By Shelbi Allen
As competition season draws to a close and all the excitement and adrenaline wears off, many coaches are left wondering…what now? The usual hustle and bustle might have become normal and slowing down may seem difficult. However, it is important to find time for yourself and to destress a little before it all starts over again.
Start by setting aside a few weeks to take care of personal obligations like taxes, doctor/dentist appointments, chores, oil changes, etc… Be sure to pamper yourself a little as well, splurge on a massage or a new haircut and color! Do you have a hobby you have been neglecting? Now is the time to dust off your sewing machine and take some time just doing what you love. When is the last time you read a book for fun?
Off season is also the obvious choice for taking a vacation; get out there and forget about stunting and choreo for a few days and work on that tan. When you feel refreshed and recharged, use the remaining time to reflect on the previous season and apply that knowledge to make any changes that may be needed moving forward. What went well? What needs improving?
Off season is also the time to think about getting enrollment up for the new year. One excellent way to do that is through social media! Take a few days a week to share video, pictures, and information on as many social media channels as possible. Show off those trophies and pyramids on Instagram and Facebook.
One great way to maximize the visibility of posts is to host a like and share contest with a prize like a team t-shirt or cheer bow! Keep celebrating your successes so that others will want to be a part of what you have to offer! The more traffic a post has, the more it will reach, so encourage followers to comment and like your content.
It may also be time for coaches to go through their equipment and inventory and do any necessary cleaning or repairs. Likewise, now is the time for making a calendar for the year to come. Planning ahead can save a lot of stress and lost time. Making a plan while things are quiet and you are calm will go a long way to getting it right. Try making your planner colorful and fun!
You can also use this time to meet with new vendors for music and uniforms if you need to. Allowing extra time to shop around can save you and your parents a fair amount of money. Try to make these tasks fun and enjoy the creative aspects of coaching cheer!
Off season can seem slow and boring for those of us who like the action of competition, however if looked at as a much needed opportunity to recharge, plan, and refocus, you will see that the off season is an important part of the overall experience. Even great coaches cannot coach great when worn out and stressed out. Enjoy the time off!