Training is key to the success of all athletes! RAW Elite Allstars – We are a DIVA Free Zone, no bullying and everyone matters. A small gym with big wins and even bigger hearts! Join us today
Competitive Cheerleading and Dance is no different than any other sport in the world. For those of you who do not consider cheerleading a sport, let’s take you down a quick road of their practice training sessions.
At RAW Elite Allstars our 3-5 yr old team condition with push ups, jumping jacks, bridges, yoga poses, leg lifts and kicks. Then our 5 to 26 yr old team members conditioning consist of 45 minutes to an hour of: burpees tuck jumps, jumping jacks, push ups, squats, handstand push-up, barrel hold push-ups, killers, kick squat drills, wall sits, bridge stands, handstand springs, splits, running, calf raises, football drills (stamina drills and vertical jump drills) – this is immediately followed by repeat drills of picking up and tossing kids into the air. Then followed by full choreography for 1 to 3 hours depending on the team they are on. I encourage anyone who does not believe cheerleading is athletic to go join a competitive dance or cheer program and work one of their full conditioning sessions with them followed by trying to keep up with choreography and stunts, acro and all the other amazing skills the athletes pull.
For those of you who have been scared of competitive cheer because you are worried you can’t do it or it will be a lot of work. Don’t be scared! It is a lot of work and anyone willing to give it their all will be amazing. This does not mean everyone gets it on their first try or fifth try. It’s a sport that requires you to build physical strength and mental confidence. But if you are willing to do the work you will be amazing.
It will not be easy but it will be worth it!
As an organization, we do not publicly take a position on the election. We do stress the importance of voting and making your voice count to our academic groups. It’s important for kids to understand that their voice counts, just as important as it is for them to be informed. We remind our kids that politics is like the rumor mill at school – just because someone said it doesn’t make it true. Get the facts from different sources (because not all sources are reliable) then make your decision based on what is best for you and your family, job or whatever else is most important to you.
If we have a team vote or classroom election and people do not vote, then they get to have no say for the rest of the semester on how the elected leaders chose to spend their times on planning the activities of that semester in question.
Teaching kids about standing up and voting also builds their self esteem in school and sports. If you make sure every child knows that their voice matters – even if its not that of the popular vote – they will be more prone to speak up, they learn not to be followers but leaders. Election time is a great time to build a person’s self confidence and teach the importance of an educated opinion.
We hope the elections turned out the way you wanted this time around, but we know for all it did not (by nature the results will not please everyone). But if you voted you can take peace of mind knowing you made your best effort to get the best outcome for those around you. Remember their is always the next election and always a chance you will see the results you truly wanted.
We received a call from Helen today, she and her daughter had visited our site a few months ago when she was shopping around for programs for her daughter to work on her cheer tumbling and technique. Helen and her daughter visited many sites in the bay area, other cheer gyms – gymnastic schools, etc in an effort to find the best program for her daughter. Her daughter’s goal was to improve her cheerleading skills – jumps, stunts, etc and improve her tumbling skills.
After visiting a couple of sites, she decided to enroll her daughter in another local program for cheerleading and tumbling classes. Helen explained that after the first month at the other program, they both decided it was not the right fit for them. I asked why, she said “They have a really big facility, everything she wanted to train on. But the class was simple, everyone worked on the same thing even if their skill level was higher – they still worked on basic skills”. Now, anyone who knows us knows we never insult another program, so in an effort to defend the other program that is direct competition with us – I said “Well, many programs focus on excellence of skills before progression. They probably just wanted to make sure everyone had mastered the skills before moving forward”. Helen continued to explain how they had all this equipment and coaches, the kids were constantly tumbling on the trampoline and never working with bases from coaches. She said she met parents who kids have been taking this class for over a year or two and she was very discouraged to see that kids who had been there so long were still working on the basics and not moving forward. The end result, she withdrew her daughter and took her to another program – actually two different programs. 1 program focusing solely on cheerleading skills, the other program was 100% focused on gymnastics/tumbling. Helen explained that lasted only two months. When I asked why, she again explained the cheerleading coach was more like a “fun” coach, just teaching stereotypical cheer moves, nothing challenging, nothing creative. Basic high V, T’s etc. When it was time to work on jumps she explained how to do them. When the kids were constantly doing them wrong, she did nothing to help them improve. Just a lot of patting on the back and good job, never pushing them to excel. Then her daughter was offered a space on the competitive cheerleading team they had. Helen explained that she felt that if her daughter joined their competition team she may get lost in how big the team was. That program explained that large programs are the best because the kids really grow and it just looks better to have a big program. They both sat in on a practice and her mother noticed a couple of girls who were struggling with some skills. The mother asked the parents (they were all enjoying a very large viewing room with wi-fi while their children trained) how long their kids had been with the program. One parent explained her daughter had been with this program for nearly 5 years, the other parent asked said 3 years. Helen said that helped her decide, she said after all those years the kids were still on level 1 and their jumps and tumbling were no where near what she felt kids who trained that long should be.
She want to talk about the tumbling classes. Kids were just doing cartwheels, bridges, etc, everything her daughter already could do. When she asked the program if there was a higher level class they said yes, but she would have to join their gymnastics program not the cheer tumbling. She asked if the coach of the gymnastics program would solely focus on tumbling as her daughter had no desire to learn bars, beams, etc. They said no. She asked why they were told the class caters to the needs of the children, she was told its a group class and everyone has to work from the level of the beginners until everyone was caught up on skills. Once caught up they would all move forward together.
As she went on and on about why her daughter had to stop training at what she thought were powerhouse programs in the Bay Area, I asked “Why did she decide not to enroll her child at our program and why she is thinking about it now?”. Helen explained she was concerned that our facility was not big enough, that we didn’t have all the ropes and trampolines that the other programs she visited had. She was concerned that we only had 3 staffers and that the guest coaches were not enough to make her believe her child would grow. I asked, what changed her mind, what makes her think we would be any better than the other programs she was enrolled in. She proceeded to explain that her daughter had friends at our program. Her daughter was always coming home telling her how her friend landed this skill or that skill. Then she found out that most the kids had only been with our program for less than a year or two. She said that her daughter and her friends practice in the grass at school and her friend would explain to her how to get her jumps better or how to clean up her tumbling. Her daughter asked her friend why does she sound like a coach and her friend said my coach teaches us every way possible to get better at everything. She tells us everything, so it’s like we are learning to coach too. Finally Helen’s daughter talked to the daughter friends and found out what the students were working on in our program and even learned that one child who joined the day she visited was already progressing rapidly. So, with that she decided to come back to our program and enroll her child.
I explained we still do not have all those bells and whistles she was looking for, we keep it basic to keep the program affordable and work hard make sure that all kids grow rapidly but safely. She said, after being at those other programs with every piece of equipment her daughter wanted to train on, she is ok with us not having all that stuff. All she cared about was her daughter getting better at what she loved and she knew we would make that happen.
We share this because we are often approached with these kinds of situations every year. Cheerleaders, dancers, tumblers – its important to explain what you are looking for in a program before joining. Ignore all the flashy colors, bright lights, advanced parent lounge and high price equipment. A big flashy program isn’t good or bad just like a small program isn’t good or bad – you need to look at the big picture. Look at the programs weakest athlete’s, those who aren’t really getting the skills or seemed truly lost. Then find out how long they have been there. Also, watch the coach, see if mistakes are made does the coach try to clean it up (every coach has their own way of coaching, so do not judge their clean up style) or do they just keep letting the kids do things wrong? These are the things you should look at when trying to chose a class or team. Having a child at level 1 for 5 years is like having a child in Kindergarten for 5 years by year three or four they are the best darn kindergartner out there, but that is not a good thing – it means your not progressing. Now, if you want to stay on the same level for five years, that is totally up to you, but most kids and parents do not want to spend years and years of training and money to stay exactly where your at. Don’t worry about the glitz and glam or how many kids are in the program. Remember even the biggest schools and gyms in the world had to start day 1 and build up to where they are today. Imagine if everyone just passed on those programs when they first opened because they were too small or didn’t have to 10,000 square foot facility, they would never have become the amazing programs they are today.
Know what you want, make it clear what your goals are and again look at the athlete that struggles the most – find out how long they have been with the program you are considering. Watch the coach, do they fix or just let things continue to be done incorrectly. That is going to really help you determine if this program is a right fit for you.
Here are a few things to do at home everyday to keep in peak performance while outside of the training gym:
Pushups 20 – On toes, not knees and keep back straight
Pike Pushups 10 – Raise hips up in the air to make an inverted “V” while performing a push up.
Handstand Pushups 10 – Against a wall. Use spotter if necessary.
Arm Circles – Forward/Backwards 50 – Hit a “T” motion and use a very tiny and controlled motion to circle arms forward.
Handstand Hold – minute 2 x 10 times Against wall.
Hollow Hold 10 x 2 minutes 2 Lie on back with arms extended overhead while “hollowing out” your body so abs are tight, feet and hands are not touching the floor. “Rock n Rolls” may be added (stay hollow roll).
Crunches 30 – With legs crossed in the air and hands behind head,perform a set up only going half way up. Use stomach
muscles for the crunch and not hands behind head to lift body.
Keep working every day and check back often to see other workouts. Remember team members, post a Vid #rawallstars and get your Training Points!
Dauntless looked good today – the ENERGY was awesome. Even though not everyone was there (it wasn’t a mandatory practice), it looked amazing. Seeing you work so hard to be so great – Proud to call you RAW!
It’s so awesome when your team captains know exactly what the team needs and recruits a hard working dedicated athlete to make the team even more spectacular.
Ria Janelle, you are such an amazing addition to the team. We appreciate that you shopped around and could have chosen any program but in the end you joined RAW Elite Allstars. We understand you travel far to be with us but you are amazing you make the team even that much more amazing. If only we would clone you and make 2 more of you for the gym Glad to have you on #rea #bayareacheer #raweliteallstars #cheerleadingeastbay #bayareaallstars