TENIYAH WASHINGTON: Coaching cheer gives a new perspective
Playing a sport is one thing. For Teniyah Washington, a sophomore, who has been a cheerleader long before high school, she’s ready to help teach it to others. Washington has done cheer since she was four but started being a junior coach for the San Joaquin Junior Rams two years ago. She was also part of the team until she promoted and was encouraged by her coaches to come back and be a junior coach for the next cheer team.
Cheer has been a big part of her life since she’s met many people through the sport and found a second family to rely on. To her, cheerleading is not only exciting and keeps her in shape, but it also benefits her while coaching the Junior Rams.
“Everything I do at my practice I try to teach them.”
Washington teaches the girls some of the cheers she does for Stagg and since some of them may come in the future, she hopes to prepare them for her team.
As an assistant coach she gets to help condition her team and sometimes make routines for their competitions. By doing this, it helps her to understand her own coach.
This year, Washington says she had a rocky season since her relations with Stagg’s coach didn’t go very well. However, now that she’s also a coach, she’s able to relate with her coach better and has a new view on the work it takes.
“You get to see the other side of the story and you know the feeling of being a coach so I try not to do it to my coach and give her the respect that you would want.”
Washington enjoys going to competitions with her junior team despite a lot of work it takes. For competitions she has to wake up early, go on a bus, do the girls’ makeup, sit and watch other teams perform for almost ten hours until she finally gets to see the San Joaquin Junior Rams go up. Yet in the end, it’s all worth it to her.
“Once you go out there and see your team on the mat and hit their routine perfect, it’s probably one of the most proud moments as a coach.”