Sunday, October 14, 2007

Are cheer moms the worst?

Is it just me, or are cheer moms the worst? This has been the MOST stressful coaching experience EVER. This morning a got an email from another mom, telling me that her daughter could no longer fly. We have one week left in the football season, and 4 weeks of competition. This next week is all about tweaking the little things and making sure they always have their cheeleader smile on, not about replacing a girl in a stunt group. This mom has been searching for cheer accidents online and has decided that it is just too risky. Now mind you, this is her second year flying. The stunts are basic at best. The accidents she is refering to are extreme. Yes cheer is dangerous. But we are very limited on what we can do. The accidents she is refering to, involve extreme height, and flips. I spent the better part of an hour "talking her down". I let her know that a flyer oould not be replaced a week before competition, and that major changes in the routine that would accomodate her daughter not flying would keep the girls from being successful. She didn't want the girls or parents mad at her, but also didn't want her daughter a parapalegic. This is valid, but I told her that people would be mad. They paid good money, and spent countless hours practicing only to have to "start over" at the end. I assured her that her daughters saftey was the most important thing to me, and that I would not let the girls preform something that I felt was unsafe. I have told this to all the girls from day one. We loose more points in competition failing at a stunt, then not doing it at all. Not to mention I do not want anyone hurt. The guilt would be way too much for me. In the end, she relented for now. I told her that I appreciated this. I also ask her to stop researching accidents, because the stress was too much. The numbers just don't work. That is like saying flying is dangerouse because if the airplane crashes you have a high likelyhood of dying. Yet, when weighed with how many planes fly every day, and land safely the risk in flying in an airplane is low. Are cheer accidents extreme? Yes. But I think weighed against how many stunts are successful, especially basic stunts, the risk is low. Would I let my daughter fly? Yes. My oldest daughter wants to fly, but she is too tall. My youngest is petite, and will most likely be a flyer if she continues cheering. As a side note though, I would rather they do something else entirely. I wasn't a cheer leader. The societal roles attached to this sport are not something that ever intersted me. I had friends who cheered. It worked for them. I chose other sports. Two of my daughters are however interested, and so they cheer. This is not the way I wanted to start my Sunday. TTFN, Miki


Sue Doe-Nim said...

Really Miki?

You don't believe that rationale do you?

It seems to me that any sport that is excluded from certain insurance policies carries a higher risk of injury and of extreme injury.

My daughter wanted to cheer and she's a thin one so they wanted her to fly.

We left.

Miki said...

Yes I believe that there is minimal risk in the cheer we do. We are not an all star team that you can find at any gym in the country. We mainly do sideline cheer. Yes we stunt, but we train these girls, and we have standards that they have to follow. In the history of our association there has been only one bone breakage in cheer. It was the nose of the back spot who caught the girl as she came down. In football this year there has been 5 broken bones on our teams alone. That doesn't count the teams we have played against. I say more injuries in soccer when I played AYSO as a kid. One of our games then an ambulance was called an our goalie received 6 stitches in the forehead and had a concussion from running into the goal while trying to stop the ball.

Sue, you did the right thing. They wanted your daughter to fly and you said no. You left. This mom said ok. Two years in a row, and then tried to pull the plug. Her daughter hasn't been dropped, she just heard about a highschool girl being thrown over the top of a stunt group and said she was done.

As a side note, I just got our score sheets from yesterday and most of the judges said we needed higher basket tosses and more difficulty in our stunts. Those are points we will never get. -Miki