Expectations of Athletes and Parents
- Our season runs from June 2011 until May 2012 and all practices are mandatory. Practices will be held generally every second week through the summer months and twice weekly starting in the fall. Please refer to our website, www.westhalifaxcheer.com for the calendar for the practice dates. We understand that due to family committments, vacations, etc, summer practices are not as strictly attended. We simply ask that you let us know of the dates you will be absent. If there will be too many people missing, we may simply cancel the practice. Routine choreography will begin in September, so attendance throughout the fall/winter is extremely important.
- If a cheerleader is unable to attend a practice, notification must be sent to the coaches before the scheduled practice, preferably with 12 hours notice. If too many are going to be missing, we may simply cancel the practice. Please be considerate. Telling a friend to tell the coach does not count. You can email/call a coach or the communication manager for the team. Please send all emails regarding absences to email@example.com. This way, you will reach all the coaches at once.
- Show up on time. If a practice starts at 6 pm, please arrive a few minutes early so you can be dressed and ready for warm-up at 6 pm. If you will be more than 15 minutes late, please call ahead to notify the coaches as a courtesy.
- Every athlete is expected to help with the setting up and tearing down of equipment (mats, etc). When it is time to set up the mats, this is not the appropriate time to go to the bathroom or tie your shoes for 10 minutes (yes, we notice when you do this). You are a part of the team, you are expected to help. Please do not make the coaches remind you of this every week.
- Please do not use the equipment without the instruction of the coaches. When it is time for a water break, this is not the time to start doing cartwheels or flips on the floor. Do not do any gymnastics or stunting without direction from a coach. This is for obvious safety reasons.
- If there is a dance or other school activity the same night as a practice, please let the coaches know as soon as possible, and we may be able to switch the night the practice is held. We are flexible, but we need to know in advance. Dances and other activities are not scheduled last minute, so please let us know as soon as you know.
- After three excused or unexcused absences, the coaches have the right to modify the cheerleader’s position on the team (for example, if a cheerleader is a flyer in a particular sequence, but is missing practices, someone may replace her position as a flyer, and her position changed to a base or a front, etc). If additional practices are being unacceptably missed, the coaches have the right to remove the cheerleader from the team and no refund given.
- Proper gym attire must be worn at every practice. Shorts, t-shirts, tanks, yoga-style pants, and athletic-style sneakers are appropriate. Do not wear bare feet or flip-flops or crocs. For safety reasons, there is to be no jewelry, hooded sweatshirts, baggy pants, pajamas. Hair must be tied back for every practice and competition. Please do not make the coaches remind you of this every practice.
- Please bring a water bottle to practice labeled with your name. Please do not share water bottles. Remember to take your water bottle home with you. The coaches will not be collecting water bottles left at practice.
- The coaches are not your moms. We will not be responsible for picking up forgotten clothing or other personal belongings at the end of practice.
- We would like cheerleading practices to be fun for the participants and to make new friends. But when specific counts/instructions are being given, cheerleaders must PAY ATTENTION. There is a time and place for chatter (typically during warm-up and water breaks). The practices for all teams are structured. Safety is our #1 concern, and when we feel safety is being compromised due to inappropriate behaviour of the team, we have the discretion to react accordingly. Please abide by the following rules, or conditioning exercises will be administered (push-ups, sit up, running laps, etc) for each infraction:
- Stop talking immediately when told to listen/be quiet
- Perform skills when asked to (do not pretend to jump in the routine, or pretend to somersault, dance, or stunt. These skills will only get better if they are practiced. Do them every time).
- Do not talk during the routine.
- We do offer open practices to our cheer parents under the condition that the noise (chatter) level is kept to a minimal. . The ability to attend open practices may be denied on an individual basis due to inappropriate behavior. Please do not approach the coaches during practice or openly make any comments about the athletes and/or the coaching staff. See “communication” section for details on how to appropriately approach the coaches with issues/concerns.
- No cell phones during practice.
- If you are injured or have a non-contageous illness, you are expected to still attend all practices, but you will not be expected to participate fully or at all. Please watch for routine changes that may affect you. If you are sick with a flu or other contageous illness, please do not attend practice, but fully abide by the notification rules, and let a coach know asap that you will be not attending.
- Missed practices (either excused or non-excused) within 2 weeks of a scheduled competition may result in a position change or removal from the routine. This is not to punish the athelete, but to ensure the rest of the team is ready for competition from both a safety and choreographical standpoint. This may happen differently on an individual basis (i.e. Sally may be moved to a fronting position, but Suzie may be removed from the routine for this particular competition). Coaches have the right to change positions/roles as deemed fit for the benefit of the routine. Also, please note that if you miss a competition, all your spots may not be guaranteed when you return. You will still be in the routine, but some of your spots may now be different.
- If you or your parents take pictures of, or video tape any part of our routine or routine components prior to the first competition of the year, do not post this on the Internet in any public place (including Facebook, Youtube, etc). The routine is to be kept confidential within WHC until the first competition. Pictures or videos can be taken for personal use (i.e. used to practice a dance, or to remember counts). Also, when count sheets are given out, please keept these confidential as well.
- Show up ON TIME. The competitions typically start between 10 am and 12 pm. They are mostly two-days, so you are free to leave after your performance on Day 1, and Day 2, but I ask that if at all possible, you remain for the award ceremony and wear your uniform when awards are given out!
- Dress appropriately: wear your uniform and tie your hair up. Competitions are just that – competitions. They are not fashion shows. We do not get more points if your long bangs are in style by covering your eyes. Tie your hair back out of your eyes – no exceptions. We allow girls to wear their hair and make-up how they want to in competition, provided it is not an obstruction or safety issue. Wear your uniform for the awards ceremonies. You may remove it after you perform, but put it back on for the awards.
- The tumbling warm-up time is just that – for tumblers. This is not the appropriate time to “try a backhandspring.” This is the time allotted to tumblers to warm up before competing. If you tumble in our routine, you are only allowed to practice the tumbling you do in the routine. Do not attempt new skills during warm-up at a competition!
- Competition season starts in January 2012 and runs until NS Provincials in May 2012. All competitions are mandatory. A list of all competition dates and associated locations will be posted on our website.
- If a competition must be missed by a cheerleader, the coaches require at least 2-4 weeks notice, so proper preparation can be made to replace the cheerleader. The more notice we have, the less of a detrimental affect the absence will have on the rest of the team. We understand that emergencies may arise, but please be considerate and let us know in advance about planned vacations, religious events, etc, that may interfere with scheduled competitions. Also, please note that if you miss a competition, all your spots may not be guaranteed when you return. You will still be in the routine, but some of your spots may now be different.
- “Away” competitions are not covered under our membership costs. The costs incurred from travelling/staying a hotel/eating out/shopping are your responsibility. When fees are paid up, any additional fundraising profits can go towards the travelling costs, but only when fees are paid FIRST.
- A parent must take responsibility for you at an “away” competition. If your own parents are not attending, a designated parent must be deemed responsible for you, as the coaches will not do this. Please notify the coaches/club manager if you are travelling without a parent, and who is taking responsibility for you, and who is going to transport you to and from the competition.
- We, as a club, do not require all girls and their families to stay at the same hotel as the team. You are free to travel to the competition however you like, and to stay whereever you like (with family, at another hotel, etc). We may look into the option of renting a bus for travel, but this is also not mandatory We will book a block of rooms at a particular hotel, but it is your responsibilty to call and confirm one of those rooms and to make the necessary travel arrangements.
- Please notify the coaches and/or communication manager if you will not be staying or travelling with the team to an "away" competition with a valid cell phone or local phone number at which you can be reached. This is so we can notify you with changes to the competition schedule or other events.
- All cheerleaders will work together with a positive attitude and encouraging support for each other. Negative attitudes or mean-spirited comments from team members and/or parents at practices or at competitions will NOT BE TOLLERATED. Cheerleaders will work together with RESPECT for each other, and RESPECT for the coaches. You don’t have to like everyone, but you must be respectful of everyone.
- The coaches will be the ones to coach the team. Even if you have cheerleading experience, do not tell other girls what they are doing wrong and do not blame other people in your stunt group. Please get the attention of the coaches, and they will do the necessary analysis to figure out what is wrong with a particular stunt/jump/dance, etc. We will all need to work together. Stunting difficulties usually just require an adjustment in technique that can be corrected in few minutes with a coach; this is better than getting into arguments with your teammates about who's fault something is.
- We as coaches welcome all comments or concerns; just use the appropriate venue for this: email, in person after practice, or via phone.
- Any parent/athlete using profanity or threatening language towards the coaches/athletes via email/in person/internet will be asked to leave WHC and your money will not be refunded.
- All cheerleaders will show good sportsmanship whether their team wins or loses at a competition. Be supportive of the other teams – they work just as hard as you do!
- Good sportsmanship also applies when not in the gym at practice or at a competition. Do not use inappropriate language or behaviour towards another team, individual, or club on Facebook, Internet message boards, at hotels on away trips, at school or basically anywhere. We are a team that fosters positive behaviour and encouragement. If another club/team/individual is being disrespectful to you, WALK AWAY!
- All cheerleaders will be respectful of the fact that they are athletes and should not engage in any activities that will adversely affect their health (this includes drinking, illegal drugs, or other activities which may cause the removal of the athlete from the team).
Fundraising and Payments
- Optional fundraising will be offered. This is on an individual basis and is applied to your cheer fees. For example, if Sally fundraises $100 and Sammy fundraises $10, then Sally’s fees are less $100 and Sammy’s are less $10. This is to keep it fair. You get out of it what you put into it.
- Fundraising is not mandatory. If you choose to simply pay your fees out of pocket, you may do so.
- All cheer payments must be paid on the specified date or it will be considered late. Please keep these dates in mind when fundraising activities are planned. If circumstances arrive in which payments cannot be made on time, contact the coaches and a plan may be able to be worked out. Missed payments and failure to contact the coaches will be grounds for the cheerleader's removal from the routine/team, and/or a uniform will not be received. Payments are tracked in detail via the team receipt book.
- We issue receipts for all payments received. BE SURE TO GET A RECEIPT from the club manager every time you make a payment, especially if money is being sent with a child. Our payment tracking goes strictly by the receipt book, be sure your payments are in it, especially if they are in cash. You may use these receipts on your taxes.
- The final payments are due early December. We realize that this is close to Christmas. However, we feel that we give plenty of notice as to when the payments are due, and we offer the option of paying in installments. Please do not use “Christmas” as an excuse as to why fees are not paid. Competition fees must be paid and uniforms/clothing must be ordered before January, and Christmas is not a consideration for these vendors.
- Please be aware that (after November 1st, 2011) if your child is removed from the team due to own free will, injury, attitude, failure to attend practices, that money paid to date will not be refunded. If the athlete starts a job or new activity that interferes with the cheer schedule such athlete will be removed from the team and your money will not be refunded. You may be able to re-sell the uniform to the club or an individual, but that is not guaranteed.
- The first payment is due the end of July, and is non-refundable if the athlete quits the team in or after September 2011. This is to cover the costs incurred during the summer practices.
- The payment that is due at the end of September is refundable if the cheerleader quits or is removed from the team before the 1st of November. After November 1st, all fees paid to date are non-refundable.
- The uniform will be yours to keep and use for a few more years. All teams will be ordering the same uniform (with the exception of the mini team), so as you move up in the club you only need to purchase a new uniform if it is outgrown. We will be using the same style for a minimum of 3 years.
- If your uniform is lost or stolen it is your responsibility to replace it.
- Please keep the uniform clean – wash in cold water. You are not only representing yourself, but our club. Please take pride in our uniforms!
- We will purchase back used uniforms at a price of $150.00 (a discount of 50%) for possible re-sale to other team members. You may choose to privately sell your uniform to another member directly for a different price – that is your choice.
- Any additional clothing purchased by the team is optional (i.e. jackets, sweaters, pants, etc). You may use fundraising profits to pay for these items, but only after your fees are paid up first. If an individual’s fees are still outstanding, money for these additional clothing items that is brought in will be applied to the fee balance, and no clothing will be ordered for the individual.
- Each team will have a communications manager who will be responsible for notifying team members in the event of practice cancellations or changes to schedules. Make sure you know who this person is, and notify her (and the coaches) of any changes to address, phone number, or email.
- The www.westhalifaxcheer.com website and email is used as a tool for communicating schedules, upcoming events, and cancellations, please check frequently for updates. This is especially important since all the team members do not attend the same schools, so it is important that we can reach everyone easily and frequently.
- If you are not receiving emails from either the coaches or the communications manager, please notify the coaches ASAP. If you do not have access to a computer, please let us know and we will make other arrangements.
- Practices often do get cancelled over the winter months due to poor weather conditions. If this happens you will be notified via email and/or phone call from our communication managers. Typical rule of thumb is that if school is cancelled, so is practice. For weekend practices, the coaches usually make the decision at least 2 hours prior to practice. If the weather is questionable, please make yourself available to the communications manager to be notified of a cancellation. If you can personally not attend due to the weather, please notify the coaches ASAP.