Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Little Bit of Cheer

Cheer camp is this week, and it's a crazy, fun, busy, exhausting week.  The morning camp is for elementary grades (2-6), while the afternoon camp is for middle and high school.  We are only into our 3rd year of having a competitive cheer team at school, so 21 elementary students and 10 ms/hs students is a great turn out.  We don't have tryouts until the fall, so all of the high school girls are either returners or are hoping to go out for the sport in November.  Team camp (the afternoon session) is from 12-5 every day, and it can be a very long week, but here are a couple of things I've learned over the past 7 years of various cheer camps to help make it go smoothly.

1.  Use your resources - aside from my awesome assistant coaches Kimmy and Ali, I have two college students coming in this week to help - Deon is a former competitive gymnast, and a few years ago, he helped me out as a student assistant.  He's so great to have around to spot all of the tumbling, and the girls love him.  Erin is also a college student and one of my former varsity competitors.  Having their extra knowledge and expertise in the gym let me break up the girls into smaller groups and get so much more done - plus, the girls love hearing feedback other than mine!

2. Fun it up - We began our day on Monday with a Zumba session with the amazing Tirza Fierros-Snuffer.  She was so full of energy and life, that even though we were exhausted, we just laughed and danced, and shimmied our hearts out.  It was a great way to start.  We had a yoga instructor come in yesterday, and on Thursday, the last 2.5 hours will be at the beach - its a party/stuntfest in the sand!

3. Give incentive - Throughout the day I break my girls into mini-teams and have them go head to head in a variety of competitions - who can do the best jump sequence, who can put together the best cheer in 5 minutes, who can hold their handstand the longest.  I bring prizes from the dollar store which amazingly gets them pumped up, but overall it's just great to get them working together with their mini-team to be the best.

4. Focus - Our focus this week is Rise Up!  It's based on Isaiah 40:30, and it's a reminder that "Those whose hope is in the Lord...will soar as on wings of eagles."  I love that verse and that image.  We've been cheering, jumping and tumbling our hearts out...but above all we've been placing our hope and our trust in the Lord.  After 20 hours of seriously hard work, we are always refreshed when reminded that we will "run and not be weary."

We have one day left with team awards (silly things like "Best Lipsyncher" and "Most likely to accidentally have a laughing fit in the middle of a cheer,"  and then it's a weekend of (hopefully) rest and relaxation.

Here are a couple of fun pics from this week:
The cheer team taking a break from gymnastics training at Gonyon's Gymnastics

Hanging out with Zumba instructor extraordinaire Tirza Fierros - Snuffer

Building old-school pyramids during some down time

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