Check out the Complete Guide to Conflict Resolution Tips For Cheerleading Squads! The cheer season is in full swing! You’ve been rocking your routines at football games and practicing non-stop in preparation for the competition season. All the members of your squad are balancing school, practice and their social life – and those busy days might lead to heightened emotions at practice or tension among teammates. Conflicts on a cheerleading squad aren’t uncommon, but it is how you deal with the situation that will make or break your team. Recognizing, addressing and putting conflicts to rest is important for a team that relies on respect and trust during routines and stunts. Squad members and their parents can work on managing team conflicts to keep their cheerleading community positive using these tips: Chain Of Command Each team will have their own policies that should help you determine who to go to if you have a conflict. You will need to make the decision on whether to involve the captain, coach or both. As a general rule, small conflicts between members that can be worked out with just a little discussion don’t need to involve the coach. It is also a good idea to make sure that at least one of your team’s leaders is aware of any situation that is causing conflict. Parents might feel the pull of their defensive nature when it comes to their cheerleader having a conflict, but that can actually cause more problems. It is easier for conflicts to get solved when only the people directly involved work through a solution. Parents should get involved if conflicts have escalated into bullying, abuse or other sensitive issues. Otherwise, they should support their cheerleader and trust that they will make the right decisions. Cheering Doesn’t Take Place On A Stage Don’t be fooled by the glitter makeup and exaggerated expressions – cheerleading practices, sideline performances and competition mats are no place for drama. Every team should practice open communication, which means speaking up about a problem instead of letting it build up until you get so emotional that you snap. Using insults or sarcasm when communicating about a conflict sends the message that you are not committed to finding a resolution. It is important that parents practice drama-free communication as well. As always, a parent is a role model for their child. If a cheerleader’s parents let their emotion control their conflict management, they will make it harder for their child to avoid drama on their team. TEAM Is The Only Side The team is the only “side’ that anyone should be on. The team should never be split between other people’s opinions. It is nice to understand where other people are coming from, but choosing sides is unnecessary and distracts from resolution. If you have a conflict, talk to the people involved directly instead of trying to recruit people to agree with you. If you find a team member trying to put you in the middle of a conflict, explain to her that you will not get involved. Parents may have a hard time with this one, but they need to stop themselves from choosing sides as well. A parent can still support and be there for their cheerleader without taking sides. Listen to their problem and help them come to a solution that considers the best outcome for the team. Overall, every person involved in a conflict needs to be responsible for their role in the issue, and for their role in resolution. You can disagree with someone fiercely, but still find a way to compromise with them for the good of the team. Remember, the other side of a conflict is that by discussing and solving issues, you can make a positive change that will help make your team stronger. Learn how to recognize behavior that is positive, and negative, for the team – not only in yourself but also in your teammates and your supporters – and take steps to acknowledge both in a healthy way. Have your own tips for solving team conflicts? Share with our readers in the comments below!