I have been married to Tim for 16 years and we have three boys. Jacob is a sophomore. He is a 4.0 student, plays football, does varsity track, led his robotics team to the 2012 First World Championships and is an individually state ranked tuba player in the Richmond Marching Band.. Nicholas is in seventh grade. He plays football and basketball and in his younger years was my "junior assistant coach" and loved every minute of it. Zachary is in fourth grade. He plays football, basketball and baseball but first and foremost, he is the BIGGEST Blue Devil Fan you will ever meet. I absolutely LOVE being the mom to three boys and after all my years ofcoaching other people's children, I finally get the opportunity to be the cheerleader I always tell my girls' parents to be!
Growing up in a family filled with athletes and having a dad who was a baseball coach, I knew I was destined to coach. While in college, I received a phone call from my former high school coachasking me to coach the junior varsity at Eisenhower and this is where it began. After returning to school, I took on my first varsity position and I was hooked. I knew that I wanted to make an impact on young athletes the way my high school basketball coach, Dave Jackson did. He was a man who believed in discipline, hard work and above all, the character of his athletes. This past February we lost Mr. Jackson suddenly but his legacy lives on in all who knew him. His life and his passing greatly impacted me as a person and as a coach. He was there in person when we won the 2006 MCCA State Championship at L'Anse Creuse North and I know he was guiding me through this years State Championship with Richmond. He truly is the reason that I coach.
My favorite part of coaching competitive cheer is developing young girls into the athletes and people they become. Teaching athletes to set goals and truly go after them is such a thrill. Yes, sometimes you fall short of the goals you have set but it is the journey that teaches you the most amazing life lessons. Being disciplined and driven, and not being afraid of going after what you want is the key. My teams have fallen short and have even attained the ultimate prize but it is the fight, determination and dedication they learn along the way that develops them into the people they are long after their cheer career is over. It is what makes them great students and even better young women. It helps them have great careers, be fabulous mothers and overall amazing people.
The number one tip and most important thing I have learned along the way is to not try and do it alone. Starting out as young as I did, i believed that I had to prove I could do it by myself. Boy was I wrong. It wasn't until later in my career, when a long time friend pointed this out to me, that I changed my mindset. My advice is to always ask for help. I have had many conversations with other coaches both in and out of cheer, officials, teachers, administrators and anyone that was willing. Do the same with your teams. Bring people into your practices, use coaches from other sports, check the Internet for videos that might help, determine what YOUR team needs and find the resources to help them. Don't be afraid to help others along the way as well. Helping others will make you a better coach and can even give you insight into ways you can improve areas of your own team that you didn't realize you could. Be sure to get involved in CCCAM and othercoaching organizations, find a mentor and be a mentor. You will be surprised at how much it will help you be a better coach.
Thank you to CCCAM for being such a great organization and for giving me this honor.
Thank you to Mr Jackson, my dad and all the great coaches both in and out of cheer for helping me to become the coach I am today. Thank you to my friends, family and cheer family for all of your support through the years. All of you have truly inspired me to do something I dearly love, coaching!