Professionalism, the importance of checks and balances and family are three of the moral tenets that ACX Cheer owner Randy Dickey lives by. Actually, if it were up to him to reorder those terms, family would come first, specifically Dickey’s wife Amie (whom he met in college at an Atlanta honky-tonk) and his 9-year-old daughter Macie. “I honestly think that, in cheerleading, the way you treat your family will show through in your character in the industry,” he says. “[When] people treat their family bad, disrespect their marriages or do things like that, [that behavior] says a lot about who they are in the industry. I believe that your family comes first.”
It’s a common gym owner conundrum: “My parents are researching event costs on their own and questioning my fees!” After all, it’s easier than ever for parents to get online and do their own legwork—since event producers are utilizing the same strategies that gym owners use to market their businesses, from informative websites to robust social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. But what does that mean for gym owners who get caught in the crossfire?
If Thunder Elite All-Stars coach Cher Fuller has her phone out while her Junior Level 3’s are running a routine, it’s not because she’s texting. She’s boosting the gym’s brand—and bonding with her athletes—by snapping a quick picture or video of their progress to share on Instagram. By now, many cheer gyms now have active Facebook and Twitter accounts and know the benefits of connecting with athletes, parents and potential customers on those platforms—but Instagram and Pinterest can develop that connection even further.
When Megan Eacret’s business partner left Cheer San Diego to start her own program—taking some of their clients with her—Eacret was faced with a dilemma: shortage of flyers. Rather than feeling discouraged, Eacret embraced it as a welcome challenge. “Some of our athletes who had only flown a prep or two as needed in pyramids were given an awesome opportunity to develop their skills and become full-time flyers,” shares Eacret.
Worried about gymhoppers? Consider implementing a loyalty program. These incentive-based programs provide a win-win situation by helping gyms retain clientele—and giving those families a reason to stay loyal. At Charleston, SC-based C3 Cheer and Dance, loyalty rewards range from free uniforms to discounted class tuition to free contest entries. “Our gym greatly benefits from loyalty programs because it gets our families spreading the word about our gym’s many classes and programs, and [our various reward offerings] help keep the existing customers happy,” says gym owner Robin Ridout.
Fresh off Season Two of TLC’s “Cheer Perfection,” Alisha Dunlap’s gym and life have taken the spotlight once again. Find out what challenges and opportunities the exposure has brought this spirited coach and owner of Cheer Time Revolution, and learn what advice she has for other coaches hoping to follow in her footsteps.
It’s a memorable moment at Oregon Dream Teams, as an athlete throws a round-off/back handspring/tuck three times in a row. Mastering this new skill qualifies her for a special honor—getting to ring the gym’s dinner bell. Practice halts as everyone gathers round to watch the athlete demonstrate the skill and give her a round of applause. The bell is just one of many ways gym owner and coach Tori Cotton gives her athletes public recognition, whether it’s in front of cheering teammates or a shout-out on the gym’s scrolling web banner.
What is a coach? Is a coach a leader, teacher, mentor or friend? If you ask the individuals who nominated their coaches, they’d say a coach is all of these traits and more. AmeriCheer and AmeriDance are partnering with CheerProfessional to award the Coach of the Year award at the AmeriCheer & AmeriDance InterNational Championship, held at Walt Disney World Resort®, on March 22-23, 2014.
You may know Tanya Roesel as the determined entrepreneur behind the Midwest Cheer Elite empire, but long before her all-star cheer days, she first made a name for herself as a DJ—spinning at Cincinnati nightclubs and eventually opening for major acts like Prince back in the 80s. The road to notability, however, wasn’t exactly smooth: as the only female DJ in town, she was often told she couldn’t succeed because she was a woman. “I love when people tell me I can’t do something because it just makes me want to do it more.”
Randy Dickey of Columbia, SC-based ACX Cheer thought so highly of Kyle Wright that after cheering for ACX, Randy asked Kyle to run his gym in Charleston. “Athlete, coach, gym manager, Kyle does it all,” says Dickey of Wright’s work today.
Like many other cheer professionals, Wright was initially a gymnast. When asked to cheer in high school, he was hesitant at first but finally gave in because, “I figured there would be girls there.”