Being a cheer coach as a college student has been rewarding

By Katie Smith, A&E Editor

Most college students have a busy schedule that consists of their work, academics, and social life. Not to mention half of us here are athletes. This summer, I added the position of coach to my schedule.

I had received a request to assist in coaching the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton cheer team which is something that I have wanted to do since I was in high school. Since starting, this has absolutely been one of my favorite things to do with my time. Every time I get to go to practice, I feel like I have some control over how I’m spending my time. I love getting to share my knowledge, passion, and excitement for the sport with the young cheerleaders.

Since becoming a coach, so many things have become clear to me. I now understand all the coaches that I have ever had. I understand why they became frustrated, why they spent a lot of time working on the same things over and over again, and how much they cared about what they did.

My cheer coach from high school drove all of us crazy. We thought she hated us or didn’t care too much about us for the most part. We thought her rules were extra. She would yell at us frequently, would constantly be irritated and would stick to those rules and punishments like a stickler. I now realize that we were the best squad because of her.

In my team, I can see all the potential in each and every one of the girls. It drives me crazy when they don’t give their all, when they don’t practice outside of practice, and when they talk over me.

It is such a 180 for me to be in a coaching position. I now understand so much. What I didn’t see as a player, I see now as a coach. I see how every little action that players usually brush off bother the coaches. I never understood why coaches would “care so much” or think that we need to do something again after we feel that we have already perfected it. I know it drives my girls crazy making them do the same routine over and over again for weeks on end, but I know that this is necessary to make sure they look good come pep rally time.

I have a newfound respect for all of my coaches and I wish I had understood them better in the moment. Now the time is here. Their first pep rally is today and I can’t wait to see how well they do. I am so proud of them and can’t wait to continue making them into better cheerleaders.

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