Coaches – Coaching Responsibilities

Coaches – Coaching Responsibilities

What Every Coach Should Know

• If kids who are interested in athletics cannot be involved as athletes, look for other possibilities.
• Structure practices so that your cheerleaders or dancers can handle them, considering their academic day and their physical endurance.
• Always treat your cheerleaders or dancers with respect. Recognize the desire, as well as the sacrifices, that they are making for the team.
• Never put down a player in any way, and never physically assault a student.
• Never tell a student he or she cannot improve. Encourage and teach.
• Emphasize improvement -- not just winning -- as a sign of success.
• Try to talk to every dancer on the team, daily if possible. Just a quick “Good effort today” can do wonders.
• Be careful not to direct excessive coaching interest toward an exceptional dancer.
• Stress the importance of academics. Cheerleaders and dancers have to have something to fall back on if their cheer and dance dreams do not come true.
• Organize and initiate team activities for the exact purpose of developing loyalty to one another as individuals as well as team members.
• Remember that all coach/parent communications should start with the best interest of the dancer or cheerleader.
• Do not tell parents all your problems.
• Don’t create an “in” and “out” group of parents.
• Remember that the most supportive parent you have may belong to the student who is not the best cheerleader or dancer.
• Teach students specific ways to interact with their parents after a game or event.
• Never swear.
• Continue to learn as a coach.
• Always be the last person to leave.
• Notify your administrator immediately if there is a problem.
• Call parents to check on an injured cheerleader or dancer.
• Instruct participants on a code of conduct for all cheer or dance activities and follow it yourself.
• In any situation, if you try to take all the blame, people won’t let you. If you try to blame others for the whole problem, they may not accept the blame.
• Understand that the sun comes up again tomorrow. Today’s
big deal is tomorrow’s “so what.”
• Don’t make the kids boost your morale. You are the adult. Never expect the kids to be more mature than you.
• Remember that all awards and recognition programs should be for the cheerleaders and dancers, not for you. Giving awards and recognition is an art.
• Don’t forget to show appreciation for the people who contribute to the success of your program.
• Follow district purchasing policies.
• Set enforceable rules that can stand the test of public scrutiny.
• How you handle losses can make you as a coach.
• Be a Communicator – With a plan and an open pathway of communication, everyone knows what is to be accomplished and fewer problems will arise.
• Stick to a Schedule – Make it easy on yourself, stick to a schedule for every practice so your cheerleaders don’t question what is expected of them each day. They should be on autopilot!
• Be Consistent – Discipline with consistency and be confident in your decisions.
• Lead by Example – Instruct cheerleaders on a code of conduct and follow it yourself.
• Admit Your Mistakes – In any situation, if you try to take all the blame, people won’t let you. If you try to blame others and point fingers for the whole problem, they may not accept blame.
• Know Your Stuff – Stay on top of business, always know what’s going on with the team. If you’re not educated in cheerleading, attend a coaches’ clinic yourself – they will respect you more if you know what you’re talking about.
• Wear “One” Hat – Be their coach, not their friend.
• Stay in Control – Never Lose It! – How you handle pressure and unpleasant situations can define you as a coach.
• Treat Them with Respect and obey this Golden Rule – Recognize the desire, as well as their sacrifices that your cheerleaders are making for the team. Never put them down – encourage and teach.
• Have FUN!

As a coach, you need to be keenly aware of the impact you will have on your cheerleading squad -- not just in high school, but in life, long after their cheerleading days are over. When you see them giving the best effort they can with a smile on their face, you will know that your leadership had a positive effect not just in their performances, but in life in general. Take these few key points with you during your coaching career and become the best coach you can be – one of great RESPECT and admiration!

Source: Coaches’ Quarterly (Spring 2001) Author Unknown.