Girls Global PCS Implements Innovative Teaching and Learning Strategies with Athletes on Cheerleading Team
What made you get into coaching? And how has being a coach benefited you in your personal and professional life?
My passion for cheerleading began when I cheered for the Boys and Girls Club in Prince George’s County where I grew up. I loved my cheerleading coaches because of their passion and dedication for us as young ladies. At the time, I did not realize how much that experience impacted me. But as I grew older, I understood the smallest things such as camaraderie and persistence would influence me, to become a coach myself. Coaching cheerleading continues to help me grow by building up my patience, leadership, and flexibility.
We know the ‘primary’ goal of a high school cheerleading team is to support other sports, most often mens football and basketball, and to promote school spirit overall. Why was it important for you to have a cheerleading team at an all-girls public charter school? What skills are your students learning that are helping them excel academically?
It’s important that Girls Global Academy had a cheerleading team to help promote sisterhood. We encourage growth of our natural leaders through team building and organizing. As a team, they aid each other in maintaining appropriate grades throughout the school year.
What makes your cheer program stand out from other programs in the city?
Our cheerleading program is open to students who identify as non-binary. In addition, we strive for the cheerleaders to participate in community-led events, and place emphasis on joining other sports when cheer season is completed.
What do you want your athletes to get out of cheering with you and for your team?
The most important takeaway I want my cheerleaders to learn is perseverance. No matter how hard it may get, I want them to know that they can overcome and endure when they feel the odds are against them. Another important element is teamwork; in life they may have to work with people that they may not always see eye to eye with, but it builds character to be able to push past their differences and aid their teammates.
Can you describe a time when your athletes went above and beyond as a team or an individual displayed skills they learned as a cheerleader?
One example that comes to mind is when one of my athletes could not catch on to one of the cheers we were learning. The rest of the team took initiative and used the rest of practice to work with her until she felt comfortable in preparation for the upcoming performance. This act of kindness showed teamwork, leadership, and sisterhood which are pillars of the program.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job as a coach is building relationships with each of the cheerleaders. As I grow with my team, it allows me to get to know their dreams and aspirations not only for the team but in their lives. It also gives me joy watching their growth. There are many times that they feel frustrated and want to stop but they keep growing and going. I saw the confidence (when it comes to cheerleading) grow in each of them by the end of the season. It’s inspiring to see!