Cheer News Radio want you to meet Scott Ralph, highly respected coach and choreographer. We talk with Scott about putting together a competitive level 3 all star cheer team. Scott gives great insight on what kind of realistic skills does a competitive all star team need in order to place high. He helps our listeners accurately assess their all star program and see if their skills would be better for a level 2 or level 3 routine. His insight can help your all star team perform at their best level!
The most important thing a coach or choreographer can do is understand the score sheet. Each company and competition has their own distinct score sheet. It is critical that you read the score sheet and make sure you comprehend all of the rules and regulations. All Star Level 3 can be the hardest level to choreograph. Levels 1, 2, 4, and 5 all have specific guidelines to follow with a few “gray areas” that can be exploited. Great choreographers will find the gray areas and utilize the team’s specific strengths to make the routines more interesting. In a Level 3 routine there are not many gray areas.
As a veteran coach and choreographer, I have heard coaches blame the judges when a team who fell scored higher in competition. The truth is, the team with falls may have scored higher because they were better at following the score sheet when creating or tweaking the routine.
In Level 3, you must have at least 90% roundoff tucks and 80% roundoff handspring tucks to get winning scores. In standing tumbling, you need 90% of your team to perform jump into handsprings, (a toe touch handspring etc.), to get winning scores in that area. If you only have a handful of cheerleaders performing these skills, it will be reflected in the judge’s scores.
Some smaller gyms will enter into Level 3 with a low percentage of these skills to keep their kids and parents happy. In the overall scheme of things, the coaches are actually doing the team a disservice. If your team does not have high percentages of these skills, consider creating a strong level 2 team. The kids and parents may not be happy in the beginning of the season, but as a coach it is your duty to explain to them that without these skills your team will score low. Let them know that the TEAM will be more successful maxing out the Level 2 score sheet. The judges will not reflect individual scores, so one or 2 talented tumblers do not make for a successful Level 3 team.
Hiring a talented and respected choreographer will help your team maximize the score sheet and boost your program’s chance for success. Although there is a cost involved for choreographers, they are worth the money. A solid, successful routine will help to encourage confidence in your cheerleaders and bring your team together. Use this opportunity to teach these kids a positive life lesson. Good luck with your competition season!
**Scott Ralph works at USA All Star Gym in VA. He has been coaching for 12 years. Scott is also a well respected choreographer with a successful track record. To reach Scott and find out how he can help your team, call (540) 446-1122.