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9 top tips for managing your JUNIOR COACHES for a better season.

9 top tips for managing your JUNIOR COACHES for a better season.

The role of the Junior coach has changed! Gone are the days of having a ‘helper’ assist you during class time.


A new generation of young leaders is breaking through as the future of cheer coaching.


They’re confident, they’re experienced in their sport. They can probably tumble better than you and they’re still in high school!


Junior coaches can be an absolute necessity in your program, helping you create successful teams or left unmanaged they can become a distraction to your precious teaching time.

 

BGU Junior Coaches


I started out with 2 Junior Coaches and five years later I have 11 working Junior coaches ages 12-16.


We employ them right across the program in recreational, Tumble and Elite training our Junior Coaches are a solid part of our classes.


Managing this group of girls can be tough but we run a strict employment program that has opened opportunities and life experiences for this fabulous team of teens. In return, we have a staff program that works flawlessly.   


Here are 9 super tips to help you get the best out of your Junior coach:


1.    Qualify your coaches


I need safe and knowledgeable coaches, with perfect technique for my teams to succeed at competition. With 11 girls wanting to coach we needed a system.

The BGU 12-16 course solved so much for me. It got to a stage where I just didn’t have the time to mentor and educate all these potential coaches in my program.


•    It ensured that all our Junior coaches had been educated to the same standard & held a recognisable qualification.
•    It gave the Junior coaches a hands-on experience at spotting and running drills
•    It made sure the same technique, grips, and spots are used across our programme by all coaches.


It Overall, BGU offered us a grassroots education for young coaches who after attending the day’s course are ready and hold the technical knowledge to work.


Ensuring all our coaches have attended and passed a certification course shows they are capable of spots and technical knowledge.


2.    Treat it like a job


After qualifying as a junior coach, we offer an opportunity for voluntary  employment to some.  


We give Junior Coaches set hours and expect them to work alongside the program in the best way possible.


Some Juniors have desires to be a team coach and work further in the cheerleading industry.


We try to mimic "A real job" things like uniform, timekeeping and job performance are taken seriously.  


This is a fabulous opportunity for any young adult with lots of transferable skills and experiences useful for college/uni/job applications, most young coaches will ask for references to further development in future career choices.


3.    Reflect on your own coaching


Now you have a full line-up of young enthusiastic coaches on your team you’d better be ready to self-reflect on your own teaching.


The Junior coach is like a sponge, absorbing up every bit of technical, emotional and physical education you deliver in class.


If you’ve been a fierce coach don’t be surprised to have a whole bunch of ‘fierce junior coaches’


But, seriously as a team or head coach you are probably the Junior coach’s idol, so be as fair as responsible as you can be in passing on your coaching skills!


4.    Identify your team


Putting our /junior coaches in a uniform was a must. On some evenings, we have over 60 recreational athletes attend, combined with Parents and siblings wandering around the waiting area, being able to recognise our staff quickly is a must.


We kept it simple with a T-shirt, shorts, and bow.

 

BGU Cheer Coaches

 
All the girls received a free Black/Neon Green T-shirt on completion of their course.


The T-shirt which is labeled Junior coach, this means our athletes, parents know they belong and work with the program.


We also found this created a sense of self-pride with the athlete…. Earning your BGU  t-shirt is a goal within our teams.


5.    Have a handbook


We have a 10page book…. It’s about learning what works for your program but a manual for a Junior coach is essential, they need to know what their role consists of, how to behave in class and all the expectations you have of them.


Here are a few things our junior coach book includes :
•    Job description
•    Time guideline of shift
•    Presentation and Uniform rules
•    Dos and don’ts with athletes
•    Dos and Don’ts of coaching


Giving clear guidelines from the start, means you've set rules, boundaries, and expectations for the job  you’re offering. Hopefully, this helps everyone do their job to the best of their ability and understand their role.  

6.    Promote a head or lead Junior mentor


Our Junior mentor deals with all the smaller issues within the Junior coaching team, this allowed me to focus on the team in training and know the standard of junior coaches is being maintained.     


They liaison with the team coaches who will filter any messages or training back to the others.


Our mentor does things such as uniform checks, retrains spotting and coaching techniques, monitors and assesses the junior coaches during shifts making sure everyone is working on a clean technical skill development.  


Anything we need to know is reported back to staff, but usually, the junior coaches now manage themselves with a weekly meeting with their mentor.

 

7.    Encourage Balance


Your junior coach is engaged in some of the most important years, they have GSCES, Prom, College applications and so much more going on. Just like older coaches, these Juniors feel the stress and pressure too, support your coaches in creating a balance between school, cheer, family & friends and work; it is manageable, and managing your time well helps them to focus on their upcoming life goals      .

 

8.    Keep it fun


Use your Junior coach’s youthful energy to your full advantage.


Letting your Junior coaches to lead certain activities can bring a youth and vibrancy to class. When your energetic Junior coaches are bursting to get involved here are some ways to get them work ing

 

•    Get them to lead a cardio warm up


Allow your Junior Coach to express themselves as a coach in leading a fun, bouncy current cardio session.


Ask them to plan something to a timescale, encourage them to resource their own playlist and choreograph a simple session


•    Encourage them to plan class games


Train class confidence in your Junior coaches by getting them to lead and run games in sessions. Encourage them to be verbal active and motivating.
Having a Younger person run your games guarantees to keep it fun and lively.

 

Cheer coaching


•    Run conditioning sets get your Junior to demo and lead


Everybody drop and give me twenty…. Your Junior coaches can be great class motivators for pushing through the harder factors of training.


Setting goals, making up games and team challenges can be a great way for Junior coaches develop coaching skills.


•    Teach competition Dances   


Have your Tinies and Minis comp ready by getting your Junior coaches to teach all the competition grooves and come on who doesn’t love the wobble!

 

9.    Give back


Yes, we do expect our Junior coaches do volunteer their time but in exchange, we offer a n Elite Junior coaching training Program with opportunities to advance to paid employment, become a Team Coach, or work internationally.


Be generous with your time for your junior coaches, make them feel valued and a part of the coaching team.


Praise their development within the program, acknowledge good coaching when you see it!


Help them develop their future opportunities by offering to write references and letters of recommendation for college and jobs, it will be welcomed and are they are a nice addition to support an application.


Looking after your Junior coaches is a huge investment for your program they are likely to be the future coaches of your teams, who knows what that 14-year-old, leading your stretch class, will be capable of in the next 4 years…

 

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What Customers Say About BGU

  • "I attended your course in Essex this weekend and wanted to give some feedback. Myself and the other girls from my team who attended have all cheered for a long time and still learnt a lot of invaluable new skills. The course instructors, Conor and Lisa, were so professional and helpful, as were all of the support staff on hand throughout the two days. I left feeling confident to go and teach the younger members of our programme safely and correctly, and also felt really inspired to improve the way we teach and work with the children, and implement new techniques and really work on the girls' individual progression. Thank you for delivering the training in such an inspiring, clear and motivating way!"

    Molly McBurnie
    2016
  • "I just wanted to say thank you so much for a fantastic training weekend on the BGU Levels 1&2 Course. I was very impressed with the whole experience, which was professionally run by knowledgeable and experienced coaches. The whole experience was extremely informative; the staff quickly realised that I had no experience in the cheerleading world, and were especially helpful in going over things I didn't quite understand, explaining things further to me, of which I am extremely grateful! I am very excited to implement what I have learnt."

    Jessica Waters-Leavins
    2016
  • "I just wanted to say thank you for my coaching qualification. I coach my old University team - we wouldn't be anywhere if your BGU team hadn't given me the confidence to stand up in front of 44 athletes and coach them this past season. Thank you!"

    Alicia Greaves
    2016
  • "Thank you once again for a great weekend. I feel re-energised and raring to go! Yet I also know what I need to concentrate on and work on to improve myself as a coach. I really would like to compliment the demo girls who patiently and diligently give up their weekends to help the future coaches and the safe development of the sport. So, thank you once again."

    Cathy Graham
    2016
  • "Just wanted to say thank you for the weekend, I really enjoyed it and felt like i learnt a lot from you and the others. Also the stunt teams were brilliant, so well done to them, too."

    Alex Fox
    2016
  • "Building From the Ground Up not only made me a coach but a better cheerleader. The hands-on approach is without a doubt the best way to learn the challenging sport. The course is delivered with an amazing consistency, having attended the Level 1&2 course twice, as a coach myself and bringing my coaches with me. While saying that, the wonderful people who deliver the qualification keep the course up to date with the ever-evolving world of cheerleading. The customer service is excellent and Lisa especially does everything in her power to ensure complete satisfaction. Each instructor has, on both courses, gone above and beyond. Hayden and Conor took time out of their lunches and at the end of the day to go over further questions or demos that we needed. Not only do i trust BGU with my education, I trust BGU in the education of my athletes. All in all the best coaching qualification for the developing cheerleader!"

    Cara McNally
    2016
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