The Love family is practically cheer royalty—maybe gymnastics guru Debbie Love has visited your gym, or you’ve seen cheerlebrities Whitney and Britni Love kicking butt on the mat. But how well do you know Tiffany Love Anestis?
As Total Cheer’s gym manager, Love Anestis coaches eight teams from Tiny to Level 5 at the Bowling Green, KY-based program (where her husband also serves as tumbling director). She has also conducted clinics all over the world with her mother. The concept of family is clearly important to her and present in all her work, even as she embarks on a second career in sonography.
Love Anestis: Awesome. My mom home-schooled all of us. We would wake up and do all our [schoolwork] and were done and to the gym by noon—where we stayed until 10 pm every night. We played a lot on the trampolines, especially me and Whitney and Britni. We were always at the gym. That’s the only thing we knew. It was definitely a childhood that was very special, and my mom and dad worked hard for us to have that. That’s the kind of childhood I want my future kids to have.
How do you create a family bond at Total Cheer?
Love Anestis: Once a week, they do team bonding, whether it’s sitting down and sharing goals or putting something in the Positive Box. Each team has its own Positive Box, and each time they come into the gym, they have to put in something positive about their day. It doesn’t have to be about cheer; it can be about their family or school, anything. Then they have to write something positive about practice before they leave. We encourage positivity, and the kids respond to that.
How does your gymnastics background make your teaching unique?
Love Anestis: I don’t think a lot of people have the experience in gymnastics that I do, competing in Level 10 gymnastics and learning skills on the different apparatus. I think that sets my teaching apart from other people. We focus on technique of the little things—not just straight legs and pointed toes, but the angle to hit in a roundoff, the stretch through the shoulders in a back handspring. All the little things that are so minute make such a big difference in tumbling.
What’s it like doing clinics around the world?
Love Anestis: We’ve been with so many gyms, from San Francisco to Louisville to all over the place. My husband and I moved to New Zealand and worked at an all-star gym for six months, and we loved it. We were in Montreal at a cheerleading clinic for a week, which was different because they spoke French, but they learn the same as the kids here and have that same passion and love for the sport. It’s so cool to go to a gym and have them be accepting of you and want to learn everything that you have to say.
How has your mom, Debbie Love, been influential on your career?
Love Anestis: Yes, I love to listen to my mom. She’s my biggest inspiration and my mentor. I love to sit in her classes, even though I’ve heard them a million times and could probably regurgitate anything that she has said in them. I love to watch her teach and take everything that I can get from it. Even though I’ve heard it a million times, I always get something out of it. It’s pretty awesome. Once you stop learning, that’s when you fail your students, because nobody ever knows everything. Nobody ever is the god of cheerleading. There’s always something to learn and once you stop learning, that’s when you’ve let your kids down.