A common theme I see in lots of gyms in lots of places is to use worn-out, old technical equipment to run their gym and practices. Computers running Windows XP, older software versions, a busted radio out in the gym… all these different elements that are tired, worn out, not efficient and not user friendly. But owners everywhere cling to the fact that ‘it works’. Why does my gym need a WiFi hotspot or nice radios to run practice? They think these are the details that just don’t matter to having a successful business or cheerleading program.
I am here to tell you technology is one of the BIGGEST factors to having a successful cheerleading program. Cheerleading was made for technology and logistics. Think about it. Unlike other sports we have to have every single person in attendance to get things done. Can you imagine organizing this and trying to find out why someone is running late to practice before cell phones? Or you need to call an emergency meeting at a competition with your team. Before a nice group text message this was practically impossible. So our first necessity that every gym should have is:
Each Coach Needs a Smartphone
Perhaps the gym does not pay for it, but every coach should be required to have a smartphone. There are too many apps allowing everyone to organize and do their job more effectively and efficently. As well with MP3’s off a digital player becoming the defacto way to play music at a competition it makes sense to have every single coach with the ability to carry around all the teams music easily.
Your Front Office Needs Macs
I do IT for a living. I understand computers, PC and Mac. And I am here to tell you if you do not have an in-house IT staff member (which you probably don’t) just save yourself headaches and time and get your office some Macs. The sheer amount of time you will save yourself from not dealing with any of the PC headaches is worth it!
WiFi for Your Gym
Let’s face it… getting choreography is tedious and not the most exciting to watch. I am a coach and watching people make can be a bit of a strain to get through, even when the final product is fantastic! But this could be a long 6 hour process to get there. Parents sitting around for the ‘boring’ parts of cheerleading, which there are some, need a way to connect and do work while giving up their Saturday. It is a lot more bearable to a parent to say, I have to take my daughter to cheerleading all morning, but at least I can get some work done while I am there.
A Good Sound System
Music in cheerleading now is expensive. You can pay up to $1500 for a mix of some of the highest quality mixing that is possible. To take that level of creativity and play it on a busted $50 radio your team can barely hear makes no sense. Invest the 400-1000 in a high quality stereo with good bass. You will be amazed at how much better a routine will be performed if the radio is clear and easy to hear.
Follow these pieces of advice and you can help your program not only run more efficiently, but be more effective!