In getting the best results at your practice…coaches, gym owners, and program directors have to start evaluating the time takers and energy suckers that create the obstacles and speed bumps and have a plan to keep things rolling in a positive direction during practice. Let’s see what keeps you from accomplishing your time management goals. You will see that several of them have nothing to do with skills.
1. Arriving Late or Leaving Early – It’s very hard to have consistency in your practice when you don’t have everyone there for stunts and pyramids. You can’t work on time and synchronization in tumbling and jumps by yourself. Your dance formations look completely off when there is a space missing where someone should be.
2. Unable to Practice 100% – The parent brings the cheerleader to practice, but they are useless in many ways and cause safety issues because they are not able to fully commit to stunting. They are wasting time for everyone involved in the equation. Most common reasons are sprained ankles or wrists which didn’t even occur at cheerleading practice…it happened at school during recess.
3. Not Able to Attend for the Wrong Reasons – When parents withhold cheerleading practice due to misbehaving, poor grades, or disrespect, they are hurting the other 20 or so members of the team, not just their own child. If you knew the practice schedule at the beginning of the season and made that the commitment to the team, you have to learn to sacrifice and manage your time. Punishment should be given another way that doesn’t reflect on an entire team.
4. Not Prepared to Practice – Several times kids will show up late because they came from someone else’s house (a friend’s sleepover or in a divorce situation and they were at their dad’s) and did not have their practice clothes or cheer shoes. No one planned ahead and packed a bag ahead of time.
5. Stand Around and Wait – This is where the entire squad stands around because the coach has to give individual attention to one person because they are not learning as fast or hasn’t done their “at home” practice so they are behind the rest of the team.
6. Captive Audience – An imposing parent who” just needs a second ” to talk to the coach that ends up being a 30 minutes discussion during practice time. Most of these cases are not planned and are unexpected and can really be detrimental to the flow of practice.
7. Failure to Commit – An athlete lacks self confidence and doesn’t give the sport their all during stunts, tumbling, and choreography. This stops the progress of their entire team. This causes set backs and frustration everyone involved with the team. Now the coach has to become a therapist and analyze what is going wrong with this child and find a solution.
8. Stop Talking – Kids just like to talk, so trying to wait for spontaneous conversations about anything unrelated to practice to stop is always a challenge.
If you are saying “yes” to more than 2 of these…you are probably struggling with productive practices. If you can eliminate any of these lists…your practices will become productive rather than unproductive!