The dedicated coaches who keep youth sports dreams and opportunities alive are the types of coaches who earn the Weplay Coach of the Week title. This week, Allie Levine, cheerleading coach for Signal Mountain Xtreme Cheer receives the honor for refusing to let any cheerleading dreams die in Signal Mountain, a community located just outside of Chattanooga, TN.
Allie, along with another parent decided to take over and coach the small cheer program when the original teacher of the class was unable to continue coaching midway through the season. Since taking over coaching duties, Allie has played a major role in the expansion of the Signal Mountain Xtreme Cheer program.
“Over the past five years, Signal Mountain Xtreme Cheer has grown from a small handful of kids, to a strong recreation league with over 75 cheerleaders between the ages of 5 and 12,” Allie says. “We have two squads that are divided by age groups and are starting our first competitive squad this spring.”
“The Weplay site has also been a critical link for our girls who have had to miss practice,” Allie says. “I can easily upload a video of the new cheers or dance sections we worked on at practice and the girls can practice right at home over and over.”
Before Allie started coaching, she was a cheerleader herself and says she experienced true joy while cheering. Now Allie has four daughters of her own, Lauren, Sarah, Hadley and Ava Katherine who are cheerleaders for Signal Mountain Xtreme Cheer. Clearly, cheer has become a great outlet for the whole Levine family. Allie’s husband, David, even cooks dinner for her on practice nights, she says.
Allie believes coaching is a privilege and this year is particularly special because her oldest group of cheerleaders will be heading to middle school next year. Some of these members are the first girls Allie coached when she took over the team. Allie knows that not all of the girls will end up cheering in middle school, but it is her hope that the core lessons she’s tried to teach about commitment, dedication, respect and encouragement will remain with these girls throughout their lives.
For the Signal Mountain Xtreme Cheer squad and coach Allie, this season has been full of good memories. Allie says she is looking forward to next year with a competition team in the works and she would also like to work with children with disabilities by forming a special needs cheer squad, that way every girl can experience the joy of cheer.
Allie would like to send, “a big sparkle and shine hug to all of my Xtreme girls! Always remember the words, of the great Bear Bryant, who said, ‘If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes real good, you did it.’ I'm so proud of you all!”
Allie Levine’s Three Keys to Coaching Success:
1. Give only as much as you want to receive.
2. Always try to learn something new. Challenge yourself the same way you challenge the kids you coach.
3. And finally - Love it fully or leave it completely.
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