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#1 2007-04-28 08:29 pm

manzell
Greatest
From: PDXOR
Registered: 2006-02-16
Posts: 310
Website

Teaching the Cheer

So,
I'm coaching a group of high schoolers down in Portland, who effectively have zero experience outside their lunch time game.

We had our first games today, and they did fine. After the game, I said "do a cheer for the other team - something creative, you know? change the words to a song or something", so the kids huddled up for a few minutes and came back with a weak-ass chant which they performed while the other team wasn't paying attention. Clearly they don't quite understand the tradition of the cheer.

How do I teach them to cheer "right"? Sit them down and go through the cheer making process?


"This is why I'm hot."

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#2 2007-04-30 10:46 pm

weeznation
Push Pass
Registered: 2006-04-27
Posts: 70

Re: Teaching the Cheer

Manzell,

The cheer is dying or mostly dead in youth ultimate. I don't think I have heard a cheer in the last two or three years. I don't miss it one bit either. Always a big waste of time in my book.

Spirit games are taking over. Teach them spirit games. They are more inclusive than cheers anyway.

-Mike

PS - Whoever invented the cheer truce is the greatest hero in the history of ultimate.

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#3 2007-05-01 09:42 am

manzell
Greatest
From: PDXOR
Registered: 2006-02-16
Posts: 310
Website

Re: Teaching the Cheer

Mike...
I think I already knew that but I still can't beleive i'm hearing it. 'The Cheer' is part of the history and fabric of the game! Spirit Games (while fun and convenient) are to the cheer what those socks with a stripe down the side are to real stirrups (vastly inferior). It'd be a real tragedy if a generation of ultimate players (and I mean, something like half of all juniors ultimate is played in discnw leagues it seems) never really learned about cheering.


"This is why I'm hot."

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#4 2007-05-01 09:57 am

franknam
Air Bounce
Registered: 2006-05-10
Posts: 143

Re: Teaching the Cheer

I was thinking about this and I'm torn b/w the cheer and the spirit game. I like the cheers that say something uplifiting/spirited about the other team and I like the games b/c it involves everyone and is a lot of fun.

so maybe an idea going forward is... each team picks a most spirited player from the other team and announces it as sort of an "award" after the game (maybe a boy and a girl if coed) and then play a spirit game...

the cheer is great if you have creative types on your team. if you don't it's like sticking hot coals in your eye. if you never stuck hot coals in your eye and have no frame of reference let me assure you it sucks.


Support Youth Ultimate - Be a Coach!

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#5 2007-05-01 03:36 pm

bgoldfarb
High Release
From: Seattle
Registered: 2006-05-13
Posts: 21

Re: Teaching the Cheer

I agree with Mike: spirit games & awards (and the handshake line) are better ways to get the kids to know each other a bit and make the 'opponent' a lot less anonymous. The cheer is the opposite of that: most of the time is spent in two separate huddles.

Maybe we should institutionalize the spirit award for spring league games next year & in this year's league tournament. The kids really dug it at Spring Reign.

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#6 2007-05-14 11:31 am

dd
Push Pass
From: W. Seattle
Registered: 2006-02-22
Posts: 71

Re: Teaching the Cheer

The standard "end of game cheer" always seemed confining and I've been really psyched to see how youth ultimate is creating new and different ways to connect with other teams and be spirted.  However, while I agree with Mike that the cheer probably isn't long for this world, I'd say that (as coaches) you're shutting off an avenue that could help you build your team identity if you simply abandon (or, worse, discourage) cheering.  It really should be a coaching decision that is based on who your team is.  If you have a group of creative kids who you (as their coach) believe would benefit from coming up with end of the game cheers, then help make it happen.  If the other team doesn't reciprocate with a cheer, so what.  Your team will still reap the benefits.

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#7 2007-05-25 12:44 pm

barney
DiscNW Board Member
From: Central
Registered: 2006-02-22
Posts: 29

Re: Teaching the Cheer

Cheering isn't dead.  In fact, I haven't noticed a change in the 4 years I've been coaching HS ulti.  I have a hard time believing that cheering consumes much time compared to the spirit games I've withnessed.  I think coaches and players have different levels of comfort about connecting with others and expressing their emotions.

You might find cheering absent in single gender, and you might find a relationship between the attitudes coaches engender in their teams and how competing teams relate to one another in their post game celebrations. 

Also, post game acknowledgements are exactly the place where coaches shouldn't impose their own preferences.  Though, coaches should definitely set boundaries about appropriate conduct and should provide guidance when teams need it, students should be setting their own norms for how to acknowledge other teams, whether its cheering or spirit games.  There is no one right way to acknowledge your opponent.

Manzel,      I don't think there's anything you can do to teach cheering until they experience it for themselves and how its done in your place.  I would recommend priming them on the topic at practice and have at the ready some ideas when they find themselves at the end of thier next game.

-barney

Last edited by barney (2007-05-25 12:46 pm)

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