Coventry High School Varsity Cheerleading

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"Redemption" is just around the corner

Posted by cheerleadingchs on February 24, 2014 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I cannot actually believe it's here.

In just 5 days, we will take the floor for our shot at the NCCC title. (and Knight's Duel)

My mind and my heart might actually blow up.

I actually just started sweating thinking about it. That's how excited/nervous I am. I might actually puke this year when the girls take the floor from nerves. I want SO BADLY for them to nail this routine and take home a trophy (I won't be picky about which long as it comes with either a 1st Place, 2nd Place or 3rd Place title) :D

Basketball games are all over for us for the season which means this whole week we can dedicate to just ourselves! 3 practices (hopefully the darn snow stays away!!)

I love this routine. It has so much potential and I just want the girls to match that potential. We've kept the routine fairly basic, wtih a few things here and there that should be different than everyone else. Fingers and toes crossed that this, our final NCCC/Knight's Duel together goes our way!!!


All dressed up and no where to go

Posted by cheerleadingchs on February 24, 2014 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

So a couple of weks ago we were supposed to have attended the Windsor Warrior Challenge and we were all kinds of excited... however....then snow came and ruined the whole thing! The competition was postponed to last Thursday and we could not attend due to it being our Senior Night. We ended up holding a great practice that Saturday morning however and really made use of our time. We're down to 11 girls after losing 2 to injury this that was that.. pretty uneventful "competition weekend"

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger....

Posted by cheerleadingchs on February 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

So last night we had a great practice.. dress rehearsal, things were going very well. One of our back spots was practicing her backhandspring, and something didn't feel right. Long story short, she's got a badly sprained elbow and is out for 4-6 weeks which takes us clear through the remainder of the season.

Resilience, thy name is Coventry Cheerleading. We will pull ourselves up and make changes, like we ALWAYS do. No one quite understand what this little squad goes through year after year. Many schools we compete against have an outpouring of people who do cheerleading and have bodies to spare...we don't. But the girls we do have are there because they want to be. They have a spirit that refuses to be stomped out no matter what comes their way. This Saturday will be no different.

We will make some quick changes to the opening pyramid and that will be that and we will look ahead to the next 2 weeks and do everything we can to make minor tweaks/adjustments. I've taken a look at formations and it looks like the dance will be no sweat to fix, literally just shifting everyone over one spot will fix the formations, which is good news. The biggest bummer is that we will not be able to do the pyramid we had planned on doing, however we will roll with it, and figure it out.

They WILL put on the performance of their lives in 2 weeks, just wait and see. If there's one thing I know about this team it's that somehow, someway, they pull it out in the end.

A setback, but So excited for Saturday!

Posted by cheerleadingchs on February 10, 2014 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

How did these last 2 weeks fly by so quickly!??

This weekend is the Warrior Challenge and just 2 weeks later is the "big show" - NCCC & Knight's Duel. (!!) Awesome news regarding this weekend - due to so many teams registering, the competition has been broken down into Small Varsity and Large Varsity. So there are 7 teams competiting in our division, most are very good programs, so it will be a challenge, but I plan on us holding our own.

We've been working hard to prepare for this weekend. 2 weeks ago, we lost our Senior Flyer due to a re-injury (broken ankle, she literally stepped on a foot of someone else and rolled it which caused it to break again). So we've had to make some adjustments to the routine, but we're hanging in there and keeping our spirits high.

We went with a simpler pyramid for this coming weekend and then we will focus on our advanced pyramid over the next 2 weeks for the end of the season. We had a great practice early last Saturday morning and we should be running our routine full out tomorrow night (we like to bring it right down to the wire!) ;)

I spent HOURS Saturday (literally hours) watching cheerleading competitions. UCA High School Nationals was this weekend so I watched that live in the evening and then watched a recorded competition that was held at Woodland Regional High School earlier that mornning that was up on Youtube already (kudos to WRHS for getting it posted so quickly!) I couldn't fall asleep for like 45 minutes afterward because I was so excited about practicing this week and getting ready for competition.

I have high hopes for this weekend, high hopes for a solid, clean routine. That's all you can hope for. Go out there and do your best, and let the judges sort it out. Everyone in this sport knows that on any given day, any given moment, anything can happen. Any squad can fall and any squad can have a perfect day. A missed foot during a pyramid, a long fingernail, a stepped on sign or pom...anything, can change the results and the outcome.



Staying Healthy is our Biggest Battle as we prepare for the Warrior Challenge!

Posted by cheerleadingchs on January 27, 2014 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, In 3 weeks we will be competing in the Windsor Warrior Challenge (Feb 15th). I received en email today listing the schools that are attending and who else might possibly attend. So far there are 9 schools registered in our division! It will make for a long and competitive day - should be a great day and will give us some excellent experience.

Our biggest hurdle between now and then will be staying healthy... I'm pretty sure the entire team has had some bout of illness over the last month or so. I'm hoping we're nearing the end of that and we can have fairly smooth sailing from here on out!!

This is a very busy week for us. We have a make up game tonight @ 6pm, game tomorrow, practices wednesday & thursday and a game on Friday!

We have to work on our pyramid on Wednesday as well as begin to run the music portion of our routine..even if we're just marking it all. BY the end of practice Thursday we need to be running the music portion Wednesday at the absolute latest. That will give us 2 weeks of running the routine start to finish and cleaning it up.

This year has been a challenge...we started off in a good place, but between snow days, game re-scheduling, and illness...I feel so behind....comparitively I think we're about where we usually are, but the next 3 weeks are most important. After this competition on the 15th we will have just 2 weeks to prepare for NCCC & The Knight's Duel... which should solely be used to clean things up and improve upon what we already have, not change things drastically.

I'm very excited about the next 3-5 weeks...please send us positive & healthy vibes!!!!


Better than expected...

Posted by cheerleadingchs on January 21, 2014 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Saturday we attended CheerFest at Watertown High School, which is a competition I would recommend to anyone. Sherry & her crew are amazing and so nice. The Watertown girls are also very sweet, we wish them the very best fo luck this season! This was our second year attending, and I will continue to attend as long as I am coaching.

We went into Saturday not sure if we were going to be doing any performance at all. We worked hard and managed to finish learning the routine on Thursday night, however there just simply was not enough time to perform it with music and it would have been a coaching disgrace to have them compete. However, we DID perform an exhibition of the cheer portion of the routine. The girls had a rough warm up.. spacing was off, stunts were not hitting, motions were terrible -- our very first run through, they looked like they didn't even know there were motions at the very end of the cheer! However, in true Coventry High School Cheerleading fashion, they picked themselves up and they practiced the motions. We went over the motions to that section SEVERAL times before they went on to perform for real.

They kicked off the All-Girl Varsity portion of the day and did a great job! The pyramid was extremely solid (which was noted on their score sheet!) and the cheer looked pretty decent. Everyone looked like they knew the motions at the end as well! It was a performance they (and I) can be proud of. There are minor things that need adjusting and we definitely need to up the spirit level & tighten up the motions, but overall, a decent performance...especially given the are we or aren't we back-and-forth we went through all week as to whether or not they were going to do anything at all.

It was great experience for the girls who have never competed at a high school level before, and it was good for me to get some feedback on the cheer. The judges didn't really say much that I didn't expect at all, which is a good thing for me. I feel very good going in to the next 25 days as we prepare for the Windsor Warrior Challenge and then off to NCCC/Knight's Duel!




So... We're supposed to compete in 2 days....

Posted by cheerleadingchs on January 16, 2014 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

....and we haven't even finished learning the routine yet. :o That's interesting :) We lost 2 full weeks of practice during Christmas and New Year's break because of no school and snow cancellations, otherwise we would be fine to compete Saturday -- which is pretty awesome because we are rarely ready this early in the season.

We made huge progress yesterday at practice... we were able to run the entire competition cheer with stunts. We were able to run the actual dance sequence (the VERY end of the routine).. however the entire middle MINUTE was missing. We got through everything except the pyramid sequence and the tumbling sequence. We haven't even begun to do the pyramid yet or the tumbling. Both of which we are slated to do today. The tumbling should go pretty quickly, the only part I'm worried about is the pyramid because it's fairly advanced.

Because we already paid and registered for the competition on Saturday, I was told we needed to I'm not sure at this point what we'll end up doing. My goal is to perform the entire cheer, the opening of the music, mark the pyramid if we need to and then perform the rest from the jump sequence through the end of the routine....funny thing is - we haven't even put it to music yet! If we manage to perform anything other than our cheer on Saturday it will be nothing short of a cheer miracle!

Here's to what's bound to be a very interesting couple of days!!!

Cheers, Coach Erica

Tryouts Begin Tomorrow!

Posted by cheerleadingchs on December 2, 2013 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Winter Season tryouts begin tomorrow and we couldn't be more excited! We are expecting a small squad this year, around the same size as last year's team. I am looking to fill 12 spots, so I am hopeful that will happen.

We are trying a few things different this year. First, we are having the tryout dance available to everyone ahead of time, in hopes they will learn the dance prior to coming to tryouts - this way they get more practice and we can better judge the actual performance rather than just how much has been picked up on in 2 days. We are also focusing more on stunting during the week -- with the scoring rubric changing we want to focus on the areas we can score the most points - stunting being the biggest one. We have a 2 pretty strong stunt groups heading into Winter, so we'll be looking to fill that 3rd stunt group spot.

We are also having our first "Lock-In" on Friday night at the high school. It should be a lot of fun - lots of bonding, some practice, games, activities and food. A great way to start out the season and start fresh with everyone. Our first game is only 1 week later - which is crazy! Usually we have 2 weeks!

I hope to have a good turnout tomorrow! Fingers crossed!


Fall Season Wind-Down

Posted by cheerleadingchs on November 13, 2013 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, will only 3 games left our Fall season is winding down. We've been lucky enough that the weather has really been on our side this season. Last Friday night's game was our first really cold game. This Friday should be equally as cold (if not colder), but we really can't complain. We've remained dry, it hasn't snowed, and for the most part it's been pretty warm. We even got to wear our skirts 1 & a half games this year -- which is an improvement over the last couple of years! :)

Overall the squad has done well this season. We've focused a lot on conditioning and strengthening our bodies. Everyone has put in the work. I've seen no slackers and that's a great thing. I'm big on work ethic, honesty and dedication and these girls have brought that.

Jumps are looking pretty good as well, and tumbling has certainly improved from the beginning of the season! Stunting has been consistent, and hopefully that helps us have a solid foundation for the Winter season. We have 2 stunt groups with solid basic stunts: halves/reloads, fulls, show & gos. And our one-legged stunts are on pace to be hitting solid very soon. We've done basic pyramids and one group has been working on baskets. We're in good shape heading into Winter...probably better shape than we typcially are in.

The last few weeks we've been battling illnesses and holidays so our practice has been limited. Hopefully tomorrow night we'll have a practice with full attendance at least for our 2 stunt groups so that we can keep working. We only have 3 more practices left to the season (after this week)!

I'm also hopeful that round of illnesses will be over and done with NOW and out of the way before the season begins. We need to focus on good health and good grades over this Winter season. We will be keeping with the same level of intensity to our conditioning program which has been stepped up big time this year in comparrison to years passed.

Our Winter season Informational meeting is coming up on November 25th, with tryouts being held on December 3rd, 4th & 5th, our first Cheerleading Lock-In on December 6th, and the Fall Season banquet on December 12th!


Weighing in on the new scoring rubric...

Posted by cheerleadingchs on October 23, 2013 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

So I'll just sound off about the changes that came last night.

We were presented with a new scoring rubric. You can now score tenths of a point (they started this last year but the score sheet up was updated to reflect it) which is good b/c realistically there IS a difference between a 5.5 and a 5.9 and that should be acknowledged.

The biggest changes were in the breakdowns of stunting, motions/dance, and tumbling. What used to be 10 point categories are now broken down into 2 categories 7pts/3pts. Still 10 points, however now you are scored seperately on difficulty(7 points) and execution(3 points). I'm sure there are some seriously mixed opinions about the new scoring system, but from the first look, I am a fan of this change...of course once we start competing and we see it in actiont hat will really either affirm or reverse my feelings. :0

When I look at this system a couple things come to mind... first thing I say "THANK YOU!" from the teams that have limited tumbling ability because we used to score about 1.7/10, which hurts...a lot. And I'm using all possible tumbling I have: rolls, cartwheels, roundoffs and the occasional walkover. Even if they were the best forward rolls in the world, I still was not going to score higher than a 2 out of 10. NOW... I still may only get a 1-2 on the difficulty range, which makes complete sense, but that's a 1-2 out of 7, and I still have a chance to recoup 3 points based off of my squad's execution. So now I have the potential to score a 4/10. That's a 2-3 point improvement for my squad in that category. I love it. Now I don't have to force my squad to try things to scrape for an extra couple tenths of a point. Instead, we focus on really perfecting the skills we do have...and I imagine judges will be VERY picky, which is fine, it just levels the playing field a bit for us.

I can't decide if this same scale is going to hurt us in the stutning aspect..only time will tell there, but I think overall it's going to be a good change.

The other biggest thing that comes to mind is that this *SHOULD* deter coaches from throwing in poorly executed skills into their routines, which *SHOULD* lead to 2 big things: 1)Cleaner Routines 2)Safer Routines. Too many times you see a team trying to perform a skill that is clearly too advanced for their current talent level, and it looks like crap and it's a safety risk. A couple years ago (I didn't see last year) every single routine at States had multiple falls..likely attributed to those reasons. Coaches felt it was more worth it to risk a shakey elite stunt, than stick with a solid advanced stunt. The logic behind that is twisted, yet they had a point. I don't buy into that philosophy..mostly b/c my high school coach didn't either. She wasn't about flashy routines..she was about solid routines. She always told us "solid, clean routines will win every time" and most of the time she was right.

I try my best to coach with a similar philosophy. While I enjoy a little flash and flair, I believe that you need to stay within your talent/skill range. Sometimes that's difficult to scale back. We all start with a "fantasy" routine and then have to water it down a bit until it reaches a level that your current squad can meet. I think last year was the first year I coached strictly with that philosophy...we stuck to basic stunts/pyramids..and sometimes even those weren't perfect, BUT when the entire routine was done CLEAN (NCCCs/Knight's Duel) they would have beat out most other teams. So it does still work. That's true for stunting.. however NOT true any longer for motions, transitions and dancing. The emphasis is being put on faster, more complex, flashier motions. It forces us to get creative...which is something I love..I also wish you got kicked a couple of bonus points if you DON'T use a choreographer. :) Give us coaches who do it OURSELVES some extra credit! (it'll never happen, but it's nice to wish for)

There were a few rule changes that allow us to do some stunts that haven't been legal in the past, but nothing too crazy, just allowing for more creativity..which is always nice. I still have my "baby" of a creation that I am waiting for a squad of mine to get down so we can include it in a routine. Hopefully THIS will be that year!

Cheers! *\0/*