Tryouts 2018-2019 Season

Discussion in 'High School Cheerleading' started by mncheerqueen, May 8, 2018.

  1. OldskoolKYcheercoach

    OldskoolKYcheercoach There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

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    We've had zero issues with this since I started at my current school and changed tryouts. Folks, if you are making tryouts some kind of big secret deal, you're INVITING tryout drama. By "big secret deal," I mean: either one-by-one or in small groups you march them through the gym like cattle on the auction block and judge their material with no one else in the gym. The doors are closed, there's paper over the windows, and then at the end of the day you post Schindler's list on the door for them to all walk up to and either celebrate or do the walk of shame in front of their peers.

    Have about 5 open gyms leading up to your tryout week so that you know most of their names, and they don't walk around feeling like a number.

    Have tryouts like 3-4 big practices where they work on material that's SUPER easy. You're not trying to win a competition with your tryout material, you need to know if they're teachable, and if they have the ability to do clean motions.

    DO NOT allow your graduating seniors to play ANY role in the tryout process whatsoever. This invites the idea (real or imagined) that they are influencing the results based on who they "liked" the year before.

    Talk to the kids who are going to get cut over the course of the week and tell them what they are going to have to do if they want to have a chance. Explain to them that their chances are slim.

    Judge different aspects of the tryout skills every day, and let them all watch each other go. The ones who aren't going to make the team will SEE that they aren't as skilled as the ones that do.


    Get rid of the outside judges and have the character to make a decision and stand behind it. Two types of coaches use outside judges: Those who's districts mandate that they do so, and those who are too weak-minded to stand behind their own decisions.

    On the last day, pull any kid who is on the line aside privately and give them the news, good or bad, face-to-face. The ones who you give good news to will get to "have their moment." the ones who get the bad news, need to have an assistant coach or other adult school employee love on them a bit while they have their meltdown privately and call their parents to come pick them up. Give them the option of finishing the day (they never do) or leaving quietly so as not to be noticed.

    Signed

    "Coach who hasn't had so much as a phone call from a complaining parent in four years"
     
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  2. cheer25mom

    cheer25mom Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    You are lucky no one has complained. A local private school did tryouts like this and didn’t have problems for years, but after parents of girls who didn’t make it last year threatened to sue, they were forced to place them on a team. Their attorneys told them they would lose the suit BECAUSE they didn’t have objective, outside judges. They did pretty much exactly what you are describing, but Susie’s mom just couldn’t believe her little darling had not been targeted, and she got other parents on board.
    This is why our public district requires outside judges who have no relationship with anyone trying out. We had to fight a similar situation this year and came out on top BECAUSE we had the scores to back our decision.


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  3. cheer25mom

    cheer25mom Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Exactly. I think the kid in this situation is pretty upset. Her mom has painted a target on her back. Everyone in their year knows what happened and it will follow her, even going to a different school.
     
  4. OldskoolKYcheercoach

    OldskoolKYcheercoach There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

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    I’m calling BS.

    That would be tantamount to suggesting there’s actual case law that would make it a requirement for cheer teams to use outside judges.

    By that logic, of the hundreds of thousands of of teenagers who try out to participate in high school activities every year, every school system in the country would be putting themselves at risk of litigation for every short kid who doesn’t make the basketball team, every scrawny kid who doesn’t make the football team, every thespian who doesn’t get the starring role in the school play, etc.

    The attorneys probably told the school system that there was a chance they would lose for some other reason and suggested outside judges because the coach did something sketchy.

    I’m envisioning a coach who cut a kid because of her attitude not because of her skill set. That’s asking for trouble. You’re better off to put them on the team and try to pull them in to your team culture. Of course that only works if you have an intentionally created team culture. Most cheer teams have a culture created by chance because the coaches have no idea how to do it intentionally, and the seniors end up creating it and recreating it every year.
     
  5. cheer25mom

    cheer25mom Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    No BS. I assure you. Courts tend to side with parents against schools, and without an objective measure, that swings even further. The attorney said they were pretty much assured to lose. In most cases with other sports it never gets to that point because they can just put them on the JV team and never play them. You cannot do that with cheerleaders. They are all “on” all the time.

    Nothing sketchy. The process just didn’t work to prevent issues in this case. No process is perfect and no coach is perfect or immune to crazy parents. It’s kind of insulting to insinuate that anyone who has parents cause problems must not be doing it like you and is therefore wrong or unethical.


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  6. OldskoolKYcheercoach

    OldskoolKYcheercoach There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

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    Insulting or not, sometimes the truth hurts.

    20+ years of watching multiple people having the same problems over and over and over and over and over again. The vast majority, big picture I’d say 80+%, of cheer coaches are parents who know little about cheer and even less about coaching. In Kentucky and some of the more cheer-oriented states, I’d say at best the number is 50%. You don’t see that level of incompetence at the Varsity level in any real sport. We are so far behind that a lot of schools still use the word “sponsor” for this position.

    To suggest that even a simple majority of cheer coaches are competent is a jaded point of view. They’re simply not.
     
  7. cheer25mom

    cheer25mom Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    To suggest if everyone just did it like you there would never be a problem is also unrealistic. You honestly think you are immune to problem parents because you are that perfect? Good luck with that. I don’t think any coaching practice can do that.

    You are right that a lot of parents and coaches know nothing about cheer. Parents who know nothing tend to think that their little Susie is amazing, even if they aren’t. Sometimes nothing we can do as coaches convinces them otherwise, even if the coach is competent, which this coach I am talking about definitely is. The reality is that even good coaches have problems with parents from time to time. It’s the reality of the situation.


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  8. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    One of the best things I ever did was nix outside judging for stations/more open gyms/coaches doing the evaluating. The more open you are with EVERYONE (kids and parents) about what it is you are looking for in an athlete, the less likely they are to contest results. Becky's mom can't argue with an evaluation week rubric that you SHOWED her. Becky can't argue with the results because she SAW the rotation group in front of her NAIL the cheer and can evaluate her performance comparatively.

    Disclaimer. I have not been as fortunate as I HAVE had some complaints. Some rumblings of "going to the board" but it never goes far because I think the athlete KNOWS the results were fair (because they saw their competition) and tells the parent not to take it further. That, and I think people are diffused by me actually COMMUNICATING WITH THEM about the result rather than acting like it was super secret. Ex: A mom emailed me very mad once about a result. I sent her back a "very sorry but here is what I noticed during tryout week and this is how she can come back stronger."
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
  9. ErinS

    ErinS Slow your roll, Sparkle. World Champion GIF Poster

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    My nieces try out was a mix of daily evaluations and then today outside judges.

    For stunting and tumbling they were given a scale and every girl knew what they had (or didn’t have to max out)

    Today was a fitness test by the strength and conditioning coach and outside judges scored them on jumps, Cheer and dance.

    My niece will never know how the judges scored her but she does know she got a 28/30 on the stunt/tumble evaluation (3rd highest score ) and the second highest fitness test score. Basically she could still not make it based on the judges.

    Fortunately they didn’t do daily cuts or pull girls aside and tell them not to come back


    Personally I like how they do try outs. The stunting and tumbling....it is what it is. But having judges for Cheer and dance may help girls that struggle in the other areas


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  10. OldskoolKYcheercoach

    OldskoolKYcheercoach There are Cheeropedia articles about me!

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    BOOM!!!

    Most cheer coaches are too scared to hurt someone’s feelings to be proactive. Sounds like you’re doing great work.
     
  11. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    *was doing.

    Family is causing me to pass the torch this year, it appears. (Short version: small person has been having some weird sleep/ear/throat issues that we need to take time to figure out.) That's life!
     
  12. jscoach210

    jscoach210 I make my own voiceovers

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    That is simply stellar !!!


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  13. ErinS

    ErinS Slow your roll, Sparkle. World Champion GIF Poster

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    Niece made varsity. From what I can tell, she’s one of 2 girls rising 8th graders to make varsity


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  14. CheerBank

    CheerBank Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Congrats to her!!
     
  15. yooolizzi

    yooolizzi Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Does anyone have a tryout form they use? I'm thinking like a place where they can write down skills they have on dead mat, stunting position/experience, year in school, stuff like that.

    I'm interviewing for two head coaching positions and I want to try and come into both as prepared as possible.