13 Tips for D2 Summit

13 Tips For D2 Summit


By Cat Weeden

Updated May 6, 2019

Luxe Cheer has attended every year of the D2 summit...

We were at the inaugural D2 summit in Tampa and haven’t looked back since. We have had teams on wildcards, at larges and on paid bids. We have had our teams place 8/8, not advanced to finals, make it to finals, place top 3 and even have won the Junior 4 division.I am no expert on Disney but,between attending Worlds and D2 Summit yearly I have experience just about every hiccup possible in Orlando! What I have realized is that your attitude is everything.

These are my top 13 Tips for D2 Summit.

1. Disney’s Magical Express

The Disney’s Magical Express line to load the shuttles can be VERY long. Prepare your families for the wait. If people know what to expect, they handle it much better. Pack snacks in your backpack, and make the time pass by playing ‘heads up’ or other games while in line. If you forgot to reserve your DME, no worries, if you are staying on site, you can print off your DME vouchers once you arrive in Orlando.

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2. Gym verfiy

Staying onsite= Go to Celebrity Hall, which is in the parking lot of Disney Allstar Resorts.
Commuter= tents outside of Disney Springs.

The lines can be long, so prepare for that and give the staff some grace. People are probably unkind to them all day, be different and maybe ask how their day has been!🤗

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3. PARK HOPPERS

Have the kids and families IMMEDIATELY take a picture of the BACK of their park hoppers. If one is lost, it can be replaced (at Disney customer service stations) free of charge, if you have the numbers on the back. If lost and you don’t have the numbers, you would have to purchase a brand new one to replace it. And ALL athletes are REQUIRED to have the park hoppers to compete.

4. Set Athlete Expectations

BEFORE arriving in Orlando, make sure your kids and parents are aware of athlete/family expectations. Do you have curfew times, are kids able to freely go to parks with their families, do all athletes need to watch your other teams or will they be released after competing. Think through these things, make a decision on them and then communicate them ahead of the trip. Our families get to enjoy Disney, but they do not get a free for all on when they can go!

5. Getting around, once in Orlando

If you are staying onsite the DME will bring you to hotel, Varsity Charter buses will bring you to the competition and Disney shuttles will take you to the parks! If off site you may be responsible for some or all of this transportation.We chose to book our rooms through Competition Travel Group this season. They blocked us in a hotel that has practice space for all teams staying, shuttles to the parks and charter buses to the competition.

5. Getting around, once in Orlando

If you are staying onsite the DME will bring you to hotel, Varsity Charter buses will bring you to the competition and Disney shuttles will take you to the parks! If off site you may be responsible for some or all of this transportation.We chose to book our rooms through Competition Travel Group this season. They blocked us in a hotel that has practice space for all teams staying, shuttles to the parks and charter buses to the competition.

6. Double the Travel Time EVERYWHERE while in Orlando

If it says it 10 minutes, give yourself at least 20. Onsite or off site, being aware of shuttle times and commuting times is really important. We schedule ourselves to be at the competition 30 minutes before we would normally walk into a competition venue, and we give ourselves extra extra time for shuttles. Better to be early than late

7. Let your kids go to the parks

Don’t overschedule your teams. If you bring these kids to Disney, let them go and enjoy it! This will be a memory of a lifetime for them. There is nothing in life like being there when a kid sees Cinderella’s Castle for the very first time. You cannot control if they win or not, but you can help control if they leave feeling the magic of Disney.

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8. Roll with the Punches

There are going to be multiple things that go wrong while at the D2 Summit. Some of these things will be little, some big. My advice is to roll with the punches and remind yourself that your families and kids will feed off your energy and expectation.
Be a leader that problem solves and keeps issues in perspective. If the issues are amongst the gym, resolve, diffuse and keep moving forward. If the issues are with the competition, address them professionally and in person, I would refrain from posting them online until you exhaust all avenues.

9. Release the Pressure & Expectations that are Crippling you

No one can put more pressure on a Coach/Owner/Director than they can put on themselves. And sometimes that pressure can cripple you, make you fearful, and be very lonely. Find the time to release some of this pressure off of yourself. Go to the parks, have some fun, find perspective and remind yourself if you don’t enjoy the trip, how can the people around you enjoy it.

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10. Not all of Your Teams are Going to Do Well

You may not want to hear this, but you need to:
If you bring 2 teams, one is going to do better than the other.

You need to be prepared for this, and you need to communicate this ahead of time to your families and kids. This is just the reality of competing. The year we won Junior 4 at D2, 1 of our other teams made it to finals, and 2 didn’t get out of the At Large round. We knew with bringing 4 teams that their paths and the reality of each advancing or winning was different, by having honest conversations with families you can avoid a lot of problems. A division of 10 is not the same as a division of 100. That is just real life folks!

11. Connect with Other Coaches/ Teams While at D2

The other coaches attending D2 will be in the exact same boat as you. You will ALL be losing your mind together, so connect and support each other. We usually try to connect with other gyms when practicing on the football field at Allstar, find time to meet up at night or share a meal. Sharing ‘Suzie and her mom’ stories never gets old!

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12. Create fun traditions for your kids or your staff

We are all about our staff rituals and traditions at Luxe! One of them is the staff thigh stand at D2 Summit.
As silly as it is, its just something we do every summit. Another thing we love to do is grad one or two kids and randomly build a lib. Why? Who knows, but we love to do it and have some fun. Create something that you can do yearly and look forward too.

13. Enjoy the Experience

There are divisions of 159 teams at D2. In a division that large, you can hardly control anything, let alone the judging. You may hit the routine of a lifetime and still place 85th place and that’s just how it goes. No one is going to D2 to lose or not make finals, but still 75% of the teams that compete will do just that!

So focus on what you can control, enjoy the last performances of the year, take pictures with your kids and coaches, remind a kid that has not their best day that you love them regardless. Cut yourself some slack, and appreciate what you have created and the kids that believe in you!

Winning or not doesn’t matter in the long run, having fun, growing and wanting to be a champion is what matters.

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Cat Weeden ContributorVIP Client ✪
Director Luxe Cheer
Director of LUXE Cheer in Tulsa Oklahoma. LUXE Cheer specializes in All Star Cheer teams and tumbling classes that will help enhance all of your cheer skills in a fun, competitive atmosphere.
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Cat Weeden ContributorVIP Client ✪
Director Luxe Cheer
Director of LUXE Cheer in Tulsa Oklahoma. LUXE Cheer specializes in All Star Cheer teams and tumbling classes that will help enhance all of your cheer skills in a fun, competitive atmosphere.
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