As tryouts approach, we see an influx of new skills emerging and lots of hard work being put in at the gym. This is awesome! But what do you need to understand before your athlete is placed on a team?
KCAC places your athlete on all-star teams based on their age and ability level. There are only 5 levels of competitive cheer. You will not move a level until you have MASTERED ALL SKILLS OF THE LEVEL. It is not uncommon to remain on the same level for several years. We do this for the safety of your athlete and also to put together the most competitive team. KCAC aims to have teams with full team skills.
Many times we see parents pushing their athlete to acquire a higher level tumbling pass and feel that once the pass has been done, they are now ready to move on to that level. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The sport of cheer is not just about the tumbling….the score sheet also reflects stunting, jumps, and dance. Just because an athlete can do the tumbling skill for a level does not always mean they are ready for that level. For instance – hypothetically – if we have an athlete that is currently on a level 3 and masters the jumps to standing tuck, 2 back handsprings to a full twist and a specialty to a full twist, making their tumbling skills a level 5 but they struggle at stunting at a level 3 – it is NOT in the best interest for that athlete to move them up 2 full levels to a level 5. A safe progression would be to move up a level and have the athlete compete for the next level up and master the stunting and jumps for that level to decrease the gap of skill levels. Stunting and jumps and just as important on a score sheet as tumbling. Each of those components bears equal weight.
Often times, when an athlete is pushed too fast, we see burn out and they quit the sport altogether. This happens because, although they had one component for a level, the struggle with the other components causes undue stress on the athlete.
If you find that YOU are stressing about your athlete’s skills, it might be time to take a step back and perhaps join your own sport. I am sure your athlete would love to come to offer helpful advice. 😉 Every athlete who competes does their absolute best and every athlete with growing as they are ready. Additional push from outside sources potentially can cause stress. If your athlete is wanting to put in more work to acquire skills – GREAT! If you are pushing them to acquire more skills – please stop unless you want them to burn out and quit altogether. We want ALL of our athletes to grow and progress in their skills – but it is important that they are doing this on their own timetable. As tryouts are approaching, this is a great time to share with your athlete how proud you are of them for what they have already accomplished. This is not a time to push them.
Our teams change every year at KCAC. This is based on the athletes that are wanting to be placed on teams and is driven by their ages and skills.
Dyana Daniel – Head of Coaching and Development, Kansas City Athletic Cheer
Sign up for Try-outs HERE