Refusing To Stunt

Discussion in 'High School Cheerleading' started by Atxmom, Jan 30, 2020.

  1. Atxmom

    Atxmom They call me Susie

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    Coaches...how would you handle it if someone on the squad refused to stunt with another squad member?

    My daughters high school coach for varsity is not very flexible, it’s her program, her way only. For example, she has them do a warmup what she calls 1,2,3’s. These are (standing tumbling) 1 bhs, then 1 bhs to tuck, next 2 bhs series and 2 to tuck, then 3 bhs and 3 to tuck. Refuses to do it any other way.


    Tryouts for varsity are around the corner and she wants a certain girl to be a flyer. This girl has no flying experience, does not take corrections and goofs off all the time, but she’s skinny.

    The coach hates my daughter because she’s an allstar and she gets injured (grade 2 concussion) or sick a lot (asthma so prone to respiratory infections). She struggles a lot with her mile time because of it, she’s fine with sprints though. Her team coaches don’t have problems working with whatever comes up.

    They’ve tried this girl as a flyer before and it didn’t work. Now they are trying it again. My daughter has said she will refuse to base her. I support her in this. The concussion she had was from being repeatedly kicked in the head by a flyer with no experience (it was real concussion, not let’s be cautious and call it concussion). It was months of therapy and she still medicated over a year later.

    As a coach how would you handle it if an athlete refused to stunt with another team member?
     
  2. Atxmom

    Atxmom They call me Susie

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    I forgot part of it. My daughter won’t base her because she doesn’t know what she’s doing as a flyer and because she pees in her pants...and doesn’t care.

    I don’t mean a little leak here and there. She full on pees everywhere and she doesn’t clean up after herself, the coaches have to call a custodian. The other day they were on the field and she had an accident. The coaches told her to go back to locker room and change. She didn’t want to walk all the way back and said “that’s ok it dries fast.”

    She refuses to go to the doctor or wear a urinary pad. Unless she does either, my daughter said she won’t base her.

    I know her coach will call her insubordinate for this and this could be the excuse the coach needs to keep her off Varsity (she can’t skills wise) but I don’t think that’s fair.
     
  3. OldskoolKYcheercoach

    OldskoolKYcheercoach There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

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    In my program, I would not have to handle it. My athletes would not tolerate it. Our culture dictates that everyone gets a chance to learn. we have a similarly strict way of doing things. These methods involve true perfection before progression, to the tune of doing basic fundamentals 100’s of times in the spring prepping for more advanced skills.

    From a coaching standpoint, your post has many red flags in it. The most glaring one is the statement “the coach hates my daughter.” In our program if your daughter is hurt from all stars a lot, she would be breaking our one rule “don’t let your teammates down.”

    this situation is cheer-toxic:

    1) you don’t trust the coach
    2) the coach doesn’t trust your daughter (and by definition doesn’t trust you either)
    3) your daughter doesn’t trust the flyer

    And

    4) the flyer doesn’t trust her training.

    low trust teams are doomed to failure 100% of the time.

    Someone needs to spark a meeting of the minds here or the situation will continue to deteriorate and/or a catastrophic injury will occur.
     
  4. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer Best Flyer.. on a parent team

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    Yeah this all... very odd. On the face of it, I wouldn’t tolerate it if a girl refused to stunt. Coming on to my team, it’s a given that everyone does everything: stunt, tumble, etc., to ensure everyone learns to be a team player.

    But also, I wouldn’t have a flyer in the air who is prone to the problems as the flyer you described. If the pee thing is as bad as you say and the coach is aware of it but not doing anything about it, then you need to go over her head. Normally I’d suggest talking to the coach first, but this is a very obvious sanitary/hygiene issue. And if she’s not understanding that, you need to talk to someone who will. If it’s as bad as you say, that’s really unacceptable.

    But overall, it does not sound like this is the team for your daughter and you might want to consider other options.
     
  5. Atxmom

    Atxmom They call me Susie

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    I absolutely agree with perfection before progression. I’ve always taught my daughter that technique and training is more important than rushing to the next skill.
    I don’t object to working fundamentals, I disagree with the coach in the order it is done. Using the example I gave, I disagree that my child is forced to throw a one to back, when the only warm up leading to it is a single bhs. In team or tumbling class, the order she’s used to is warming up bhs series, then 2toback, and 1toback being last because it’s more difficult. Not the order her school coach requires

    From a coaching standpoint, your posthas many red flags in it. The most glaring one is the statement “the coach hates my daughter.” In our program if your daughter is hurt from all stars a lot, she would be breaking our one rule “don’t let your teammates down.”

    One of her injuries is a defect (that’s how doctors refer to it) that she’s born with, she has loose ligaments and a few of her joints pop in & out. The other injuries actually occurred at school cheer, not in allstars.
    The coach dislikes allstars in general, because she feels they put allstars first. But not limited to allstars, doesn’t like to compromise, whether it’s track or soccer etc.

    this situation is cheer-toxic: 100%

    1) you don’t trust the coach (I don’t at all.) I don’t feel she has a solid coaching or cheer background. There have been multiple situations where I feel she has put athlete safety at risk, not just with my child. See tumbling example
    2) the coach doesn’t trust your daughter (and by definition doesn’t trust you either) It wouldn’t surprise me
    3) your daughter doesn’t trust the flyer no she doesn’t trust the flyer, the flyer refuses to seek medical attention, she won’t even tell her mom about it and laughs it off or just shrugs her shoulders
    And
    4) the flyer doesn’t trust her training.
    The flyer has had no training in cheer in general except what is taught in class. She has had no flyer training

    Someone needs to spark a meeting of the minds here or the situation will continue to deteriorate and/or a catastrophic injury will occur.
    This is my greatest fear as my daughter has already had a very difficult injury that impacted every part of her life, that’s she still suffers from. I’ve tried to reach out to the coach but never got a response and she still treats my daughter poorly. I don’t know what to do next
     
  6. Atxmom

    Atxmom They call me Susie

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    it occurs more or less once a week and started last summer. Yes the coaches are fully aware of it, maybe not every incident but enough. They are the ones that have to call for clean up.

    And again, there’s no lack of compassion, but the girl doesn’t seem to care. She’s not motivated to fix the problem or even prevent it at times. In more than one instance she’s refused to change shorts/socks after because she didn’t want to walk all the way back to the locker room. Other times during conditioning didn’t give teammates heads up that she had accident and liquid spread onto other athletes. At this point the coaches just ignore it when it happens.

    I don’t feel like it’s a good environment for my daughter but cheer is the only thing that matters to her 14 year old mind. She wants to cheer in college, but hasn’t decided where. A few of her options require varsity experience.

    There are other team members that feel the same way but they don’t want to end up in the same position as my daughter with how she treats her. A few of them aren’t as advanced skills wise & are worried about making the squad so want to stay on the coach’s good side.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  7. Atxmom

    Atxmom They call me Susie

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    wanted to add...this girl has been backing all season, she just recently was moved to a flyer role. So hasn’t had an accident while in the air yet, most feel that it’s inevitable though.

    I worried if I go around the coach it would make things more contentious and my daughter isn’t willing to leave the program yet.
     
  8. Keep_Believing

    Keep_Believing Moderator

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    Serious question, does your daughter want to fly? I have seen girls who want to fly come up with a ton of reasons why they can't base another flyer.
     
  9. Atxmom

    Atxmom They call me Susie

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    she likes flying, but she’s fine not doing it. She’s not saying she can’t, she won’t unless the girl will go to the doctor or wear absorbent underwear and take stunting seriously.

    I’ve witnessed an accident at camp, she’s not embellishing. I’ve also heard other girl on team discuss it.
     
  10. Sterling von Shimmer

    Sterling von Shimmer Best Flyer.. on a parent team

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    Yeah I’m sure the kid is embarrassed about it and thinks that maybe by treating it like it’s NBD, everyone else will do the same. My heart goes out to her. Maybe someone can discreetly suggest to her mom what’s happening? I know it’s a sensitive issue but it’s also a health one, which her parents need to know about.

    But all that aside, if these stunt safety issues are as bad as you say, then it doesn’t sound like the coach knows what she’s doing. You might request seeing her certifications, which we’re all supposed to have. If by chance she does have them and she’s still allowing these accidents to happen, you might want to take your concerns to someone higher up because you really cannot screw around with kids’ safety. Most AD’s would be inclined to agree with you.

    Side question: is the coach successful? Because if she is, that could be why she seems to have a lot of pull.
     
  11. Atxmom

    Atxmom They call me Susie

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    I’m assuming she has proper certifications because we are a large school but I’ve never seen any. I’ve seen some math certificates for her other classes but not for cheer. They go to UIL so I’m assuming she has them.

    I’m not sure how to determine her success. They go to UIL every year the last 2 years made it into finals for something but nobody really makes a fuss over it at school. Other than that it’s just games and pep rallys.

    Safety issues aren’t just with stunts, it’s her tumbling requirements, the way she runs warms ups etc. a lot of the girls throw their head. They get evaluations every quarter, you get points taken off for not gaining new skills. Her 123’s warm up don’t affect all the girls most of them only have series or running tumbling. Only a handful can do a 1 to back.

    My daughter is developing a mental block on her 1 to back. Toe 1 to back used to be an easy skill, now can’t do it at all. And takes 15 mins to do 1 to back.
     
  12. tojofasho

    tojofasho I'm an announcer on CBS for Worlds (or should be)

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    So here's the thing, you keep mentioning the safety of her tumbling warmup (the 1, 2, 3s) and you compared it with allstar. The comparison is minimal - allstar you warm up on a spring floor, high school you warmup on dead mat. For me personally, I could three to tuck more easily than one to tuck on a spring mat, but on dead mat I was never able to build up the speed so I could only one to tuck. I know it's not the case for everybody, but I know a fair few people who prefer the 1 to tuck over 3 to tuck in college and high school cheerleading.

    That being said, I also don't see the safety issue with the stunting with the obvious exception of the whole peeing thing, which if it really is as bad as you say should be brought to admin's attention immediately. Either they are unaware or it's not really as bad as you're making it out to be, because I guarantee the school would shut down this peeing the pants thing immediately. There's a possibility the girl is on a 504 accommodation plan, but that doesn't really exempt her from peeing on her peers which is unhygienic and honestly just disgusting. I'm never a fan of going above the coach's head but in this instance I think it's what needs to be done. As is stands, based on your first post, it just sounds like the coach wants to try and mold the girl to fly since she is smaller, and generally smaller flyers (when they learn to be tight) are better in the air than heavier ones. I have a 5'6" flyer that is amazing, but heavier than my 5'1" mini flyer that weighs like 85 pounds. Even though my smaller flyer isn't super tight as of the moment, she's also new to flying and I can see the potential that once she gets more comfortable, she'll be amazing. The coach is probably weighing these pros and cons and making an informed decision - if it doesn't work out, she won't risk the success of her program and will scrap the idea.

    It sounds like the coach knows generally what she's doing - UIL is competitive and if she's making it to finals that says a lot. I wouldn't question her abilities so much unless you yourself have a background of coaching cheer - most parents really don't understand the intricacies of what goes on behind closed doors. As for her hating your daughter, I know every single athlete at one point or another has probably told their parents I hate them, but in reality I would give any one of those kids a kidney if they needed it. If I were you I would just sit down with coach one on one and discuss everything, or do it through email if you're not comfortable with confrontation.

    Not trying to be rude or judgmental, to be clear. Obviously a bunch of internet strangers aren't going to know your situation well enough to really weigh in, which is exactly why you should address this directly with the coach in question, and talk to admin if nothing comes from that.
     
  13. Atxmom

    Atxmom They call me Susie

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    I don’t want to come across as defensive or that I’m not listening to what everyone is saying. I came here for insight and opinions, and am mulling over what everyone is telling me. It’s just hard to put everything into an internet post. I do appreciate getting other perspectives.

    these are just a few more examples, not exhaustive list


    tumbling: for my daughter personally, she has to warm up series before throwing standing bhs to tucks. She can get away with going straight to tucks on spring, not on dead. They’re not allowed to do that, have to do 1,2,3’s. I keep referencing it because my child considers it the most challenging part because she’s not comfortable doing all her skills unless she’s been able to adequately warm up. If she doesn’t feel she’s been able to warm up enough she doesn’t do all of skills, then gets yelled at & losses points for consistency.

    New tumbling skills- they are required to have new skills for every evaluation or she marks down. Last eval my daughter got marked down because coach said should have gotten either 2-to full or Arabian by now. another girl was called out for not throwing tuck by herself. Her tumbling coach did not want her doing it by herself because she throws her head. Coach told her if she can make the rotation, she needed to start doing it.

    My CP got her full back after injury (had full before on spring, but not on dead) school coach found out she was doing it on spring floor & pressured her to do it on dead, called her selfish. She ended up breaking finger. 3 weeks later same thing with another girl, broke 2 fingers. coach can only spot bhs’s anyone with higher skill is on own.

    Stunts: My CP got concussion from repeatedly getting kicked in the head by a new flyer. I don’t fault the flyer, she didn’t know how to do a full around, she wasn’t really taught how to do it. I don’t feel it was an appropriate skill to start her off with. There were no extra spots, all groups stunted at the same time coach just walked around watching everyone. Daughter told her she was getting headache, told her she needed to suck it up and push through pain. Finally let her stop when group said she blacked out. Did not get trainer, made her tumble after.

    Coach herself doesn’t know grips for most stunts. Will tell them find someone who does. Then little things like telling them to sweep legs out for cradle, spin shoulders faster during full down etc. Not dangerous but not ideal.

    misc: forcing athletes to stunt while injured. One girl was in soft cast, told her dr’s note said you are going to be cleared in 10 days so you can start now. She was injured further and required hard cast. Same girl in hard cast & my daughter in splint, coach told them they needed to base extension at a game and said whole team would condition if they didn’t

    Yes some success at UIL but most of that was done by outside choreographer, a few times she ran practice but majority not.

    As for hating my child...my daughter isn’t only one to say this...I won’t go into more detail post is too long. I do feel that she is treated differently and unfairly.

    As I said I reached out with no response. I don’t feel comfortable going around her to the AD’s yet because I’m concerned about what will happen to my child. Unless my daughter is willing to leave program. Also coach is close to a few of her favorites (I know everyone says that too) certain girls are allowed to eat lunch with her, she even went on vacation with one of the older girls. But she does share things including parent emails with those girls then info generally it gets passed to most of the program, what was said, who snitched, etc.
     
  14. OldskoolKYcheercoach

    OldskoolKYcheercoach There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

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    I think it sounds like it’s time for you to step up, be a parent instead of a “friend,” do what’s right for your kid, and take her out of this toxic, dangerous situation before she suffers any more physical or emotional damage.
     
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  15. CheerBank

    CheerBank Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I don't think there is anything you can do except pull your kid if you are so concerned, or if your season is over, don't let her try out again. The only thing you can focus on here is your daughter and you've certainly posted enough valid reasons to be justified in your concerns for her well being.
     
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