What they say is true: a body in motion stays in motion. Sport of Cheer helps kids of all ages to stay healthy by staying in motion and having fun!
Sport of Cheer’s Co-Founder and Coach, Austin Wilder, is a former professional cheerleader for Navarro College, one of the most prestigious cheerleading programs in the nation. Austin is a high-energy teacher and tumbling enthusiast who envisioned a gym experience full of energy, spirit, and an enthusiasm for “out-working” the competition. He coaches athletes to push themselves to become champions within their sport, and also champions of life. A simple, two-word motivational statement to reflect his values and inspire the kids is on the wall: “Out Work.”
Every class begins with a gym-wide warm-up and group exercise. The entire team of coaches and all of the athletes gather together as a unit to start off the hour. Set to a playlist that meets Austin and the other coaches’ energy, the kids begin a combination of stretches and introductory movements that create the tone for an intense class ahead. Coach Austin yells throughout the gym, “the more flexible you are, the better athlete you will be!” After warm-ups, everyone is divided into groups based on their individual classes in tumbling, handsprings, cheer, parkour, and more.
My busy, curious eight-year-old daughter is eager to learn as much as she can in her fifty-minute window of Coach Kelly’s and Jacob’s attention. What I love most for my active tumbler, is that no time is wasted waiting in long lines. The instructor sets up stations so that the kids only have one or two others ahead of them at any given time. Cartwheels, handstands, round-offs, bridges, and stretching all contribute to the goal of leveling up to handsprings and more complicated moves that she can’t wait to learn. But first, she is learning to master the fundamentals of movement and form to set a steady pace and build a strong foundation for her potential future in tumbling and/or cheer.
My three-year-old wakes up every morning asking if it’s a “SOC”, (pronounced “sock” for Sport of Cheer), day and although she tires out half an hour into the Basic Training class, it is the best kind of exhaustion that has her begging for more the very next day. With her hands planted on the mat, she practices jumping from one side of a mat to the other, which will soon become a cartwheel. Leaping from one pad to another, getting a feel for the balance and coordination are the skills she will soon call on in handstands, cartwheels, and bridges. Basic as it may be in form, it’s still a lot of activity! We now make napping a prerequisite for our sweet, hardworking baby girl before her 5 pm Basic Training class.
My eleven-year-old son jumps into the warm-up like he’s been fired out of a cannon, eager to get to work. I can easily recognize he’s hungry for some healthy competition, not just with other kids but with himself. He pushes harder each time an obstacle course is timed or a climbing height challenge is at stake. These movements recall agility, speed and accuracy learned in his former Tae Kwon Do training. This teaches him how to have fun while setting goals and working out in a way that works for him.
Between the high level of activity, constant movement, and unwavering enthusiasm from the coaches, our family has already found extreme value in Sport of Cheer’s action-packed approach to athletic training for all levels and interests. No matter what your family’s tumbling interest or experience level, your child is guaranteed to come out of each class having worked hard, played hard, with new goals set, and built on their enthusiasm for movement and fitness.
Sport of Cheer athletes are inspired to set higher, more ambitious goals both physically and mentally on and off the mat. “Out working” the competition is merely a bonus to the outworking they learn to do within themselves.