In addition to all the great content we bring cheer professionals in our quarterly print issue, you’ll find plenty of original exclusive content right here at TheCheerProfessional.com.
CheerProfessional explores both sides of the debate on the USASF’s Athlete ID verification and membership system. With the USASF’s implementation of Athlete ID, this year marks the first season that gym owners can print and present a verified roster at USASF-sanctioned events rather than having to show birth certificates as proof of age. Along with more »
After seeing the popularity of Gym Kix’ Stephanie Beveridge and Carrie Harris’ Q&A on starting your own gym, we’ve decided to tap their expertise even further! This post marks the first of a series on starting your own gym—from two veteran cheer professionals who’ve been there, done that.
To limit the distraction of having a cheerlebrity teammate, Twist & Shout’s Orson Sykes sets strict rules during competitions for cheerlebrities regarding what’s expected of them, even when it once meant having a sit-down discussion with Whitney Love about strolling around too much at Worlds. (The cheerlebrity quickly isolated herself and went on to give more »
Under Pressure Speaking of Justin Bieber, in many cases, social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram have made (or at least aided) the careers of certain cheerlebrities. Gardner has more than 15,000 Twitter followers and Rule more than 16,000, while Nowlin has no less than three fake impersonators. But, Sykes emphasizes, with great more »
A pro cheerlebrity is hard to miss. She’s usually female, a flyer, slicing through the air during a basket toss—makeup bright, smile broad. Perhaps she’s signing autographs before competition or wowing judges on the floor with a superior tumbling pass. Maybe she has an agent in hopes of getting recruited by a college and scoring a scholarship. She might have even signed an exclusive contract with a magazine or landed a deal to sell a specific brand of shoes.
As our industry evolves and shifts, Eric Little stays right in step. With more than 750 national titles and 62 Worlds medals under his belt, Eric Little has cemented himself as one of the industry’s premier choreographers—earning him the USASF’s first-ever “Choreographer of the Year” honor in 2011. Along with all-star programs, Little works with an array of collegiate, NFL and NBA cheer and dance teams, a natural progression for this one-time Riverside Community College and Long Beach State University cheerleader.
As the industry—and our nation—tries to get back in the holiday spirit after last week’s tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., a cheerleader named Janie Pascoe is doing her best to restore hope. After being named Athlete of the Year at America’s Best National Championships, Janie requested to donate her $500 scholarship prize to the Newtown Memorial Fund for the victims’ families rather than using it toward her Indiana University education.
Much like a double full or a scorpion, happiness is a learned skill—and good things come to those who practice. If you’re looking to lead a happier life, it’s crucial to learn the right skills and put them into practice. So how do you get from point A to point Be-happy? Here are a few clues.
Question: Since different companies have different scoring grids, is there a way to compare them (i.e. a Level 2 Mini first-place score at a Jamfest competition of 79.950 and a Level 2 Mini first-place score at a Varsity competition of 54.36)? JAM Brands’ Jeremi Sanders answers!
Meet Trisha Hart, now in her 10th year as co-owner of All-Star Legacy (a decorated cheer gym with three locations in Virginia and West Virginia), coach for the program’s Mini Level One and Youth Level Two teams, and cheer consultant/choreographer. We snagged this busy cheer professional for a candid Q&A—read what she had to say in response to our burning questions.
Insurance is an investment most cheer gym owners can’t afford not to make. Just like locking the front door and screening your employees properly, knowing how to properly protect your business liability-wise is of utmost importance—otherwise, you could be leaving your program vulnerable to devastating financial loss. See if you subscribe to any of these common insurance myths and learn the realities below:
Obviously, not all hires result in not-so-happy endings, but it’s clear that references and background checks are just one part of the bigger picture. Listening to your own instincts may be just as vital to making the right hiring decisions—and asking the right questions is the best way to get a feel for who a candidate really is. We asked human resources expert Shirley McAllister, CPP, for some pointers on what to look for in responses from a potential cheer employee.
In our “Owner’s Manual” column, we ask gym owners to take us “under the hood” and give us their secrets to what keeps their gyms running so smoothly. Find out how Maryland Twisters owner Tara Cain puts her own “twist” on attracting athletes.
Like snowflakes, no two cheerleaders are alike. Though athletes may be a sea of energetic smiles out on the floor, off the mat is a dynamic mix of personalities—from social butterflies to wallflowers and from Type-A perfectionists to laid-back types. That diversity often translates to learning styles as well, a difference that is less obvious but critical to maximizing team performance and efficiency at practices.
He’s dedicated. He’s athletic. He’s experienced. Cheerleaders respect him and parents like him. That male coach on your staff is a major contributor to your gym’s success. But could he also be a major risk? Find out how to make sure male coaches are an asset, not a liability.
For many athletes, Worlds is the culmination of years of hardwork and dedication. If it all comes together for you and you’re flawless for two minutes and thirty seconds—shouldn’t you be allowed a fist-bump, a hug or a couple of high fives?
From the moment Steve Wedge got his first taste of competitive glory as an Ohio State University cheerleader, he was hooked. It was during Wedge’s first year of cheering that the squad brought home the title from UCA’s Ford Collegiate Cheerleading National Championships in Honolulu—and he hasn’t looked back since. CheerProfessional caught up with this busy cheer mogul for an in-depth Q&A.
When Jessica Smith first started her Danville, KY-based gym, Southern Cheer Elite, she stacked her shelves with all the business books she could get her hands on. But the primers didn’t prep Smith with the intel necessary for success—either the information wasn’t industry-specific enough or didn’t have practical applications for her own business. One thing was clear: Smith was going to have to find her own way to make it as a small gym owner.
While teaching a profitability seminar at the 2012 Worlds, ACX owner Randy Dickey made a startling discovery. “Out of 160 gym owners, not one raised their hand when I asked this question: how many of you know your hourly expenses for running your company?” remembers Dickey, who also leads the All-Star Gym Association.
When in doubt, diversify, diversify, diversify. For CheerGyms.com owner Morton Bergue, all-star cheerleading is just one part of a bigger puzzle, as it comprises one-fifth of overall business. To maximize profitability, Bergue and his team regularly host classes and stunt/jump clinics for novices and school squads, and space is rented out during non-peak hours for everything from birthday parties to Tae Kwon Do classes. The move isn’t just a smart business strategy, but a necessary one.
Question: I am in a market where there is not a gym or all-star program and have almost 20 years of cheer experience but would love some help with getting a gym opened! Do you have any advice for a budding gym owner on how to get started? – Ali
Four months since our building collapsed in a tornado during practice. This team has been through so much. They are bonded by something most people can’t imagine. It is my hope that this weekend brings them together even more as a team and shows them just how amazing they are. So going into this last practice, I put together a motivational piece for my Dream Team.
Stay in tune with our top sound system picks! Four of our favorites include the SW720 by Amplivox, the Anchor Audio Minivox Lite, the Bose Acoustic Wave Music System II and Ion’s Center Stage. Get the skinny on why these “rock” in our roundup.
On the surface, Stingrays duo Casey Jones and Roger Schonder may come off like polar opposites, but one commonality shines—for both of them, all roads lead back to cheer. Jones began his career cheering at Georgia Southern University, then cut his teeth at Pro Cheer before purchasing American Cheer Academy from Tate Chalk in 1998. more »
Have you ever looked at a team and thought how horribly behaved and out of control the athletes were? Chances are that they were acting the same way that their coach does. If you are a coach, then you are a role model—the two go hand in hand. Your athletes are constantly watching you, and more »
In our “Owner’s Manual” column, we ask gym owners to take us “under the hood” and give us their secrets to what keeps their gyms running so smoothly. Find out what gets Burke’s Tumbling Academy owner Jennifer Burke in gear in our exclusive article.
Whether you’ve just opened your doors or have been in business for decades, one of your primary business concerns is probably attracting new students. Traditional marketing strategies like radio, television, or billboard advertisements can certainly be effective—but they’re also expensive and not guaranteed to get results. Luckily, there are better, more affordable ways to advertise your gym and bring in new business.
On Friday, people across Canada are gathering in memory of Vancouver All-Stars cheerleader Amanda Todd, who took her own life last week after being the victim of online stalking and cyber-bullying for several years. (Before her death, she made this YouTube video to tell her story—warning: video includes graphic images.) These vigils speak not only more »
The University from Cheerleading Blog (which launched in late 2011) features all of the popular blog series and hot topics packaged as complete guides and available to download for free. The complete guides cover topics including planning tips for camp, competition and season fundraising, deciding if your team should attend camp and what to expect more »
Mixing business and pleasure is certainly standard practice in the all-star industry—many gym co-owners are married, and plenty of coaches end up dating after spending so much time in close quarters. But can keeping things all business affect the relationship once you get home from work? “People usually take their business home because it’s useful to more »
As college cheerleaders, we had long days of classes on top of tough practices and workouts. People always asked, “Where do you get that kind of energy?” And as a coach, the pace doesn’t slow—practices, games and events take up a lot of time and energy. (Plus, you may have a family and career!) No more »
With the many demands of coaching and running a gym, finding time for your own workouts can often pose a challenge. (Understatement.) Fortunately, the rules of exercise have changed, and “workouts on the go” have become increasingly common. With the right approach, you can get an effective workout in just minutes a day, wherever you more »
As the all-star cheerleading industry has blossomed, an array of organizations has also sprung onto the cheer scene—resulting in a virtual alphabet soup of acronyms from ASGA to NCSSE to USASF. Learn more about each group and how to decipher your options as a cheer professional with this handy-dandy slide show!
Between Tate Chalk’s take-no-prisoners talk and the organization’s open letter to the USASF, the All-Star Gym Association (ASGA) is making its voice heard—and many cheer professionals are listening. In its open letter, the ASGA put USASF on the hot seat on a number of its concerns, specifically: · Tax structure: ASGA inquires as to the more »
All-star cheerleading is not a “mainstream” sport. Getting kids to walk into gyms is tougher than getting them to play in a basketball league. In light of this, our community needs to rally around each other now more than ever. But how do we show the kids and parents outside of our industry that All-Star cheerleading more »
The hang drill: Simple. Easy. Fundamental. At least that’s what many cheerleaders and coaches think and therefore quickly overlook it, when in fact, the hang drill is the single most important component to advancing into elite skills. Taking time at the beginning of the season to focus on the hang drill and work at it more »
When asked by CheerProfessional to define success, I had to evaluate what success meant to me. Success by definition is characterized by three points: 1) prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; 2) attainment of wealth/position/honors; or 3) successful performance or achievement. There are many professional roles in our industry, and each of those roles can more »
Coaches gone candid—it’s Q&A time! We asked Cory Nyholm of Alpine All Stars in Parker, CO, and Shiela Hajjar of Cheer Zone Athletics in Saucier, MS, to give us the real deal on their coaching experiences. Q. What are three things you’ll never do again as a coach? Cory: First, I’ll never again take my more »
CheerProfessional explores both sides of the debate on the USASF’s new tumbling rules for the 2012-2013 season. In March, the USASF rocked the industry with an unexpected announcement of new rules for the 2012-2013 competition season—affecting areas ranging from the age grid to appropriate uniform coverage. Among the most controversial changes were those pertaining to standing more »