Cheering With Class
An Interview With Siobhan St. John From New Rochelle Cheer
New Rochelle Junior High, New Rochelle New York
What are your team colors & mascot?
Purple, Black and White are our colors. Huguenot is our mascot.
Who are your coaches? What kind of coaching experience do they have?
Siobhan St. John (11yr) coaching, and 12 years with UCA. Naishah Hempfield (13yr) coaching. We both cheered and graduated from New Rochelle High School and then came back to coach.
What are some of your coaching philosophies?
“Practice like you’re in last, and perform like you’ve already won.” Anonymous. Remember that you not only represent the school you compete and cheer for, but that you represent yourself and that is what is important. Represent yourself the way you want people to remember you. Our team motto for this year is “We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle.
Do you compete?
Yes! We compete at local competitions, as well as, UCA regional events.
What types of morals and characteristics are you trying to teach your cheerleaders?
As coaches we try and teach them about time management, education and making sure they stay on top of their school work, hard work, and what it means to be a New Ro cheerleader, by carrying themselves with pride and confidence and to always be encouraging to others. We teach them that if they don’t put in the hard work to get what they want then it will not come. What you put in is what you will get out. We teach our kids that it is not ok to give less than 100% if you really want to succeed in anything then you HAVE to give 100%.
Name two different examples of when your cheerleaders made you proud because their actions were classy and dignified.
1.) Not all of our girls get to compete at Nationals. When we told some of the girls they may be alternates they didn’t get upset, instead, they encouraged each other and the team to be better and continued working on their skills to get better, which made us very proud coaches.
2.) One of our girls broke her arm and the team had to change things around to make it work without her. They cared enough to make sure she knew she was still very much a part of the team, and that they would make her proud.
For many teams, true strength of character is shown during times of adversity. How has your team worked together to overcome an obstacle, or achieve a goal?
During the middle of the season we had a few girls who decided that cheering wasn’t right for them. We had to do a lot of changing of groups and spots, and the girls all stepped up and made it work.
What is your team’s relationship like with the other cheer teams they compete against?
We have a tendency to be to ourselves at times, because it is how we get focused at events, but when other teams compete and we watch, the girls are always supportive and cheer them on.
Do the coaches from other teams respect your program and philosophies?
Yes. We have a good relationship with the coaches in our tri-state area and respect them as well.
Yes, if needed, we can reach out to one another.
How do you think competitive cheer brings out te best in your cheer athletes?
Competitive cheer allows them to see what happens when you work hard and stay dedicated. The thrill of competing helps them see why they work so hard.
How does school cheer bring out their best qualities?
School cheer allows them to see what it feels like to support others within their school, and appreciate the support we get back.
What advice would you give to a new coach that is trying to teach her kids to cheer with class?
If I were talking to a new coach, I would tell them to ask their kids what it is they want out of the experience, and then to make sure she outlines what it is she wants them to gain from the experience. When everyone is on the same page it helps the process.
Siobhan St. John is a veteran coach. She is the captain of the Nets Brooklynettes Dance Team. Siobhan is known in the cheer community as one of the top cheer instructors in the country. She is also known for her unique choreography and intense work ethic. She is a role model for hundreds of cheerleaders and coaches across the country. To read more about Siobhan and the Brooklynettes check out this article in Yahoo! If you have a cheer coach or team you would like to see highlighted on Cheer NN Contact Us or Become A Cheer NN Reporter! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In or Pinterest!