When the Chico Cheer All-Stars travel to UCA Nationals in Orlando, team owner Tiffany Hayes schedules team meals at restaurants such as Planet Hollywood, where her athletes eat chicken sandwiches, pasta and Caesar salads. “While all of the options might not be as nutritionally valuable as what we would choose to make at home, they are much better than having the athletes grab ice cream and churros for dinner while running around Disney World,” says Hayes.
Monthly Archives: July 2013
At Mystic All Stars in Apple Valley, CA, signs on the wall proudly proclaim “Family,” and its teams chant “We are Family” at practices and competitions. The close-knit atmosphere at Mystic signifies what is true for so many all-star programs—that gyms can be much more than just places to practice for the next big event, but rather places where seeds of meaningful relationships are sown. Strong emotional connections often form between coaches and athletes, thanks to the intense training and shared cheer experiences that bind them together. But are such deep bonds good for business—or risky business?
Number six on our checklist of key steps that every business should take to start their business on the right track is to get all necessary licenses, permits and insurance. There is so much to do when opening a business that sometimes people overlook the important legal requirements. In addition to the information we are providing more »
Cassandra Rice of Henderson, NV-based Cheercats has watched her gym, Gymcats, grow into a thriving business over the last 21 years. In 1992, Gymcats started out with a base of just 150 members. Today their current roster counts 1,500 clients with 220 athletes enrolled in nine cheer programs. Each week Rice’s clients pass through the front door for rigorous 90-minute tumbling, cheer and choreography workouts. For the casual observer, it’s a scene that might seem to come with ease. In truth, Rice works hard to strike a balance between managing a dynamic program and ensuring that families continue to support it.
Ahh, the holidays—the perfect time to get away from work and relax, right? Not the case for Les Stella. From Easter to Christmas Eve to Thanksgiving, no day is too sacred for the hundreds of coaches worldwide who call Stella day in and day out to clarify USASF rules. “The only day I haven’t gotten a call is Christmas,” shares Stella. “Calls come in at all hours, since we do this for the world, not just the U.S. It’ll be the middle of the night, and I’ll get a call from Australia. It’s all over the map.”
In an industry driven largely by dollars, Maximum Cheer owners Pat McGowan and Cookie Jamison McGowan walk the talk of truly making it “all about the kids.” Their program is entirely non-profit, yet has managed to become a formidable competition presence—creating not just a unique success story, but also valuable opportunities for athletes who might not otherwise be able to benefit from all-star cheerleading. Open to all kids, Maximum Cheer began simply back in 1995. “We started with five flat mats at the Philadelphia Boys & Girls Club,” says Jamison McGowan, adding that it was one of the first all-star programs in the state.
A new gym’s tryouts listed in the local newspaper calendar. Facebook ads promoting a new team. A Twitter campaign that targets most of the local cheer community. Coaches wearing shirts emblazoned with gym info at competitions, making sure to be seen by the Level Five athletes. Signs in the median of the road, attracting the attention of athletes on their way to their current gyms. There are also promises: free tuition if you’re good enough—not to mention free uniform, free travel and the assurance you’re going to Worlds. Cash bounties for getting your (talented) friend to sign up from your competitor. Cheerlebrity-style opportunities for sponsorship, exposure or branding.
Were you intrigued by our journaling article? That’s not surprising—after all, journaling isn’t only helpful for athletes. If you’re a cheer professional whose mind is constantly racing, it might be time for a “brain drain”—aka writing morning pages. The practice of writing morning pages is a tenet of The Artist’s Way, a creativity book and more »
After nearly a decade running the all-star program at St. Peters, MO-based Spirit Elite, Karrie Tumelson is on to a new adventure doing choreography, camps and clinics—with plans to eventually open her own gym. Nominated by The JAM Brands as “Coach of the Year” in 2010 and USASF certified through Level 5, Tumelson has learned a lot in the trenches about inspiring athletes to achieve their best.
It’s not easy for the staff of SWAT All Stars in Fairfield, California, to train an athlete who has double medical trouble—varicose veins and asthma. The varicose veins can be particularly worrisome when even minor injuries happen on the floor, as they make it difficult for the athlete’s body to produce a scab after bleeding. “In cheer, athletes are always [prone] to being cut, but for her, a simple cut could become an emergency,” says Andres Cantero, the gym’s administrative director.
When Alexandra Allred made the first U.S. Olympic women’s bobsled team in 1994, she expected to train hard, eat healthy food and get plenty of sleep. What she didn’t expect was that she’d become an enthusiastic journal keeper.
While living at the Olympic training center in Lake Placid, Allred’s coaches encouraged her to write down descriptions of her workouts, including any injuries and “off days,” as well as dietary intake. “I was recording everything and it became a daily habit,” she says. “I was writing if my workout was good or bad, how I felt about that and why. After a while, I could see patterns emerge.”
Have the industry truly come a long way? CheerProfessional explores the treatment of gay athletes in all-star cheerleading.
For Mike Blaylock, director of Midlothian, VA-based FAME All Stars, all-star cheerleading’s evolving attitude toward gay athletes in sports can be summed up one way: The fact that he can talk openly about his upcoming wedding to his partner of five years, Adam, in the gym.