Monday, October 22, 2007

One Down Three to Go

Yesterday was the first of four Cheer competitions. It was the very first ever one for my youngest. She hadn't really ever even seen a competition. It was fun on one level and frustrating on another.

My youngest daughters squad went for out of our groups. Her squad looked better than they have, but it is a big squad (21 girls), and they have some young ones on the team. My daughter is a back spot. This means she helps the flyer get in the air from behind. She has two bases on either side that are supposed to help her get the girl up and then back down again safely. This never happens. She is the only one ever "catching" this child. Now they don't throw her or anything, just lift her to about knee level, but for one girl to catch and the other to back away that is just not good. The other stunt group, actually dropped their flyer. Not good. This team got 7th place out of 9 or 10 teams. A nice first outing.

My oldest daughters team, for which I am a coach, went on a few groups after my youngests. My team has spiral curls in a high pony tail. I roll my daughters hair. Some people buy hair pieces. Actually on our team of 10 girls, it is split about even. I prefer rolled hair for many reasons. First it looks more natural. If you have ever seen some of these hair pieces you would know what I mean. It is just WAY too much hair for a head, let alone a childs head. The second, and probably biggest reason is that they can fall out. You can think they are is secure, and then BAM! right in the middle of your preformance it falls out. Sometimes it only falls part of the way. It will just hang half off the head, and the girls will just have to ignore it, or lose more points. Other times it will fall clean off and just lie there in the middle of the mat. This is what happened to us yesterday. One of my daughters closest friends hairpieces fell off in the middle of a jump. EVERYONE in the audience gasped and then laughed. My girls just kept going as if nothing had happened. Yeah for them! We had coached many times on what to do if something doesn't go right. Our biggest example was a flyer not being able to safely get in a stunt. We always say pull them down and pose. Keep going as if it were planned. The girls did this on Sunday. I am very proud. Other than this problem, their routine looked GREAT. I have reviewed video and there are some areas that need work, but all in all they did a good job. However, our scores didn't seem to reflect all of that. We took 6th out of 9. The girls were frustrated. I spoke with an offical after. What we didn't know was that we were a "true" junior squad, and many others weren't. We had all girls of the same age group and some of the squads we competed against weren't. They only needed one girl of that age to be at that level. Yes they would have to preform better, but you could do some great stunts if you had 11 year old girls lifting 7 year old girls. It is much harder to lift someone who weighs close to what you do. I thought our stunts were challenging, but what we could do if my youngest was on my squad would be amazing. This was one of the frustrations. Not all of our competitions will be like this.

Another frustration was that the gym was too crowded. The fire marshall wanted to shut it down. And then the air turned off. This crowded gym turned into a sauna. Then just before the awards ceremony we were "treated" to a performance by J. Randall. He sang several songs, and then said, " How about one more" He of course expected screams, and what he acually got was silence mixed with some "no's". How embarrassing. I will get our scores today so we will know what we need to work on for this Sunday. TTFN, miki

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