The following are tips that should be used at the beginning of a new
season and continue throughout the year when a situation warrants. Using
these tips will insure that from the time tryouts are announced until
graduation, all drill team supporters will be consistently informed.
Conduct a drill team orientation meeting.
When the new line for the year is announced, have each member of the team
attend the meeting with at least one guardian. Review the school and
team rules and regulations established for your organization. Be
honest and open about your personal philosophies concerning how you run and
organize your team. Allow adequate time for questions and answers.
Urge parents to call when clarification is needed.
Obtain written permission for all drill
team activities. The first permission obtained should be for
participation in drill team. Other examples of written permission
should continue throughout the year. Some examples may include special
appearances, auditions for a select dance team, and any extra expenses that
may occur. This confirms constant continuous flow of information to
and from the parents.
Keep good records. Again to keep
misunderstandings from occurring, it is best to document phone calls,
parents’ conferences, and conversations with team members. These
notes should be available for drill team members and parents to review
whenever requested. Remember to be objective in your note taking.
Schedule parent conferences. Even
though the best efforts have been made to communicate openly and
effectively, sometimes a private discussion may be needed. The time
and place are critical to accomplishing a beneficial outcome.
All conferences should be scheduled in
advance in a quiet, private business location (This does not mean an empty
parking-lot after a football game).
Allow parent(s) or drill team member to
express their thoughts fully before making any comments.
Answer and address each concern and/or
Focus on the issue and problem, if there
is one, and then find a solution.
At the conclusion of each conference,
summarize the key points of the meeting.
Always be prepared for parents meetings.
Don’t be afraid to schedule parent meetings to clarify major decisions
when needed. Some drill teams have organized booster clubs.
These meetings can be additional opportunities for the drill team director
to further communicate and inform. Always compile an agenda of the
meetings’ topics in advance so that you can be prepared and the discussion
will stay in focus.
Being a drill team director is a hard, but rewarding,
job. Through careful planning and good communication the relationship
with parents can be positive rather than negative. The above
suggestions are not specific because each director should develop
methods for carrying out these steps. Careful consideration for all
those involved by the drill team director should make for a happy and successful
Erin Venable Green is a former lieutenant for the Berkner High School
Bandoleras, a former Kilgore College Rangerette and
Swingster, a former
Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, and is now a Dallas Mavericks Dancer. She
is a graduate of Texas Woman's University with a degree in Dance Education
and English and the former director of the North Garland High School
Mam'selles. Erin served as an officer of DTDA and co-editor of Insights