Saturday, April 3, 2010


Hello friends!
I have the privilege of being a cheer mom AND owning the gym in which my girls cheer. I have owned Powerhouse Athletics in Southern IL ( for 4 years. We are a newer gym with only about 100 kids, but we are growing steadily. My youngest daughter who just turned 5 will be on our Tiny team this year (Embers) and my older daughter who is 8 will be on our Youth team (Blaze). My oldest daughter will also be on our Youth dance team, Rubies.
In addition to owning and coaching at a gym, I also judge internationally for many various cheer companies, including AC, WCA, USA, WSF, US Finals, Cheer Expo (Canada), Halifax Elite (Canada), ICC (England/US), Coastal Corp., CSG and several others. I am also a certifier for NCSSE.
I am excited to be asked to admin for this blog, as I think cheer moms can give their children the best experience possible the more information they have.
Unfortunatly, many gyms do NOT offer a good experience for their athletes. I have seen first-hand the damage it can do to young athletes to be involved in a negative program. I know because MY gym fell victim to the drama and chaos last year. We got an influx of negative parents who were bent on destorying the gym. We also had some coaches in place that were NOT good for our athletes. I made the decision to tear down my program to almost ZERO and start over. That was the only way to save it. AND IT WORKED! My gym is now drama free and a positive learning environment for our athletes! And we all love being there! A good quality gym should have these qualities (and all parents looking for a gym should checkmark these!!):

1. GOOD ENERGY (No drama or negativity floating around).
2. A QUALITY FACILITY (A facility should be large enough for athletes to train safely and effectively and current and well-functioning equipment should be part of their training regimen).
3. QUALIFIED COACHES (It's not enough that a coach cheered, danced or tumbled themselves. This a GOOD coach does not make! Coaches should have an indepth understanding of the sport and skills required AND be a good motivator and communicator.)
4. SAFETY FIRST (The gym should follow proper progressions and not skill-jump just to attain a wanted skill. Skill jumping is SUPER common but cripples progressions badly! For example, gyms will try and teach a back handspring before the child has a solid, hollow handstand).
5. COMBINATION OF FUN AND WORK (It's not enough to focus on fun, nor is it enough to focus solely on work. Kids need to learn to have fun while working... this is the key. Many coaches fail in this area and focus heavily on one versus the other).
6. PARENTAL EDUCATION (making your parents aware and educated is key to your gym's success. It will instill loyalty from them if they feel they are educated and their expectations are being met).

This is the basis for my new and current formula. So far it is working wonderfully and my gym is growing and prospering. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions about anything cheer related! E-mail:


  1. Hi all! I am a parent & volunteer of a Powerhouse child as well! This formula works! I am usually the first person you meet as you come in the door and make sure that I greet everyone with a smile and have any information they need. If I don't have it, Jen is right there to give it! A year ago about this time, I stood with Jen one night in the gym with our 13 members and was scared to death that the place my daughter had flourished so well in wouldn't be around much longer and promised her I would do anything I had to to I can't keep up with all the new registrations! It is a wonderful, positive place.Two months ago I would have said there would be one solid we are looking at 5 teams for next year!!! The combination of positive recognition and some very hard training on the kid's/coaches part is fabulous. These girls are getting new skills every week, which is amazing. In less than 2 years she turned a 6 year old that couldn't do a front roll into a child that is doing scorpions, almost has a heel stretch, is inches from a back handspring and working on a front hand spring, round off into back hand spring combo pass for the fall season. I'll stop bragging on my child now, because I could brag on all our kids. We are blessed to be part of such a great program.

  2. Thats great!! I really think that it's important to have good coaches, owners and parents. Alot of peole don't understand that all of these people need to work together for the best intrest of the kids!!

  3. Welcome! I am sure your personal insight into the Cheer Biz will be a wonderful source of information for all our Cheer Moms/Dads who join this group...Thank you for sharing!*