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