top of page
  • Writer's pictureMWronska

My biggest mistakes as a cheerleading coach

Updated: Feb 6, 2022

New year, new me? Maybe ... but not this time. This post is one of the effects of my long work as a cheerleading coach. In 2003 or 2004 I became a Trinity Cheerleaders' coach and choreographer and after 10 years, it was time for NEXT Cheer Generation. Both teams achieved a lot of success, of which I am very proud, but as it happens - a few mistakes also happened. I need to say I am going to take full responsibility for them, I will write directly that I made them.

Therefore, drinking coffee from my favorite mug :) I will introduce you to my biggest mistakes made as a cheerleading coach.

Lack of clearly defined roles

When I joined Trinity Cheerleaders, I knew about cheerleading, only that exists and it is basically associated only with shows at sport games. Somehow, it turned out that the choreographic and acrobatic line I had chosen was going in the right direction, which boosted the team's level. Thanks to this, the team performed at many high-level sports events, and also won the title of Polish Cheerleaders Champion (all girl group stunt). But coming back to the story... I was 21-22 years old - when I started working with Trinity Cheerleaders, and the oldest cheerleaders, who naturally were also some kind of leader, were 17-18 years old. So the age difference was small (between her and me), and I wasn't very prepared at the beginning. Sure, I bought a lot of cheer books on Amazon after that, but the beginning was what it was. Well, everyone starts from somewhere. Probably most of you do not remember the times without YouTube , so I had to totally rely on my instuition :)

So my mistake no. 1 is, that I wanted them to like me and to have a nice work. I knew very well that I was still learning, so in case of any mistakes, I counted on some understanding from my cheerleaders. Because we like each other, right? We trained often, so we spent more and more time together and the line between the coach and the team was getting thinner. The result came after a few years in a form of rebellion and a decision that they were adult enough and enough independent to handle leading the team by themselves. For most of them, there was no happy ending. Now, due to my experience and the significant age difference between the team and I, it is much easier for me to keep correct and healthy relations. Trainings might be effective and nice, but only if everyone knows what they came for.


This is a rather complicated topic. Well, many of cheerleaders who danced in my teams were also dance and fitness instructors and, unfortunately, they had to often go to work during pre-scheduled trainings. In the case of NEXT, where the dancers were mostly in or after college , I had no argument for their absence. Work is work and I respect and understand it. So where is the next mistake and a problem? Well, I needed to organise additional trainings to have an chance to train before a perfomance in a full squad. The result was, that cheerleaders who did not skip the pre-scheduled training had to be on additional training anyway - so they trained more and no one thanked them for their dedication and understanding. Besides, years later I can see that this is my very non-educational behavior. Because those of them who were regularly on trainings, saw that they do not really have to come, because additional trainings are going to be "organized" and everything will be ok.

I didn't realise that I need a "new generation" of my cheerleaders

You will admit that it is quite an unique situation when in the team named NEXT CHEER Generation, such an important aspect as "next generation" was neglected. Well, you can't take care of everything. At the time of the greatest popularity of the team, i.e. in the years 2016-2019, when we performed at the largest events in the country, and even the Eurobasket in the Czech Republic (7-day trip - there is a lot to tell) my cheerleaders were (mostly) 23-27 years old . So this is the moment when you make various and important life decisions. And it is totally ok. However, subsequent recruitments resulted in younger and younger new members of the team. Here I cannot complain, because all the girls were very nice and helpful to each other, but the age difference was starting to become very easy to notice.

"I work hard, so you must too"

I don't know if this is a longer topic than the previous ones, but it is certainly more complicated. Well, in Next I took care of everything-totally.

1. Marketing, i.e. running an account on facebook and instagram, as well as on YouTube, which was also associated with the production of broadly understood content. Believe me or not, but preparing photo sessions, editing videos of performances (which had to be taken care of each time, i.e. either I stood with the camera or asked someone for help),

2. Acquiring contractors and being up to date with various sports events appearing in the graphics to submit an offer,

3. For training - I was at almost every one (if I wasn't there, I organized a replacement), as well as performances. A lot of times, I went straight from the airport to the performance or training. It was a real madness to come back from Orlando (USA), and then run to the Cracovia Marathon, and later (on the same day) to a basketball game,

4. Let's add the organization of costumes/uniforms - design, consultations, organization of production,

This is not an absolute complaint, because it gave me a lot of fun, but it took up a lot of time. And where is a mistake here?

Exactly. I expected the girls to give a lot of their time to the team as well. When I mentioned it to them once, I heard "it was your decision to do so much". Even years later, I find this answer so unfair and because everyone has benefited from my work. So should I answer that if you want to use my work, then you must ... provide a complete list here? In retrospect, I believe that such terms of cooperation should be written down and enforced on both sides. I remember that then I was just mad and I said nothing, because.... be careful ..... see point one! Again! Same!

"I was more into the team than my dancers/cheerleaders"

Or at least that was the impression sometimes. No wonder. I spent a lot of time and money on the team. Everyone has a 24-hour clock and we won't do anything about it. So, since I had already put in so much work, time and energy, I wanted to constantly pose new challenges, invest again, involve them again ... and yet they had their own life, to which they had a right to. I didn't always understand it. There was always the same in my head "I know they have the right to their own time BUT ...."


There is a certain analogy between my mistakes and the famous "unfulfilled parental ambitions". Having already sorted out my "biggest" mistakes (let's not be naive that they were the only ones: P).

I know that not everyone wants to learn from someone else's mistakes and has an absolute right to do so, but if I can help at least one cheer coach, I think it was worth sorting out those mistakes.

I hope that my conclusions will help you move faster to the Coach PRO version - as long as you are not already there :) I am still working on it.

Let me know in the comments here or on Facebook CLICK if you see similar mistakes.

Have a beautiful day!



bottom of page