In Part One of Lessons Learned (you can read it here), I reviewed what my team and I did well as a coach. Even though I have coached for many years, I reflected on improvements that could be made because we can always make improvements.
I had confirmed that the pep band was not going to be at the first game, but I should have communicated better with the football coach. He had certain music that was played for touchdowns, so I could have had the team ready to do certain stunts with that or even a dance.
With cheerleading being new to the school, I did not communicate making a banner for the players to run through. I thought it would be too much and honestly, I was going to be thrilled with the team knowing all the cheers and hitting their halftime routine. This is something we need to begin doing.
I should have gotten a better idea of what the student section would be like and plan more cheers in front of them. They stood up the whole game. They were really interactive, which I was impressed to see because it was the first time we had a cheer program in many years. So the students in that section had never really seen cheerleaders at a game. We are now working with some of the student leaders to coordinate that the cheer team and the leaders are yelling the same cheers.
At future games we are working to have the cheer parents sit together as they were spread out at the first game. This helps the crowd yell with the cheerleaders as the cheer parents are the ones who will be the most likely to yell cheers. It also brings unity among the cheer parents.
We are going to have a list of cheers for the fans so they know what to yell back. They're not used to having cheerleaders there. And also even if your crowd is used to having cheerleaders there and they don't know what to yell, just having a list or with the program to have that part of the program book is really good.
At the game, I realized my team needs to better understand football. Usually I have my team do a football test, but I didn't get to it due to how much my new team needed to learn. I would recommend having a football coach come in to teach them more about football.
After each game, reflect on your successes and your areas of growth. Do this no matter how long you have coached or the traditions your team may have. Growing as a coach and a team will contribute to your success as a coach and the success of the team.
If you want to watch Coach Gina's video reflection, you can find it on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ozmzs6wWOw0&t=13s