Tag Archives: cheerleading

Matt’s Musings – Why Learning to Tumble is Like Learning to Read

After thinking about it a lot today, I realized that learning to tumble is a lot like learning to read. When you learn to read, you first need to learn each letter of the alphabet and the sound(s) it makes. Then you start to put basic words together using those letters and sounds. Finally you start to learn about more complex words, and tricky letter combinations and sounds.

Tumbling is much the same way. First you must learn body positions; tuck, hallow, arch, pike, lunge, etc. Then you start putting simple body positions together in a sequence. Handstands, forward rolls, and cartwheels are a good example of this. Last, we learn about using those same basic movements in more complex ways, learning tricky combinations of those same body positions. ex. Back handspring, front tuck, etc.

Far too often, we as coaches skip teaching those basic body shapes, and skills properly, or don’t spend enough time mastering them. I can’t count how many cheerleaders I have met through the years who were working back tucks without mastering a backward roll, who say they need to get their back handspring, when they can’t hold a handstand properly, and who want to work fulls, but can’t perfectly execute a layout.

If you have ever wondered why so many kids get mental blocks, try handing an encyclopedia to a second grader and ask them to read it. There might be some words in it that look familiar to them, but 98% of it will do nothing but cause confusion and anxiety. By letting kids work these hard skills before TRULY mastering basics, we only set them up for failure. We are teaching them to memorize and recite Shakespeare before they can sound out “See Spot Run” on their own.

By teaching kids from the start that each skill is not a unique snowflake, but just a series of previously learned, familiar, body shapes we make the skills much less overwhelming to learn, and unlock the ability for kids to be able to safely practice “sounding out new words” in classes without constantly needing a spot, constant feedback,  and 1 on 1 attention.

Anyways, that’s just what’s been on my mind today. Make it a good week everyone!

-Coach Matt

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‘Tis the Season of Change in Cheerleading – Big Change for Rochester Clients, Changing Location of Lessons in May

As many of you have noticed, over the past few weeks I have limited the ability to book lessons at Fame All-Stars, in Rochester, starting in May, 2013. This is due to the fact that, in all-star cheerleading, May marks the end of one competitive season, and the beginning of the next.

May can be an exciting month in cheerleader. Often times, gym owners make huge changes to their programs, including rolling out new services, renovating their facilities, and hosting special clinics and workshops before team tryouts. May can also be a difficult time, as high-school seniors graduate and age off of teams, athletes decided not to cheer another season, and coaches come and go.

This May will be both an exciting and grim month for me, as I, like the gym owners, make large changes to the services I offer. I would like to take this time to tell everyone some of what is to come at the end of this current 2012-2013 season, and the beginning of the 2013-2014 season! I believe that the changes being made are necessary for me to further improve on the high-quality instruction, positive learning environment, and outstanding customer service I offer to my clients.

Starting May 1st, I will no longer be offering lessons at Fame All-Stars, in Rochester, NY

The decision to leave Fame has been a very difficult one for me, both professionally, and personally. I have spent the past two seasons coaching Fame athletes, traveling around the northeast to competitions, creating close bonds with teams’ families, and coaching alongside of some of the best instructors in both New York, and Virginia. Many of the bonds I share with people at Fame go much further back, some as far as nearly a decade. But I feel that it is time for me to take the next step in my career, and begin the next chapter in my life. Although I will discontinue offering lessons at Fame on May 1st, I will be leaving Fame as a coach on May 6th, after US Finals in Virginia Beach, Fame’s last competition of the 2012-2013 cheer season. I wish everyone at Fame All-Stars, both here in NY and in Virginia, the best during the upcoming season.

Beginning the week of May 6th, I will begin offering lessons and classes at Core Athletix, in Rochester, NY

Core Athletix is a multi-purpose training facility, specializing in tumbling and cheerleading. Core’s large training area, and vast amounts of training and safety equipment, will allow me to better train athletes, and keep them safer while doing it. The facility also has a large, comfortable, lobby/parent viewing area, which keeps the training spaces free from distractions, such as siblings, crying babies, and parent conversations. Reducing of distractions keeps the athletes focused on training, improving their performance, while also keeping them safe.

Core Athletix is located about 10-15 minutes away from the previous location Core’s address is 1344 University Ave. Suite #5000 in Rochester, NY.

More information, including “frequently asked questions” about these, and other changes, will be posted in within the next few days. I will also be updating my online scheduling calendar to reflect the changes, and allow you to book lessons at Core Athletix as soon as possible! I am still working to finalize the times in which equipment will be available for me to offer lessons.

More Lesson Times Avaliable — In Multiple Locations!

Due to an increase in demand for lessons, and the high-school cheer season ending, I have added early evening time slots to my availability.

4:00 – 5:45pm will now be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Sports Academy in Victor.

4:00 to 6:00pm on Wednesdays will now be available at Fame All-Stars, in Rochester.

I have now completely switched to my new scheduling page. Be sure to use the new scheduling page, by using the link that says “Book Now!” at the top of the page!

Thank you,
Coach Matt

New Scheduling Page Is Up!

As have told many of my lessons already, I am switching scheduling services to better serve you, my clients. The new service is up, running, and ready for booking!

I am still transferring lessons manually from the old scheduling service. So you have have your email accounts blowing up with “new booking” or “cancellation” emails. Also, I am still in the process of getting the lesson packages working on the new page. Once it is set up, it will be much easier to book, and keep track of packaged lessons. For now just chose the “private lesson” or “group lesson” option, even if it is a packaged lesson. For booking new lessons, please use the link below, or the link in the menu on the top of the page.

The old Genbook scheduling page will become unavailable in the near future to avoid confusion.

Thank you in advanced for your patience and cooperation. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Coach.Matt@cheerfullout.com

-Coach Matt

Schedule online now

Q&A: Wobbly Single-Leg Stunts

I can never seem to get myself to sit down and write on a schedule. But I often find myself writing long replies to questions asked on the Fierceboad or sent by email. Most of those reply’s length rival those of my actual posts. So I decided I will share some of those questions/answers on here.

Question : I have a level 2 youth team and their one leg stunts have become weak and wobbly. Does anyone have any ideas to help strengthen this area?

Answer: That’s a pretty general question. It’s like going to the doctors and simply saying “I’m sick.” He’s going to need know symptoms, and details to be able to properly diagnose/treat you.

Likewise, on the forum, we will need to know a little more about those “shaky stunts” to be able to give accurate advise on how to fix them. A video would probably be best. But recording and posting videos can be a bit of a gray area legally, unless you have a release from all parents of the athletes involved. So I wouldn’t recommend it.

A few general suggestions:

-Look at the grip and building technique of the bases.

-Watch for any muscle compensations in the bases when putting up the stunt. For example, holding the stunt in front of their bodies, instead of overhead, excessive arching of the back, or knees turning in or out when holding the stunt. Any of these could indicate your bases need to get stronger to be able to control the stunt.

-Make sure the flyer has correct body positioning when loading and building the stunt.

-Look to see if the flyer has the ability to balance and stabilize their body throughout the stunt. Can your flyer do the skills balanced on a stable surface such as the floor?

-Make sure that your flyer has proper flexibility and strength to be able to hit each body position. Poor flexibility can cause altered movements in the air. An example of this would be poor hamstring flexibility, which would cause your flyer to drop their chest when performing a single leg heel stretch. Another would be inflexible/over-active hip-flexors which could cause the flyer to excessively arch in their their back in a scorpion.

Anyways, these are just a few general things to look for when diagnosing stunting issues. Like I said before, to be able to definitively tell you how to fix your teams stunts, I would need more information.

Hope this helps,
Coach Matt
Full-Out: Cheer and Fitness

 

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The Importance of Fitness and Safety in Cheerleading

By: Carolyn Fallon
Check out more work by Carolyn by visiting her blog at http://fullonfit.blogspot.com/!

Anyone who thinks cheerleading is easy has obviously not tried it. Today’s cheerleading routines are extremely demanding and athletic, requiring amazing amounts of strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance. Training for cheerleading should always include some form of aerobics and strength training. Also, safety is a constant concern. If you are deficient in any area, you are putting yourself and others at risk.

It seems that every year cheerleading routines become more and more complex, more athletic, and more risky. There are moves underway now to improve safety for cheerleading routines and related activities. For now, be sure to train mindfully to avoid any hazards.

Actions Cheerleaders Can Take To Prevent Injuries:

Resistance Training:

Some type of resistance training will keep your weight under control and give you the strength to perform more advanced routines. You will also want to be sure that you always include a good stretching and warm-up session before your workouts, which will help prevent injury, both major and small.

Yoga:

Yoga is a great exercise for cheerleaders because it is low impact in nature while also providing a good strenuous workout. Due to the typical benefits of yoga being increased strength, flexibility, and balance, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Glen Axelrod states that many professional teams are integrating yoga into their regular training sessions. Additionally, yoga is known to also increase one’s core strength and focus, as well as decrease emotional states of stress and anxiety.

Proper Training:

It is always important to be training properly, in proper conditions, with proper training, observed by certified coaches. Be sure that you perform your stunts on mats to provide cushioning for falls. You will also want to maintain an atmosphere that allows you to focus. A certified and trained coach should be on hand at all times to ensure that safety is always being monitored and heeded.

Diet:

In addition to your training and exercise regimen, maintaining a diet is vitally important. For one thing, you will need to provide enough healthy fuel to provide energy for your routines and exercise. You will also want to eat the right kinds of foods so that you maintain lean muscle mass, while avoiding fatty foods that don’t provide any nutritional value.

Be sure that you are eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. The fruits will ensure that you are getting plenty of carbohydrates to fuel your workouts. Try to avoid getting sugar in the form of sodas and sugared drinks. These types of drinks tend to cause rapid increases in blood sugar. This can lead to weight gain.

Getting your carbs in the form of fruit also ensures that you are getting plenty of fiber in your diet. Fiber helps you keep from putting on weight in the form of fat. The reason fiber helps prevent weight gain is that it takes longer for your body to digest. You will also need to make sure you getting enough lean protein. Protein is the building block for muscle. Avoid meats like red meat and beef. They tend to have adequate protein but at a cost. They too often have high levels of unhealthy fat. This fat can clog your veins and prevent your heart from working at full capacity.

Some good choices for lean protein are turkey, skinless chicken, and most fish. Also, many nuts have good amounts of protein combined with good fiber. Walnuts, pecans, cashews, and sunflower seeds are good choices, and are an easy snack to keep with you for when you are hungry but it’s not meal-time yet. They also tend to be high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. One thing to be careful of, however, is high levels of salt, which can be found on certain types of nuts, such as peanuts.

Carolyn is a 20-something year old with a passion for life, fitness and overall well-being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has known to bust some serious mves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog at http://fullonfit.blogspot.com/!