Yesterday went through my second AACCA certification class. This time my instructor was Mike Burgess, my last instructor was Lisa Moscow (former regional director for UCA in the northeast). Lisa was great, she was very experienced in the sport, and made sure to get the key points across. Mike had a lot to live up to, but I can say with assurance that he thrashed my expectations. I’m not sure what factor contributed most to my learning this time around:

  • The fact that I’m nearly 4 years older than the last time I took the test
  • The fact that I now run my own team, and have increased responsability
  • The fact that the money for the certification came out of my pocket this time around

Whatever the reason I was able to learn a ton more in this session than I had before. My favorite part of the course was when Mike turns around to the class and says “Those two chapters are the chapters that make us never want to be cheerleading coaches!” (referring to the chapters on our legal liabilities and medical conditions we have to deal with). It was my favorite because he read my mind. I keep asking myself why I continue to coach. There are so many ways to fail, fall apart, and end up in trouble, why do it? The simple answer is that I love the sport, I love making sure people are safe and educated and teaching people what it is really about, not what you see on TV or in movies.

There were many other aspects of the program that I think are valuable, and worth being published. It is my intention to go over some of the topics in the manual here so that we can increase knowledge, education and publicity (though I’m pretty sure very few people actually read my site with hopes of cheerleading expertise). If it does nothing else, it will keep me focused on growing in that knowledge.

The last note that I’m sure I’ll mention again is AACCA’s take on competing in high school programs. Basically, the fundamental purpose of a high school team is support the school and sporting programs, not competition. This is something I’ve been trying to hint at with my kids, but haven’t done an explicit job of explaining it to my program.

Okay, so baring the fact that I got more than 30 questions out of 100 wrong, I have four more years of AACCA certification before I take the test again!