I thought it would be worthwhile to publish my expenses for my college team last year. This is useful for anyone who is interested in calculating whether or not you can afford to an open cheerleading team. I cheered for CheerGyms.com. They were a good team and I will talk about my pros and cons a bit lower, but first lets look at the expenses.
|Tuition and Competition Fees, including uniform costs
|Nationals Hotel Bill
|Gas Costs to travel to practice. Assuming 3 practices a month (to account for holidays and weeks off), cost of 2.50/gallon, and 20 miles/gallon on the car
|Gas for nationals, same figures as above, traveling distance about 404 miles
|Gas for local competitions in Sacramento
This is just the hard numbers and I’ve gone a little soft on the miles and gas price. The point, however, is still relatively strong: I spent nearly $2,000.00 no an open team last year. I had a good time, but that is really expensive, so I’ve decided not to cheer again next year while I try to get my finances in order.
I’d also like to list some of the pros and cons of my experience at CheerGyms.com so that others can decide if it is the correct place for them:
- Great History – CheerGyms.com has been around for many years and is a staple in the local cheerleading community. Even those programs that are run by other coaches normally have some connection back to CheerGyms.
- Great Administrators – My experience with the administrators of the program was great. Morton and Danny are the co-owners of the gym and all my experiences with them were very positive. They are strong leaders and GREAT coaches
- Great Facility – CheerGyms have two gyms, one in San Jose and one in Concord. They are both relatively large facilities as cheerleading space in the bay area goes. Their gym in Concord is the biggest gym I’ve been to within comfortable driving distance. Both gyms have full cheerleading floors with relatively high ceilings. Both gyms have at least one tumble track and a crash mat.
- Good Teammates – Throughout the year we had our disagreements, but in general the team was full of good people. I wasn’t best friends with everyone, but I felt that everyone cared about the program, and I was very excited to be a part of it.
- Lack of Skill Practice – This is part of the way that CheerGyms work, but they don’t get a chance to factor in skill growth into practice. We only met for about 2 hours a week, so this is acceptable, but it is really something I enjoy doing.
- Lack of Consistent Leadership at Practice – Throughout the year, we shifted coaches. It was not entirely avoidable as our head coach had his hip replaced, but still it would have been good to have a strong coaching experience. I do not feel I had one. I also think that this doesn’t persist to other teams at the gym, I think it is unique to the college team.
- No Coed Nature – this team is very small coed, despite the fact that we had 7 to 9 guys on the team. Guys did not do any direct toss stunts. While this is the nature of the business of most teams in the area, it was in stark contrast to what I was looking for.
- Lack of Team Togetherness – I never really felt part of the team. There did not appear to be too much team bonding and it made for a very disjoint feeling. This is something I’ve had on my previous All Star teams and I missed it sorely. Again, I think this is unique to the College team due to the distances that people live from the gym, and how often practices are.
- Distance – This one isn’t really the gyms fault, but mine for joining the gym. It was way too far for me. Nearly an hour every sunday morning each way. This was just too much.
All of that measured, I’m glad I had an opportunity to be a part of that program. I wish them all the best, but for me it just doesn’t work.