Tag Archives: cheerleading

Bay Area Cheerleading Tryouts aka Placements Enroll Today

16 Aug


We are excited when athletes are able to move up through hard work and dedication. Today we move two of our athletes who was determined to make a higher level team. Coming in nearly everyday to train and hit all their skills, you have shown to be a champion at heart.

But moving up a level leaves a space open on our entry level team. SOOOOOO…That means TRYOUTS will open up once again!

2 SPACES have opened up for our NO EXPERIENCE required team. Contact Director Dre at cheer@rawtalents.org or 510-992-6811. Schedule your placement today!

The team is looking for 1 Strong Base and 1 Flyer.

Bay Area Fremont Stars Cheer Raw Allstars

Come see why our dedicated athletes experience rapid growth. See why our Small Division Program has taking titles against large programs and teams twice our size.

We don’t claim to be perfect, we have our high’s and our low’s. But, we have big high’s (like taking 1st place at Nationals hosted by USA Varsity Jamsport and more) when ALL Athletes are focused, dedicated, hardworking, make practices, stretch daily and focus on being the best they can be on the mats. That is the formula for #success

Bay Area High School Cheerleading Tryouts and Middle School Tryouts

13 May

All Bay Area High School and Middle School students are invited to tryout on May 17 at our summer training site in Fremont, CA. Just minutes from Redwood City, San Jose, Livermore, Santa Clara and more. This year RAW has athletes from across the Greater Bay Area.

Tryouts are open to everyone in Middle School and High School. EVERYONE MAKES A TEAM.

Come join your 2015 Bay Area National Champions and Overall Grand Champions in Cheer and Dance.

For more information email teams@rawtalents.org or call 510-992-6811

We look forward to seeing you soon!

#cheerleading #tryouts #allstars #highschool #sports


Middle School Cheer Tryouts May 17 Centralmont Place Fremont

It’s not easy, it’s worth it

19 Jan

hhcf raw allstars

This is often forgotten in the world of competitive sports. Have faith, know it will all come together in time.

#power #faith #sports

Election Day has come and gone

5 Nov

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.


RAW Allstars Training has begun Cheer still has a few slots

1 Jun

First day of training. Doing a pretty good job on the stunt pairings. Excited to see how they do when all of summer training is done

Don’t Be Afraid To Fly

13 Jun

Many parents enter the gym and quickly say “I don’t want my child to fly”. We understand, flying can seem scary to many parents and kids, but the truth is, if everyone does their part flying is no more dangerous than basing in a stunt or tumbling.

While many assume the role of flyer is dangerous and a slightly passive role, the truth is flying requires a strong level of athleticism that is just as dangerous as basing or doing gymnastics.

Every person has a very important role in stunting, but for now we are focusing just on the flyer for the purpose of this article. The flyer, those lifted during stunts, must perfect the art of lifting her/himself, perfecting the load in jump, have the most solid ability to balance, extreme flexibility and strong tumbling skills.

By learning proper body position & technique a flyer makes themselves the most valuable player on the team. Here are a few tips to flyers to help them grow and become stronger performers and lessen their chances of injuries.

Keep It Tight

As a flyer you must perfect the act of locking it out and keep it tight. At our Fremont Bay Area Cheerleading gym we have adopted a body plank drill to help flyers be more aware of what it means to be tight. The drill our flyers work on gives them a better ideal of proper body alignment when they are in the air. Our flyers also perfect their skills on the ground first. So often our coaches are hired to come in and help a team that is struggling with stunts and when we get there we find that the flyers can’t hold the stunt on the ground. Many inexperienced coaches think that its ok if you can’t hold the heel extension steady on the ground, but the truth is you MUST be able to hold your stunts on the ground before you can put them in the air. 


In the above paragraph we talk about locking it out. So, you may not know what that means, well locking out is keep your knees locked straight. Even the slightest bend in your leg can lead to a failed stunt. A flyer who stays locked out is a flyer who will most likely have the most successful stunts. If you lock those legs straight and the bases are off (uneven), they can correct their issues without losing the stunt. But if the flyer bends in anyway, the stunt is almost certainly over. So LOCK IT OUT!


In our program flexibility is important to ALL OUR MEMBERS. Our bases, tumblers and flyers all must work on scales, heel extensions and other traditionally “only flyers” skills. We do this to maximize the use of the whole team. Never under estimate the power of flexibility. You MUST stretch at least 5 days a week. Trust me, your coaches can tell if you are not stretching, it will always show in your weekly practices. By not stretching you are only hurting yourself and letting down your whole team. If you are part of a team, you must stretch. Again flexibility is key to your success as a flyer, base, team member.

In the end, its important not to be afraid to fly. As a base and a gymnast you can be injured just as quickly as a flyer can be injured. I have seen bases loose teeth because they caught a flyer wrong, I have seen bases break legs from not having the proper stance in a competition. In gymnastics, I have seen major back and neck injuries. These injuries can happen in any sport, don’t let fear get between you and flying!

Soar High!

Never Stop

8 Apr

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest person with the smallest mind.
Think big anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack if you help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you might get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway. 

by Dr. Kent M. Keith

The Mad Man Coach vs. The Gentle Heart Coach

11 Jan

The Mad Man Coach vs. The Gentle Heart Coach ~ Which Team Gets the Most Wins?

For years, me and my fellow coaching friends have had a long standing debate concerning the treatment of athletes. As a former football cheerleader and competitive cheer team member, I have seen it all. I can’t say which was worst, the football coaches yelling tell their faces turned red then eventually blue from anger and oxygen deprivation or the cheer coach throwing the pom at my face and telling me to pull it together or stop pretending to be a cheerleader (this after 8 straight hours of practice in 101 degree California weather). I swore once I started coaching I would be a kind and inspirational coach and that’s where me and my peers disagree.

A former teammate of mine is a fierce and slightly verbally abusive coach and she is proud of it. When parents complain and threaten to remove their kids from her school, she gladly says “Go Ahead”, knowing that there is a long list of kids just waiting to take the abuse she has to throw their way.  I joke with her often that she is just one “shouting match” away from a major lawsuit, but the truth is we all know she isn’t.

I however opted for a more kind approach, often explaining the expectations of the team without yelling at them and telling them they “look bad”. She jokes with me often calling me the Dr. Phil of Cheer & Dance, but she always follows that with “But Dr. Phil isn’t a competitive coach. But this Dr. Phil is and as a coach our current teams have 3 1st Place wins and two 2nd place wins in less than 12 months, not to mention my years of coaching that already earned past teams National and State Titles.

Now, my friend, she has an amazing team, often taking State and World Titles. Her team members are often seen crying at the end of practice but for some reason they keep coming back for more. She allows only the best of the best on her squad, there is no room for “simple performers” (her words) on her team. So if you need to be taught anything, forget she doesn’t have the time nor does she care to work with you.  The gym I am currently with have teams that are open to anyone, I love the sport of cheer and dance and believe that everyone deserves a chance to shine regardless of experience. As a coach, I do have National Titles to my name from coaching High School and Youth Leagues. Our most recent gym format of allowing members to join mid and late season regardless of experience posses its challenges but we are working hard to gain a National Title with these inspiring guys and girls. For me, its not all about the win but about the overall performance and improvement of the athlete. But as my friend so kindly pointed out to me a few weeks ago, Sports Digest agrees with her. According to them, it is all about the win and as a coach you do what you have to in order to get that win and if it means making them cry, well then make them cry.

After seeing the research (some of which is posted below), I did agree with some very valid points they made about leadership. As coaches we are not meant to be their friends, we are there to teach, inspire and bring out each members greatest potential. This is exactly what our coaches work towards without belittle our team members. But some researchers believe that belittling an athlete pushes them to dig deeper and become a better performer.

I can’t say that our gym will ever be that “Get it together or get out of here” type place and I can’t say the gyms that have this philosophy is wrong. The truth is as a competitor and/or a parent, you have to decide what is best for you or your child. Do you prefer positive reinforcement or do you thrive better in a hostile environment? What ever your preference is be sure to understand that even the nicest coach has expectations and if you come to training facility not prepared or if you miss practices you should expect some level of “enforcement” from your coach. Even the nicest coach expects you to be at practice, on time and focused!

But as promised, below is some data about coaching styles that you may find interesting:

Coaching Philosophy

A coaching philosophy is the foundation of a coach’s style and consists of a mixture of the coach’s personal beliefs, goals, objectives, and standards. Most coaches know in their mind what their philosophies consist of, but ask them to convey this information and they find it difficult to accomplish. An uneducated coach may respond with “my philosophy is to win!” This coach has no direction. Winning is great and promotes short-term job security, but coaches have a higher calling than just winning contests. The chosen philosophy is a direct reflection of the style the coach employs.

Old School Coaching

Coaches have stated, “I use the old school style of coaching.” Do they really know what that means? When the term “old school coach” is used the following characteristics come to mind:

  • punish first, converse later
  • atmosphere of fear of failure for the athlete
  • immediate short-term respect
  • knowledge of technical skills, but not tactical
  • undivided attention when speaking
  • intimidation of those who speak against the coach’s decisions
  • demeaning motivation
  • nonexistent relationship with the athletes and assistant coaches
  • loss of athlete’s attention due to negativity
  • athletes quit due to poor treatment

When an old school coach goes too far, the consequences can be disastrous.

New School Coaching

Most successful new school coaches tend to be cooperative style coaches. Athletes today want coaches who are open to their ideas and value them as people. Cooperative coaching allows this empowerment of the athlete, while keeping the overall power in the hands of the coach. A prevalent trait of the new school coach is the thirst for knowledge. A new school coach is more open to change and adaptation than the old school coach. This does not mean that the new school coach is “soft.” This simply means that the new school coach is not as domineering. A new school coach seeks to earn the respect of his/her athletes by demonstrating the knowledge they need to be successful. “A characteristic of effective coaches at all levels is continued ongoing learning and reflection…Virtually every portrait of great coaches shows them to be active learners who engage in constant reflection” (Gilbert & Jackson, 2004).

Characteristics of a new school coach might be:

  • positive relationship with athletes and other coaches
  • stern but not offensive
  • fresh ideas through open lines of communication
  • increased participation due to coaching style
  • increased tactical knowledge of athletes
  • appreciation shown from athletes/community
  • gives and receives advice
  • leads by example
  • encourages of team leaders
  • shows continued knowledge of the sport
  • has opportunities for advancement into administration


Coaches are very important people in the lives of their athletes, the athletes’ families, and the community. Their actions can effect many aspects of an athletes life and this must be taken into account when a coaching style is chosen. Stereotypical old school coaches are disciplinarians first and teachers second. They usually deal with their athletes in a negative manner and are not open to change. Old school coaches believe that their way is the only way and their experience dictates that everyone should succumb to their will.

New school coaches are ones that are open to change, are willing to further their knowledge of the sport, and are teaching the athletes with the intent that they would develop their own understanding of the concepts. New school coaches tend to lean toward the cooperative style of coaching as the pursuit of knowledge leads them to understand the role open communication plays in pushing the athlete to peak performance.


Gilbert, Ph.D., Wade, Jackson, Ph.D., F.A.C.S.M., Catherine. (2004, December 5). In Search of an Effective Coaching Style. American College of Sports Medicine.Retrieved June 28, 2006

Martens, Rainer. (2004). Successful Coaching – Third Edition. Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics.

Stewart, Dr. Craig, Owens, Ph.D., Lynn M. (2nd.) Understanding Athletes’ Learning Style. Coaches’ info-service – Sports Science Information for Coaches. Retrieved June 30, 2006

Practice Makes You a Valuable Team Member

7 Jan

If you are interested in competitive team activities, like Allstar Cheer or Allstar Dance Teams, you should understand the choice to join a team should never be taken lightly. Competitive Cheer/Dance teams are so MUCH MORE than a cool uniform and letterman jacket, like with any other team sport it requires a high level of mental and physical dedication.  Too often young ladies and gentlemen watch shows like Bring It On and Step Up and think “Wow, I want to do that”. But what they often don’t understand is the countless hours of blood, sweat and tears that each and every cast member of that film put into making those moves flow flawlessly.

Many times we get young males and females who stop by the gym for a trial training session, typically (at least 70%) they end their season with comments like “Wow, I didn’t know that move required so much strength” or “I thought stunting was going to be easy”.  Reality set’s in that Allstar Teams are just like any other team sport, t these are teams that rely on each and every member to bring 110% to the floor all the time, it requires daily strength training and cardio conditioning.  But with all the hard work comes great rewards.  So, how can you become an invaluable member to any team?

The answer is very simple, PRACTICE. Practice in the morning, afternoon, evening, on your way to school on your way home, whenever you have a moment – take that moment and practice. Gaining mastery of cheer/dance techniques will help you build a higher level of confidence & skills that will translate into success in other arenas of life as well, in addition to helping you bring your cheer/dance to the next level.

We recently had a team member approach one of our coaches and say “Wow, Carren’s toe touches are amazing. I wish I could have toe touches just like here”, the coach kindly responded “Well, I agree her toe touches are pretty amazing, but did you know she joined the team just 1 week before you. Do you want to know here secret?”. The team member quickly said “OH YES”. The Coach smiled, looked over at the team and said “Carren has been doing her Toe Touch Drills everyday at home since her 1st practice.”. The team member smiled, blushed and said “Oh, I think I need to practice more”.

This situation repeats itself nearly every year with students and team members in gyms across the nation.  It’s time to stop sitting in AWWW of that person who hits a double toe touch after landing a backhandspring, it’s time to realize that you are just as great and that with determination and dedication you too will soon be hitting those backhandspring ending with double toe touches with the same ease in which you walk.

“Confidence doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s a result of something… hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication.” – Roger Staubach

Now, some of you are going to say, “I have no time to practice”.  As a coach, teacher and business owner, I have a full understanding on how tight time can be. Between classes, homework and other school obligations, it may really feel like you have NO TIME TO PRACTICE. But lucky for you, we have some tips that have proven to help even the busiest person get some practice in daily. Try these few Practice Techniques out and we are certain you will be amazed on how much you improve as a team member as well as an individual:
  1. Flexibility and strength are essential to ALL SPORTS!. Did you know that as you sit there reading this article you could be sitting in a split stretch, stretching your arms and engaging your core? While (or in between) Facebooking or searching the web, you can do a few stretches: arms, neck, etc. Grab a 3lb (or bigger) and do a few arm curls.
  2. Always catch the latest episode of 90210 or GLEE? In between commercials is the perfect time to work those hip flexors, try a few V-ups. Sit in your split stretches, do a few kick drills and even run through your routines. The average commercial break spans 2-5 minutes. You will be amazed on how much practice you get in if you workout during each and ever commercial break.
  3. If you are like so many kids, you are stuck in the car very often with a parent. Between visiting your grandparents and grocery shopping, you may spend up to 5 hours a week in the car. That’s 5 hours of opportunity to practice. We have team members who put their competition music on their ipod and each time they are in the car, they put the headset on and run through the routine with “mock” arm movements. Some will close their eyes and visualize the whole routine and how it syncs with the music. Give this a try, it really works.

Well, we have given you just a few tips on how to  become an invaluable team member through practice and dedication. Remember there is NO SUBSTITUTION for hard work, dedication and believing that you are just as great as those Champions you watch on tv. All you need to do is UNLEASH THE CHAMPION IN YOU!


Check Out Season Highlights

6 Dec

Check out the highlights from the start of our season