This is a special CheerMAD blog post written by Meghan Moi who's been a CheerMAD to two daughters: one decided she didn't like Allstars and stopped cheering when she was an undefeated Cheer Athletics' Youth, Level 1 Kittykatz. The other, Boo -seen right, won the 2018 Worlds Championship as a Cheer Athletics' Cheetah and for the last two years has been an International Global Coed 6 CrewCat.
"What's awesome about her is she has been a flyer the whole time she's cheered but this year, they trained her to base as well. So she became a triple threat: She bases an elite, flies as an elite and doubles in her routines," Meghan said.
As a Veteran CheerMAD of 11 years, Meghan has gained lots of perspective.
"Flyers and parents often get wrapped up in making that (being a flyer) their identity and are devastated when they are grounded and a lot of times quit. I am so proud that she learned to base Level 6 so quickly and did all of it without a complaint."
Meghan wrote the following comparisons of "Rookie, Veteran or Pro" on her Facebook page and after sharing it on "The Crazy Moms of Cheer" Facebook page, a couple of other CheerMADs added to it (and credited below). I bet you find yourself nodding in agreement and laughing at at least one of her scenarios as you recognize yourself. I know I did!
It's funny to think of the things I focused on when I was a Rookie parent," Meghan said when I asked her how the post came about.
"Living in Texas, I'm bored during Snovid so I wrote this just for fun," she continued.
"Keep in mind this is just my opinion. Please don't get offended. We all go through it! And if you have your own example, post in comments."
The difference between Rookie, Veteran and Pro cheer parents.
By Meghan Moi
Rookie: Pays someone to do child's hair and make up. Veteran: Does hair and make up for child and for half the team. Pro: Do your own damn hair and make up.
Rookie: Follows the gym's makeup tutorial to the "T" on what to buy and it should look. Vet: Finds cheaper makeup but still follows gym tutorial. Pro: Lets kid do whatever they want with their own make up.
Rookie: Fights with child to tears, spending hours trying to get hair just perfect. Buys every hair product out there. Finally buys Pro's hair piece at end of season. Veteran: Kid is an ambassador for one of the cheer hairsprays. May use hair piece if they feel like it but also uses the cheer hair hacks they learned from other Vets. Pro: Kid does hair themselves in five minutes, but it still looks cute.
Rookie: Wakes kid up at 4 am to get ready for a 10 am meet time. Veteran: Has a routine down and gets kid up at 7 am for a 10 am meet time. Pro: Kid gets up an hour before meet time to get ready themselves.
Rookie: Videos everything and takes 10,000 pics every comp. Buys every single photo their kid might be in from comp photography. Veteran: Buys a nicer camera to take videos and pics. Screen shots video for own action shots. Only buys a great action shot, if there even is one. Pro: Screen shots comp pics once uploaded on line and posts the ones her athlete approves. Forgets to buy them.
By Melissa Heimbauch:
Rookie: Obsesses over child's team level. Asks why their child can’t be on a Level ____ team because they sort, of kind of, have a back walkover. Veteran: Appreciates how far their child has come and celebrates the team their child made. Pro: What team(s) did we make? Cool.
Rookie: Cleans shoes with their own whitening concoctions and a tooth brush before each comp. Veteran: Buys a new pair or two (or three) each season but doesn't clean them. Pro: Kid wears the same shoes for three seasons even if brown, has holes and falling apart. They are good luck.
Rookie: Searches high and low for the best "no show" white socks. Veteran: Buys a new pack of Walmart "no show" socks for each comp because kid already lost them all. Pro: Do you even need socks? How about "no show, no socks?" Fine here's a pair of Dad's. Deal.
Rookie: Hires a company to reapply crystals that have fallen off uniform. Veteran: Have learned how to reapply crystals themselves. Might even charge friends to do it for them. Pro: You will wear this uniform with missing crystals and rips until you are 18 or team switches uniforms. You will make it fit.
Rookie: Arrives three hours before comp, gets their seats early and sits there the whole time. Veteran: Has drinks at hotel bar until division starts. Pro: Tells kid to find a ride. (Brings own alcohol and has drinks at any bar until minutes before their team goes on. You will see them sprinting. Or just watches the live stream in the bar. Usually have talked bar into streaming it on a TV. Or just keeps refreshing cheerUPDATES on Twitter to see if we hit and watches Andy Simon's video after on YouTube.)
By Jenn Kot
Rookie: Stays with team at same hotel every travel comp. Veteran: Finds that mom to split costs with. Pro: Takes the cheapest option as close as they can get refusing to feed more money than necessary into this expensive. sport.
Also by Jenn
Rookie: Tries to fit in with everyone, thinking everyone has the best interest of every kid and team. Veteran: Learns to stay away from negative moms and not feed into gym gossip. Pro: Finds those few moms that you can trust and has a blast.
Rookie: Wonders why you lost when you hit your routine. Veteran: Wonders why you lost and points out all mistakes in opponents routine. Pro: Knows that even though you hit, that their opponent had a more difficult routine and might win even with a fall.
Rookie: Omg we are going to Disney. This is going to be so fun! Veteran: We better get a paid bid. Pro: No, I don't want the park hopper package. I'm over Disney.
Rookie: Watches every practice from the front row. Saves seats for friends on the team. Makes cheer faces and coaches their child behind actual coaches back. Veteran: Finds carpool and watches practice on carpool day. Probably steals the Rookies seats they are saving. No saving seats right? Pro: Uses carpool, another teammate to pick up kid and errands as an excuse not to watch practice. They might go have dinner and a cocktail with other team parents during practice as well. They simply are over the parent room drama. They always show up for the Showoffs though, loud and proud!
Rookie: Buys every blinged-out bow they can get hands on. Buys a bow to match every single themed practice. Veteran: Learns to make bows. Also learns to buy and sell bows on cheer groups. Pro: Will only buy comp bow or thanks God the gym isn't doing bows anymore.
Rookie: Buys all the comp merch at any comp. Veteran: Gets comp merch from big comps like NCA, CHEERSPORT, Majors and Worlds. Pro: "I'm not buying anything anymore." "I have a box full of comp merch you never wore." "Lets sell it!" Or "You will get a t-shirt blanket one day!"
Rookie: Spends a fortune buying everything brand new. Veteran: Is on all the cheer pages buying and selling used cheer gear. Pro: I got my one t-shirt quota for the season. Probably will post it for sale on flight home from Disney.
What I would tell my rookie self. CHILL OUT!
But enjoy it because there comes a bitter sweet day when your child does everything themselves. You will miss it for a brief moment then you will snap back to reality and you love being able to sleep in on comp days.