Some things just cannot be hurried up
Published 10:45 pm Friday, August 25, 2017
I have three daughters that were cheerleaders, and my body grimaced as I watched the recent news clip about a Denver, Colorado, cheerleader.
Apparently, the child could not go down into a full split, and to try to help limber her up, the cheer coach was pushing down on her back leg.
Other members of the squad were holding down the girl’s hands and front leg all while the child was screaming from the pain.
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The technique the cheer coach was using to attempt to get his team member in shape looked horrifying, but then I began to wonder if this was merely a child that was unwilling to push herself to the next level.
We have all heard the old adage, no pain no gain. I mean just this week, I worked out with weights and left the gym sore.
There were also times in my girl’s cheer/dance life that they would come home complaining of aches and pains from practice.
So, to find out if the Denver coach’s technique was legitimate or not, I called an expert.
Debra Franco is a local dance teacher and taught all of my daughters. Although she is not a cheer coach, I am quite certain that it was through her instruction that my girls were selected as cheerleaders, and all walked away with no serious injuries.
During her classes, Franco always began with stretching techniques to warm-up the dancers’ bodies, so as to prevent injury and slowly increase limberness appropriately.
Franco, too, had seen the video clip on Facebook, she said, and her response to my questions was that this cheer coach was not stretching out his cheerleader appropriately.
Franco even shared a website, artistryhouseproductions.com that weighed-in on social media after this incident happened in Denver.
The website states that forcing a body into a position, such as the one the cheer coach was forcing on his athlete, does not result in stretching, and it could actually cause tearing and damage.
And as a personal note to young dancers, gymnasts and cheer leaders, the website stated that no credible teacher or coach would engage in forced stretching of a student like that seen in the video, nor would they show lack of concern when a student asked to stop or force a student’s joint past a healthy range of motion.
The website deemed this type of behavior as abusive. In this world of instant gratification, I think we sometimes forget that some things cannot happen instantly. I do not presume to know what this cheer coach’s ultimate goal was for his team, and surly he should be relieved of his position.
But one thing he may want to remember is another old saying, slow and steady wins the race.
Doing things the correct way may feel slow and sometimes boring, but in the end, the outcome is greater.
Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.