HOW TO PROGRESS DURING THE BACK TO SCHOOL CRUNCH - Practice Scheduling, Attendance, & Motivation
By Cat Weeden
Published September 13, 2018
As a Small Gymer, we all know the end of summer is a time of celebration! Church Retreats, Overnight Camps, Family Vacations, Trips to the Lake and the distractions of summer are finally gone and done. We are finally going to get full attendance back at practices which means stunts can solidify, tumbling can be finalized, and Pyramids can finally be created.
Life is GREAT, you and your coaches are on a roll. Stuff is getting done. Then 3 weeks later school starts… and a whole new set of attendance problems start up!
In the Small Gym world, it is crucial to maximize the month of September by following these 4 tricks:
Anticipate the potential practice conflicts
Maximize practice efficiency through pre-planning
Encourage & Create additional opportunities for Bonus Team Work
Mentally Just Keep Swimming
Maximize Practice Efficiency Through Pre Planning
Every practice in the month of September is incredibly important. This is the last month before our internal clocks ding that its “Competition Season”.
In order to get the very most out of this month, plan out each practice! Break your practice down into 10 minute sections and stick to the schedule.
If your team is struggling in a section, planning ahead ensures that you think about this before practice starts, and you then create a plan to relieve the concern. You will be shocked how fast 10 minutes has previously been wasted once you start scheduling out practices.
“You will be shocked how fast 10 minutes has previously been wasted once you start scheduling out practices.”
Mentally Just Keep Swimming
Absences are very hard on the team, but they are the hardest on the coaches! We have hopes, dreams and plans for practices, and 1 missed kid can throw that haywire….. if you choose to let it.
Coaches, I challenge you to take a “just keep swimming’ approach to these practices. Continue with your practice plan, work every section you need, let the missing stunt group do conditioning during the stunt run or even encourage the other groups. Whatever you do, don’t let 1 absent cheerleader distract you.
Intentionally include 3-4 full run throughs on your practice plan, and each practice continue to add sections to the “ run through” if you keep this up the kids will become acclimated to a 75% run overtime instead of drastically.
Even though there seems to be a million distractions in the month of September, by anticipating potential practice conflicts, maximizing your practice time through detailed scheduling, creating and encouraging extra bonus opportunities for your allstars and mentally continuing to advance your routines and readiness, you can excel and progress in the toughest month of the season!