Depending on where you live across the country, you may be practicing on the field or still having to meet virtually. Regardless of the situation, it is daunting for the coach to keep everything in check. Delegate some tasks to your team to create a responsible, team-led culture. See these tips from real cheer coaches on the BAND app to get inspired!
1. Hold your Team Responsible for Knowing the Latest Updates.
There will be lots of changes as to when, where, and even who we are meeting for practice. Your team will also have many new guidelines to follow as things open back up. Make sure to create a communication channel for your team to hold conversations and give out important information. You can use technology such as the “Read Receipt” feature to hold your team accountable.
“We use BAND to hold everyone accountable. Read receipts and polls help us make decisions for the organization.” – Coach Spice
2. Leverage Returning Cheerleaders and Dancers.
Have your seasoned veterans send out videos of sideline chants and dances for the newbies to start learning. This takes away some of the pressure from the coach. Ask your team to get new workout videos to do together. Your cheerleaders and dancers can take turns to lead virtual sessions to get through the workouts together.
“Since we can’t have face to face practices, I have my returning girls record videos of the material and I post a few new videos each week for new cheerleaders to learn.”- Coach Jim Hill
3. Gamify the Workout Experience
Incorporating games helps make it more fun but still competitive! Assign your team to do research on workout challenges to play games like cheer bingo. You can give out fun little gifts like chap sticks, bows, or even a no-workout pass to those who participate diligently. Ask your team to post a video comment as a proof. This way, the whole team can see who is working and who isn’t.
“This week we spelled our school and our mascot with this board, then I posted it on BAND so they can use it to create other workouts, we catch up, and I give any announcements.” – Coach Smits
4. Get to Know Each Other Virtually.
In order for your team to fully begin bonding and working together towards the same goal, everyone needs to get to know each other. Use virtual icebreakers and team bonding activities to lighten the mood for the whole team to get involved.
“It is SO important to keep our teams connected and the morale lifted. This is done by doing team bonding activities.” – Coach Jayney
5. Send Video Messages to Keep Your Squad Connected.
Combat the low morale by communicating regularly and sharing words of encouragement. Going live or sharing a recorded video message is a great way to interact with the team. In your video you can share how everyone is doing and share the latest updates. Try adding in positive quotes as well. Sharing motivational videos can also help keep spirits high!
“We decided to start a Friday Night Live in the BAND App. The purpose is bonding, building trust and chat while apart. This last week, our captain talked to the girls about team expectations, game day routines, and answered questions posed in the chat by the team! It was loads of fun and a fun way to just chat in a safe virtual space – WMS Cheer Coach
Join the Cheer Coach Hub on BAND to get more resources and help.