Sadly, the season of Cheer Squad has come to an end! We have Coach Ali with us to talk about the final performance and her thoughts on the season.

 

What goes on your mind as you prep for a performance?

You’ve probably been able to pick up that I’m usually a nervous wreck at competitions! I find it so hard to let go and just trust that they’re going to be okay. I want it so badly for them, and I often find myself walking through everything that could happen. I try my best to just enjoy my time with my girls and I remind myself that this is fun, that they’re going to try their best, that I’ve given my best to them, and that everything will be okay in the end.

What’s your personal mental pep talk before every performance?

Trust your training, they’re ready, they’ve got this, they’re smart cheerleaders that I know will do EVERYTHING possible to make it happen because that’s how much we all love each other.

Tell us about your most memorable performance to date?

Worlds 2016 was absolutely, hands down a major highlight in my career. Everything that we overcame this season, with everything on the line, those girls owned everything about the Worlds stage. Even after changing so much during Fight Night, they stepped on the floor truly with no doubts and nothing but belief in each other. The emotions during the routine and from the crowd are so difficulty to describe. It was a magical run through that I will hold on to for the rest of my life.

How do you do your hair/makeup on performance day?

I look like I normally do! But I do try and look nice for my girls.

What is the most nerve wracking thing about the performance?

Pushing play on the music. Everything hangs in the balance, it can go any way possible and we all have to live with the outcome, because you can’t get anything back. There are no do overs. You have one shot, and the second I push play, that shot begins. Ah! I’m nervous just thinking about it. I love the emotion and passion that cheer brings, I love the heart that athletes give and the unconditional love and support they have for their teammates. I want to see them happy, because I love them all so much and their happiness means everything to me.

On a scale of 0 -10 (10 being the most stressful), how stressful is a performance?

For me, a 10!!!

What is the best thing about performance day?

The best thing is the time I get to spend with my team. We laugh, joke around, chat, sing, dance, and just enjoy every second we have together. I also love seeing them get the opportunity to put on a show. In warm-ups, when they step on the floor, so many of these kids are truly in their element and live for this – I love seeing those dreams come true right before my eyes.

How long is a performance day?

The days are long, but I wouldn’t change it for anything! They will look back on these days as some of the best of their lives. They will cherish the team time, the moment in the spotlight and the friendships they’ve made for the rest of their lives. THIS is what cheerleading is all about, and this is why the sport means so much to me. Sisterhood is forever, and that’s what the Sharks are built on – I’m so so happy we were able to capture it in Cheer Squad. What a special journey we have had – thank you so much to everyone for coming along on our ride! To my girls, love you no matter what. xo Coach Ali

 

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