are looking for something simple and straightforward, then this is the bow for you! At under $3, this is the perfect add-on to any order. It is a sweet light pink bow with overlay ribbon in white and light pink awareness ribbons. This ribbon is perfect for teams, young and old.

3. Socks: You have your bows, now what about those toes?!

  • Omni Cheer offers excellent knee-high breast cancer awareness socks. Socks are a great way to complete the bow-to-toe look! These socks are great, thick and incredibly comfortable! You will not only have warm toes as the season transitions into fall, but you will be showing your support for a great cause!

4. Bags: We’ve got your back! Rally your school behind pink-out pep rallies by showing up with pink backpacks or duffle bags, filled with pink bracelets or candy to throw at the crowds!

  • The Nfinity® Sparkle Think Pink Backpack. We all love Nfinity! Why not show your support and have a really cool bag that you will love at the same time?! This bag is black glitter with the Nfinity logo and “Think Pink” embroidered on it. The bags come with four large pockets that can easily fit all your cheer needs!


  • The Chassé Glitter Duffle and Backpack. If you are interested in supporting the cause, but want something you can use year-round, the Chassé Glitter Backpack or Duffle is the way to go! Not only are these bags glitter-tastic, they are practical and super cute! The best part of these bags is that you can customize them by adding names or customized embroidery.

Practice wear: Dress rehearsals for pep rallies can support the cause, or perhaps make pink practice wear the theme!

  • The Chassé Combo Bra Tank. Show your support by wearing something pink at practice! This Chassé combo bra and tank is a must-have for conditioning practice, and something you should even bring it to camp next summer! Why buy both a sports bra and a tank when you can get all in one? The best part is, this shirt can be customized by adding a screen print or embroidery design.


  • The Chassé C-Prime Sports Bra. This sports bra is so incredibly comfortable. Our patent C-dri® technology means the fabric is breathable, keeping you cool and dry during any workout. It’s comes in pink and is also customizable! Show your support for a great cause, while in a comfortable sports bra you can wear year-round!


  • GK Elite Formation Tank. GK Elite has an awesome brand new fitted tank top! This top really does make a statement with the keyhole and racerback design. The shirt comes in five different metallic color options, and the metallic pink is the perfect option for showing your support. You can even customize the look by adding an embroidered design!


  • Soffe® Knit Short. You cannot mess with classics; Soffe shorts are a must-have for any cheerleader. You probably already own two pairs in various colors. The best thing about Soffe shorts is that they never go out of style, so why not buy a few more? We offer two pink color options: baby pink and fuchsia (pictured)!


  • Chassé Dynamic Short. If you like the Soffe look, but want something a little more fitted, the Chassé Dynamic shorts are where it is at! These shorts are also 100% cotton with the same elastic waistband as Soffe, yet with a more flattering look.


  • GK Elite Odyssey Short. If you are looking for a more performance-oriented type of short, GK Elite’s Odyssey Short is perfect to show your support and spirit! These shorts are a mix of poly and spandex material, so you know they are will stretch and move with you at practice. The short comes in five color options, and the metallic pink color is perfect for showing your support. Don’t worry about the jewel design coming off after a wash–these jewels are going to sparkle and last!

What are other ways cheer teams can incorporate pink items into pep rallies? Show us your pink pep rally photos in a comment!

Crochet a Cheer Bow Headband in 12 Easy Steps

Crochet a Cheer Bow Headband in 12 Easy Steps - September 20, 2017

Fall is upon us, which means it’s that time of year when cheerleaders and coaches are thinking about preparations for the season ahead. To kick off team bonding with the new squad—and to personalize your warmup uniform—plan a day for your team to get together and crochet team cheer bow headbands! This cute and cozy accessory is easy to make and fun for the whole squad.

This project takes one ball or skein to make. These are terms for different ways yarn is packaged, but they are roughly the same amount. If you go to your local craft store, any package of yarn will do. Be sure to get size 5, or bulky, yarn for this pattern. If you are new to crochet, I would recommend using a light or bright color yarn so that it’s easier to see your work.


This headband is a great project to bring your team together and keep your ears warm on the sidelines as the fall season gets underway. Happy crocheting, cheerleaders!

Difficulty level: very easy
Time: under 2 hours
Supplies:

  • Crochet hook, size J/10 (6 mm) 
  • Yarn needle 
  • Scissors 
  • 1 package of yarn, 5/bulky weight 

I’m a visual learner myself, so if you find that you’re able to learn better from watching someone crochet rather than reading instructions, that is totally fair! You can find videos and step-by-step illustrations on websites for craft stores and brands. Here are a few resources for visual learners:

 

Instructions:

1. Create a slipknot around your crochet hook and pull it snug. You should have a tail of about 3-5 inches of yarn on one end of the slipknot, and the yarn strand on the other side is attached to the ball. I’ll call these the ‘tail’ and the ‘yarn’ to keep it from being confusing.
  
2. Chain 9. Chains are the starting point of any crochet project. To chain, keep the tail off to the side and hold your work and the yarn in place. Dip your hook under the yarn and then twist the hook so it goes up and over the yarn. This is called yarning over. Catch the yarn under the hook and gently pull it through your slipknot, and you’ll have your first chain. As you make more, you’ll notice how the loops resemble chain links. Make sure that you pull the chains tight enough to hold their shape, but still a little loose to keep the headband stretchy.

3. Turn your work, which means you turn your work around so that the last chain you made is now your first chain.

For this project, we are going to be working with double crochets, which sound like they’re double trouble, but they’re not as intimidating as they sound. For double crochets, each stitch we make will be two chains tall. Pinch your chain gently between your fingers to hold it in place while you work. It helps to keep your fingers one or two chains below where you are crocheting. Use your other fingers to hold the yarn steady.

4. To make your first double crochet, yarn over, but instead of pulling the yarn through to make a chain, keep it on your hook. You should have two loops of yarn on your hook.

5. Insert your hook through the top two loops of the third chain. This term is a little tricky, because it actually means the third chain from your hook. Count backwards: the loop on your hook is zero, the chain next to your hook (the ninth chain you crocheted) is now your first chain, followed by your second and third chains. You want to insert your hook into what was originally your seventh chain.

When we start crocheting, the first two chains that we skipped will be pulled up to form the end of the row, kind of like a bookend. They’ll help to keep the height of our row of double crochets even.

6. Once your hook is through the third chain, use it to grab the yarn and pull it through the chain. You should now have three loops of yarn wrapped around your hook.

7. Yarn over again, and pull it through the first two loops on your hook. You should now have two loops on your hook. Yarn over one more time and pull it through the two remaining loops. You should now have one loop on your hook. Congratulations, you have completed your first double crochet!

From this point, it’s rinse and repeat. But since there’s a lot of bulky text up there, here is the simple version of how to double crochet: yarn over so that you have two loops on your hook and put your hook through the chain. Grab the yarn and pull it through so that you have three loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull it through the first two loops, then yarn over again and pull it through the next two loops. You will have one loop left.

8. Double crochet your way across the row. You will have seven double crochets when you finish. Chain 2 and turn your work. Notice that what you just crocheted forms a new row of chains along the top. Yarn over and double crochet into your first chain. The two extra chains at the beginning of the row work the same way the two skipped chains from Step 5 worked, to keep the row even.

9. We are crocheting our headband around instead of up, which makes it easier to customize for the size of each person’s head. Repeat Step 8 as many times as necessary. Be sure to count your double crochets so that there are 7 in each row. Test out the length by wrapping your work around your head as you go. Because yarn is soft and will stretch out more with wear, you do want it to fit snugly: the ends of your work should just barely meet around your head. Once you reach this point, it’s time to turn this long strip of double crochets into a headband.

10. Once you’ve made your final double crochet, keep your hook in that loop. Cut the yarn, leaving about 8 inches (like a new tail), and use your hook to draw this remaining yarn through the last loop. Remove your hook and tug the yarn tightly to close up your work. This is called fastening off.

If you accidentally start unraveling your work, don’t worry! Just put your hook back into the most recent chain, re-crochet your way to the end, and try again.

11. Take your yarn needle and use the leftover yarn to stitch the two ends together and make the wrap shape. It’s okay if the stitches are uneven or crooked—we’re going to cover them up in a minute—but make sure that the ends are tightly stitched together. Once it’s all been stitched, use the needle or your fingers to tie a knot in the yarn as one last fastener. Using your yarn needle, weave in the original tail as well (not the new one you used to make the seam). When you reach the end of the tail, make a knot and cut off the extra.

The headband part is complete, but to complete the cheer bow look, we need to make the 'knot'. This part is nice and easy!

12. The side where you made your stitches is the inside of the headband. Turn your headband right-side-out. You should have 5-6 inches or so left of your second tail hanging down from the bottom of the seam you stitched. With your hand, pull the tail up through the headband and wrap it over to the front. Keep wrapping the tail up and over the seam and pull snugly. This will cinch the headband, giving it a bow-like appearance, and will also hide the seam. When you have a few inches left, loop the tail through the 'knot' on the inside of the headband where it’s hidden. Make a couple of knots, then use your needle to weave in the last of the yarn.

Your headband is complete! Now all that’s left is to test it out on the sidelines.

Let us see your cheer bow wraps in the comments

5 Gifts to Show Your Cheer ‘Big’ Love

5 Gifts to Show Your Cheer ‘Big’ Love - September 19, 2017

Congratulations, you just made the team! Joining a new cheer team or even joining cheerleading for the first time can be intimidating and bit nerve wrecking. Don’t fret! Your ‘Big’ is here to save the day! Your Big is the best! Bigs, or senior cheerleaders on any given cheer squad, help younger cheerleaders such as yourself learn the ropes and make you feel welcome onto your new team. Your Big is special to you–the mentor, friend, or even sister you never had. So, what is a Little to do to show your Big just how much they mean to you? Here are some spirit bag ideas for the Big in your life.

1. Something practical. 
I have seen decorative hangers online for a wedding, but I have seen it pop up more and more for cheerleaders. What a great idea! Just like a wedding dress, your cheer uniform can be expensive and something you want to cherish. Having a spirit hanger designed and made for you Big is something fun and cute they can use all the time. This idea is simple, fun, and you can be as creative as you want to be.

[Source: Pinterest]

2. Something to eat... or something sweet! I have said it before and I will say it again: food is always a crowd pleaser and, hey, we all have to eat! Get a cute bag or container and fill it with your Big’s favorite goodies. Nothing is better after a long day of practice than munching down on your favorite snacks! This is a perfect simple and cost-effective way to show your Big that you care.

[Source: Pinterest]

3. Something sentimental. Is your Big a senior and graduating this year? Maybe your Big is moving on to another team next year or just hanging up her pom poms for good soon. Why not get your Big something sweet and sentimental to show how much you care? I have seen some really cute ideas using shadow boxes. You can frame a team bow signed by all the cheerleaders as a farewell gift to your Big. Shadow boxes are a great gift idea because they can be as big or small as you want. If you Big is retiring from cheer, you can frame their old uniforms, or make a collage of pictures of you and your Big. They will love it, and it is something they can cherish for years to come.

[Source: Pinterest]

4. Something to share. Show your Big just how much you like being their Little by getting matching T-shirts! Depending on if you’re balling on a budget or have some extra cash, you can buy pre-made shirts or make your own. I have found some iron-on pre-made stencils available online at Etsy that are really cute, and not very expensive. This is my favorite gift idea… because who doesn’t love clothes?

[Source: Pinterest]

5. Something for the cheer family. Your cheer squad is your second family, and your Big was a Little once upon and time. Depending on your team, your Big’s Big may still be on the team. So, why not share the love and get matching shirts for you the Little, Big, and Grand Big! Cheerleaders are close and have a tight bond with each other. Plus, we love to be loud and proud, so why not show how much we love our cheer family by getting matching shirts and letting everyone know just how proud you are to be part of that family?!

[Source: Pinterest]

What are other cheer gift ideas for your cheer Big? Share your spirit ideas with us in the comments!