Yesterday was the dance team's first competition. It was districts, we competed against 6 teams, and we didn't place. First place went to Cascade, the team to beat. They were AMAZING! Not a finger out of place, great music, high energy choreography.
We took our state pom routine. The same one we will compete against these teams with at the state competition. Against Cascade.
I'm not a very eloquent coach, who knows what to say when their team is disappointed. It wasn't their best performance. Some were scared, there were plenty of mistakes, and their energy could be higher. Some even seem bored with it. They still can't get their turns in second, or triples.
I did not say they sucked. I did not say they were worthless or horrible. I also didn't say that the team that took third didn't deserve it, that it was simple and wasn't sharp. I also didn't give the excuse that Cascade has year round strenous practice with a fully mirrored dance studio and a feed-in program that trains them from toddlers.
I also didn't say what I fear they feel: what is the point, if we are going to take this same routine to state, how will we get good enough to beat Cascade in 2 weeks?
What I did say was that they did well, I was proud of them, and now we know what we need to work on. It's just that I don't know how to do it. What do I say to get them fired up, to do their best?
And we will continue to face challenges after State. They seem to think state is "graduation" and that things will get easier afterwards. Moving ahead in the season, I want them to choreograph new routines to perform at every other home game. They have been resistent to this and to practice every day for 2 hours. When I told them about performing at the US Cellular center, one said we could take our hip hop routine from state. I said no, they would be doing a new routine. The seniors balked. How do I get them past that?