Parent’s Guide to All-StarCheerleaders
Being an all-star cheer parent is hard. And keeping up with non-stop training can be exhausting and time-consuming. So you’ve got to be supportive of your child while being realistic in your expectations. You need to encourage hard workouts while safeguarding against injuries. And you must ensure your standards never undermine the standards of your child or her coaches.
Here are some crucial steps all-star cheer parents need to know.
Know What You’re Getting Into
Before you dive headlong into the busy cheer season, it’s essential to know what you’ve signed up for as a cheer parent. You may have to drive your child to practice three times a week — or more. You’ll either have to spend hours waiting there or make the drive back home — and then back to practice again. In addition, parents sometimes take their cheerleaders halfway across the country for competition. And they’ll have to ensure their child’s schedule doesn’t clash with cheer duty.
If this sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. It may seem best to ignore future stress and focus on the present. But if you aren’t prepared for how much time and effort you’ll have to sacrifice, it’s easy to become frustrated. Negativity will become commonplace, and the stress you show your child will rub off and affect his performance.
To make sure you’re fully prepared, talk with the all-star cheer coach to get a clear understanding of the year’s schedule and expenses. Next, ask current cheer parents how they feel about the workload. Finally, once you’ve got enough information, talk with your family about how this will affect your life. If you do all this work and still commit to all-star cheer, you’ll be far better prepared for future hardships.
Encouragement may seem easy but beware of pitfalls. Toxic positivity is a thing. If your child is in trouble, being upbeat might make them think you don’t understand — or worse, don’t care. Instead, accept the problem and acknowledge it as a negative occurrence.
Once you’ve addressed the problem, show your cheerleader the upside they may have overlooked. Children are often dramatic and need perspective. You can provide perspective by telling an anecdote of a time you’ve overcome hardship. Bonus points if the problem outweighs the current struggle.
Encouragement is crucial when your cheerleader messes up. Reassure them that the essential part of the competition is meeting their standards. If your kid does the best she can do, you’ll always be proud of her.
Prepare for Competitions
Cheer is unique in that each player on the team performs an individually specific part. Your cheerer will have trained to do something that no one else can substitute. So, if you’re late for a competition, your team may be forced to forfeit a match.
To prevent such predicaments, know where you are going and how long it will take to get there. Even still, be early. Sitting a bit longer on gym bleachers never hurt anyone.
It’s good to give your cheerleader the responsibility of looking after his equipment. However, double-check hours before leaving for competition that he has everything prepared.
If your cheerleader has made an all-star team, she’s special. Some combination of innate ability and hard work has propelled her to the top. While great, it’s easy to project your hopes and dreams onto such a gifted child. Unfortunately, this projection often manifests in parents forcing their ideas on their cheerleader and coach.
Once you contradict your kid’s coach, you confuse your cheerleader. Remember, you’ve committed to a team with a coach as its leader. So only oppose a coach if you have good reason to think they are prescribing harmful advice.
If you’re looking for a place to give your athlete the tools they need to succeed, Prodigy Cheer Apparel is the place for you. We sell banners, t-shirts, uniforms, and more to bring the best cheer performance out of anybody.
1. Understand the challenges of cheer parenting before committing.
2. Encourage through a combination of understanding and perspective.
3. Prepare for competitions to save your team from disqualification.
4. Avoid projection to keep your concerns from confusing your child.