Losses are part of any competition, more so in a sports like Lakeland cheerleading. If we can win all the time, victory wouldn’t be as special as we know it is now. Like many moments in life, it’s hard to accept failures, mistakes, and losses. If possible, we want to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the worst of it all.
In a cheerleading team, the one who deals with losses more than anyone are not the cheerleaders. It’s actually the coach. He has to speak with the cheerleaders, cheer them up, and make them believe that a loss was just one step closer to learning to win. While the process of acceptance is always hard for everyone, the coaches have a harder time because they don’t even have the time to deal with their own loss before they need to perk their cheerleaders up.
Be their strength
When a cheerleading team losses, the first thing they look to is their coach. They want to know if it’s okay, and it really should for any team. Losing is part of competitions. We can’t always win. As a coach, smile at them and nod. Let them know that it’s okay if they were not declared winners that night because there will be other opportunities for them. Without having to speak, assure them that everything’s going to be fine, and that you will all come back stronger than ever.
Talk about the loss later
Talking about the loss right after the competition is never advisable. Use that time to cheer your team up and let them know you are proud of them despite the loss. Tell them that you’re all going to be better at it next time. Losing is a negative energy, so avoid discussing it immediately after feeling down. If you really want to talk about why you loss, do it during training or practice, preferably a few days after when the girls have already moved on from the competition.
Explain the score sheets
Don’t simply point out what went wrong with their routine. Show them the score sheets and explain how the judges scored each stunt or routine. It’s better if their parents are there, too. That will avoid animosity between you and these girls’ parents. Your cheerleaders will better understand why they loss if you talk about the score cards. They will then also know what needs to be done next time. This will make them better Lakeland cheerleading members.