Coaching is a Balancing Act
If you are a veteran coach you know that coaching cheerleaders is not just about showing up to games and sitting in the bleachers for 3 hours (freezing your behind off). Cheerleaders, being the most visible group in the school, are at EVERYTHING. From practices and games, to assemblies, to charity events and fundraisers. This group is go, go, go.
Balance between work, cheer and family is often the downfall of many cheer coaches. The turnover rate for a new cheer coach is quite high. I would say this could be due to the school just grabbing a faculty member and saying, “hey, you’re our new cheer coach”. Sometimes it is a parent that steps in to coach because no one else would, or it’s a young adult that was a cheerleader and misses it so much they think they can jump in a head up a program. Those coaches who are successful have figured out the balance of the pieces.
To be successful and balance your life you need to start with your priorities, whatever they may be. If you work a 9-5 job, you know that is a priority, and probably the first priority. If you have a family, then you need to figure out a way for them to get the rides they need, fed and bed each night. Cheerleaders typically have events (practice, games, etc.) three to four times a week in the evenings. If you do the math all of these things don’t add up. Something is going to have to give.
Working, coaching and family can work, but you will have to make some sacrifices. No one can be at two places at once. Here are a few suggestions for making it work:
- If you have an excellent assistant coach you can utilize their help in practices. Have them help warm-up the team and get them started on the material for the day.
- Family and Friends can help shuttle your smaller family members around. I am fortunate enough to have a husband that is also a coach, he knows and understands what coaching means to me and we share baby duties in our off seasons.
- MAKE LISTS! This is the most important piece of advice that I can give. Make a master calendar and carry it with you at all times. Set reminders on your phone, put the calendar in a place where your whole family will see it and review the calendar daily. There is nothing worse than double booking yourself for two places at once.
Over time and lots of trial and error you will find your balance. Finding ways to stay passionate about all of your priorities is a must and always remember to schedule ME time in your planner. Even if just for a few minutes per day it is important.
Keep on Coaching on my friends!