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Christy Mitchinson

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Coach's Eye: An App Review

Monday April 21, 2014
Checking Body Alignment With Coach's Eye

Coaches take note! If you aren't using Coach's Eye in your practices you are missing out on one of the best ways to troubleshoot and perfect skills.

Coach's Eye, an application for smartphones and tablets, allows you to video your athletes, slow down the video, identify good and bad technique, and make notations on the video for reviewing with your athletes-- making it an invaluable resource for coaches and athletes alike.

That's right, athletes. You can have friends and team mates video you with the app on your phone or tablet so you can study and perfect your technique.

Check out my review of the Coach's Eye App and let me know if you or your coach uses it and what you think of it!

Sunday Skills: The Straight-Up Extension

Sunday April 20, 2014
Straight-Up Extension

This Sunday, we are learning the Straight-Up Extension! This stunt is legal in high school and at USASF Level 2, but should only be attempted by teams who have mastered preps, cradles, and press-up extensions. The Straight-Up extension is a visually pleasing skill to add into your routines, thanks to its height.

While it may look challenging, many stunt groups will find the straight-up extension easier to master than the press-up extension because they can use the momentum from throwing the flyer's weight to lift the stunt through to the top.

Don't forget-- you need a qualified coach and safety mats to perform all stunting skills. Be sure to be safe whether learning a new skill or practicing one you have done a million times.

If your stunt group is ready for a new challenge, check out Sunday Skills: The Straight-Up Extension.

Chatting With Shanika Caudle

Saturday April 19, 2014
Shanika & Friends

Behind every successful program is at least one coach with the heart and drive to make a difference in the lives of their athletes. In the case of FAME All Stars, there are many coaches who fit that description. I asked Phil Logan to recommend a coach I could profile who goes above and beyond for FAME. He knew just the coach...

Shanika Caudle, a coach at FAME All Stars, provides a firm foundation for FAME. She is not only the coach for a number of teams, she is also in charge of registrations. That's a hefty job in a gym the size of FAME! According to Phil, Shanika is a fantastic coach with a big heart who truly puts the gym, her athletes, and her fellow coaches first.

Recently, I interviewed Shanika about her role as a coach in motivating teams, building athletes, and managing the busy office at the gym. Find out what she had to say in 'Shanika Caudle- Putting FAME First'.

Catching up with FAME-ous Phil!

Monday April 14, 2014
Phil & His FAME-ous Athletes

Many, many moons ago, I coached at a little gymnastics school with it's own cheerleading program in Chesapeake, Virginia, called American Cheer Elite (ACE). It was my first proper job as a cheerleading coach (before that I had done mostly volunteer) and it was where I met Phil Logan.

Phil had gotten into college cheerleading through a friend on the team and after a year he worked a summer for the Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders (FCC). The following fall, he came to volunteer at ACE where we spent several months coaching side by side. After leaving ACE, I toyed with the idea of starting my own program. I even began recruiting from high school teams I had done stunt and choreography camps for.

I drug Phil into my little adventure, taking him to an interest meeting, but it quickly became evident that I didn't have the resources or money it would take to compete with established programs. It wasn't long after that I moved to the UK. The same year, Phil, Andrea, and Melvin started FAME. Check out 'How Phil Became FAME-ous' to find out more about Fame, Phil, and the FAME staff.

Would you like your team profiled? Leave a comment below.

Monday Motions: 'Let's Fight'

Monday April 7, 2014
'Let's Fight'

Happy Monday, everyone!

Today, I'm starting a new feature- 'Monday Motions'. On one Monday, every month I will add a new cheer, chant, or dance complete with pictures to help you learn it. You can use these to boost school spirit during a pep rally, cheer on your favorite team, encourage your fellow team mates, or just have a little fun!

This month's 'Monday Motions' is a chant called 'Let's Fight' and it's demonstrated by Charlotte Swain and Elly Hale of Knights American Cheer, based in Warrington, England. KAC is an all star program, but we like to use cheers and chants to keep our teams motivated. Performing a favorite chant after a particularly tough practice sends everyone home with a smile on their face.

Does your team have a favorite cheer or chant? Comment below and maybe I will feature YOUR team performing it!

Are You Flexible?

Wednesday April 2, 2014
'Doritos'- Amy Loudon & Dana Emery, Knights American Cheer

Hi! My name is Christy and I'm your new Cheerleading Expert. I'm excited to get started and have loads of new articles and features planned, so be sure to check back often to see what's new.

This month, I am looking for the Top 10 Flexible Flyers. You don't have to be famous or even come from a well-known team, you don't even have to be a flyer, you just have to be super bendy!

If you think you have what it takes to make my top 10, send me a picture of your most flexible skill-- on the ground or in the air-- and answer the following questions:

1. What is your full name and how old are you?
2. What team do you cheer for and at what USASF level?
3. How many years have you been cheering?
4. How many times a week do you stretch?
5. What is you favorite stunt and can you do it or is it a work in progress?

If you are under 18, you MUST have your parent's permission to enter!

So, get stretching and send your pic & answers to cheerleading@aboutguide.com before April 21, 2014. You never know, you might just be featured on Cheerleading.About.Com!

Follow me on Facebook (Cheerleading.About.Com-- Christy Mitchinson) and Twitter (@AboutComCheer) to find out first when new articles are released and when contests are open for entry!

Is Cheerleading a Sport?

Saturday January 21, 2012
Do you consider cheerleading a sport and do you think it really meets the criteria to be one? Why do you think so many people say it's not a sport? Read this article, take our poll and be sure to leave a comment below.

Read the Article
Take Our Poll
Share Your Thoughts Here
Should Cheerleading Be in the Olympics?

CDC Offers Free Online Concussion Training

Thursday January 19, 2012
Concussions are often misdiagnosed or untreated and can be very serious injuries. Learn more in this article and how you can take CDC's Heads Up free online concussion training. Also, CDC has created free tools for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, athletes, and health care professionals that provide important information on preventing, recognizing, and responding to a concussion.

Make Your Practices Perfect

Tuesday January 17, 2012
There's a saying that goes, "Practice makes perfect" and it means that a perfect practice is the first step to a perfect performance. From planning your practices to safety measures, your practice sessions are the basis for how you're perform on the field or court. Perfect practices are as easy as 1, 2, 3...

More Articles on Health for Cheerleaders
| Eating for Energy |
| Dying for Perfection |
| Shout it Out, But Save Your Voice |

The High Costs of Cheerleading

Sunday January 15, 2012
With the economy still putting pressure on families financially, the cost of cheerleading is a concern for most people and programs. And it would not be surprising that your cheerleading squad or family is struggling in these stressful times. So, here is an article that will give you tips on ways to cut the costs of cheerleading. Also, be sure to read these comments about the high cost of cheerleading from other cheerleaders and add your own.

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