Vision Alignment Session for Cheer Teams

A coach bears the vital responsibility of fueling their teams' drive towards success. This intricate task demands a skillful blend of nurturing relationships, establishing clear expectations, implementing judicious consequences, and wholeheartedly trusting in the team's potential. However, the role of a coach transcends solely being the source of motivation. It encompasses the art of fostering an environment where team members inspire one another towards achievement.

I have done the following activity in the past, but this year I was reminded about how powerful this is for team development. Witnessing my team enthusiastically engage in open discussions about their shared aspirations was truly gratifying. This platform allowed them to exchange perspectives among peers beyond their immediate friend groups, adding depth to their insights and broadening their horizons.

Vision Alignment Session

Time: Allow for at least one hour

Frequency: Minimally at the beginning of the school year, but consider doing this once a month. 

Preparation: Divide your team into groups of 4-6. It is strongly suggested that you put them in groups from different grade levels and put them with those that might not be in their friend groups. Designate a leader for each group.  Start with your captains and then choose leaders in order of seniority.  Every group needs paper and a pen.  


  • Begin by reviewing the Vision for the team.  You can even ask them to explain the Vision for the team. 
  • Let them know that we want everyone to express their opinions, but to do so in a respectful manner.  Everyone should listen and be understanding. 
  • If there are any disagreements, they need to be respectful with each other.  


In their groups, have them discuss each of the topics:

List your expectations for:

  • Practices
  • Games
  • Competition
  • School and community (how do you expect your team to represent the team at school and other environments.)
  • Team in general
  • Coaches

How will you hold the team accountable?

What should the consequences be for not upholding the expectations and the vision for the team?

What are the rewards for upholding the Vision for the team as well as committing to the expectations? 

Give the team at least a half hour to discuss. Then, have a designated person from each team share what they discussed.  Have each group discuss in sections and go in a different order.  You can have the first group discuss practices, games and competitions and then have each group share.  Then move to the next section and let a different group go first.  Typically a number of the discussions will be the same, so this gives groups an opportunity to share the most when they go first.  During the sharing time, this is when you as a coach have the opportunity to comment and make suggestions.  

Once you are through, have each group text a picture of what they wrote and compile the list.  From there, come up with a few key phrases that will help your team remember.  It will be easier to remember the main 3-5 points than a long list from four groups.  Distribute the list and have a captain be responsible for reminding the team weekly what they agreed upon.  

Make the time for this, even if you don’t believe you have the time. I have to often remind myself that investing this time instead of just practicing will pave the way for more productive and effective practices in the future.  



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