Practice Priorities

We're officially two weeks into serious football & cheer practice, (even though we've been conditioning & having clinics since the 2nd week of July.) It's going great! My girls have already learned 17 cheers and a halftime dance!!! And JB is so pleased with the amount of raw talent he has in his players, he's even having a hard time deciding on position assignments, b/c there are so many options!

I won't lie, though, and say everything's been 100% perfect [tiny rant warning ;-)] - it's hard not to take it like a slap in the face when people are late to practice or skip altogether to take impromptu vacays; but I've also learned in life, most people don't take commitments as seriously as we do. [When we join a sport, class, group, or team, we DO NOT miss. We don't skip b/c we're "tired that day," and we will not sign up initially, if we are going to miss multiple events. I can't tell you how many people around here signed up for swim team (daily May-June) even though they were also playing another sport AND going on vacay when school got out, thus missing half the meets. We would NEVER. (And coupled with spring football, that's why we didn't.) We are just very serious about showing up to everything when we have made a commitment to join something ...and I admit, JB & I both have already swallowed a lot of irritation re: other families who very obviously don't hold that same value.]

*BUT* I've found a way for cheer to make the girls responsible for the material they miss w/o wasting the precious time of the girls who ARE there. Thank you, YouTube! I have someone film every cheer & dance I teach, I type out & email all the words & motions, and if you're not at practice, you learn it on your own at home. It's not like we're missing half the squad each day; but we have 20 girls, and there are always 3-5 gone, which makes it hard for everyone to know their places. They are always different girls who are gone, too, so if I waited to have everyone learn it together with me in person before moving on, we'd never have progressed. [Poor football - this is NOT an option for them; if you have one guy missing, you cannot run the play correctly. Period.] So, welcome to the Falcons Cheer channel! (If you're a coach or cheerleader, feel free to use our stuff! And let me know if you have any to share, as well!)

Closing with a pic of the boys last night. We have our cheer practice up closer to the tree line, but we finished first last night. (Yes, we avoided those storms around us...but just barely!)


  1. Watched a few of the videos - so neat!!

  2. I think that it is awesome that y'all remain true to your commitments. I will play devil's advocate though- and hear me out on this one.

    So what about when one of the athletes has a family function to attend? I rarely see my 13 year old niece because of her soccer commitments- She lives literally 30 minutes from me, but I have only seen her 3 times this year because of her athletic commitments to her sports. She almost had to miss a family function at our house this weekend because a soccer game was scheduled late (as in last week) and it conflicted. Fortunately, timing worked out where she could attend, but sometimes I wonder if some coaches/teams/etc are putting way too much emphasis on the sport, traveling, etc. and less emphasis on family and education. I'm not saying that this is the case AT ALL with you all, but it is just something that has been on my heart for a while.

  3. and Sues, please know, I'm not trying to spark debate, I'm just curious about your thoughts on that. Feel free to email me if you want to chat more!

  4. Thanks, Tracey!

    Super valid question, Andie! :-) I LOVE you asking!!!! :-D In my opinion, you need to know what you're signing up for, and you should *NOT* sign up in the first place for a league/team/program that is too time-intensive for your commitment level. I looove dance, but Annelise isn't quite as intense about it, so I would NEVER sign her up for a hard core competition dance troupe, no matter how much I'd enjoy seeing her do it. We made her wait for 2 whole years until this spring to try soccer, b/c there wasn't a league/season/program that didn't interfere with our other priorities until I found that one. We didn't do swim team, b/c we knew we wanted to go home to NC for 2 weeks in June over the bulk of the meets. That's also why I sent that massive email the very instant I got my cheer squad list last month, b/c I wanted everyone to understand all the expectations up front while there was still time to back out.

    I totally get the rare, random, big deal family situations. That's life. :-) But what raises my hackles are the people who still sign up, *knowing* they need to miss every Wednesday; or those who - even though they know the schedule - take an impromptu vacay day "b/c school is about to start." You KNEW you were signing up for this - why didn't you go any other day we're not practicing, or if you wanted longer, the last week of July? You are letting the whole team down. Plus, we're not practicing (cheer for a whole week; football for 4 days in a row) over Labor Day. If July was too early, wait for Labor Day. If all of this is too stressful, why did you sign up for a sport that practices multiple times a week? Go find a less intense league. There are PLENTY of other options. :-P :-D

    Wow...that just poured out! :-D

  5. One other thing: I got an email from a cheer fam tonight asking if "we are still going to practice twice a week once school starts?" *sigh* Seriously? This fam was also gone allll.last.week. I replied: "Yes, we'll stay at Tues/Fri practices all season. The league regulates that cheer practice should be 6 hours a week in August and 4 hours a week once the season starts. We are nowhere near either of those numbers - barely 3 hours a week - so we're sticking with consistency. Once we get all our cheers down, I hope to knock the practices down to 1 hour instead of 1.5, but we still haven't had a practice with everyone together, yet, so we can't do that, at this point." I don't think these families realize how easy they have it with me; I'm barely asking for half of the practice time that I'm allowed, so it really frosts my cookies when people are late or beg off altogether.

  6. Oh I totally understand. It seems like you all have balanced it... in my experience, not all coaches are as nice as y'all. :)

  7. Heehee! Well, there are a couple parents who don't think we are very nice "with all this practice" *roll eyes* ...but AGAIN, it's YOUR responsibility as a parent to understand what you are signing your kid up for and to teach them the importance of following through with their commitments. (No, really - I'm going to let this go now... Or at least for tonight ;-))

  8. Okay, I *loved* the "frosts your cookies" statement. Being a baker, I'm totally stealing that! ;)

    I think the commitment thing is huge. Yes, emergencies and occasional Big Things come up, but I think it's so important for kids to learn to take responsibility (and parents too!). If they commit to something (sports, music, etc), then they need to put their time in. If they observe their parents blowing things off (my niece barely graduated from high school because she had *FORTY* absences, and her mom is a teacher!!!), then they'll become adults who do the same, and perpetuate that.

  9. YES. Perpetuating those subpar examples kills me.


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