Pulling an all nighter to make cheerleading hair bows doesn’t sound that attractive. But for cheerleading coach Tammy Leishman, from Traverse City, Michigan, it’s one of the many minute details of the season that makes her smile.
Three years ago however, there were no smiles to be found on the then coachless Traverse City’s All-Stars cheerleading team. That is until Leishman, 42, a proud parent to three of the aspiring Traverse cheerleaders Mikayla, 14, McKenzie, 13, and Madison,10, turned a disappointing situation into a success. With absolutely zero cheerleading experience, Leishman stepped up to the plate, taking on head coaching responsibilities for the All-Stars while continuing her full time homeschooling schedule with her girls.
“I happened to be there when 12 girls needed someone to take a negative tearful situation and turn it into something positive and memorable,” she wrote.
Under Coach Leishman, the All-Stars, which are members of the national Young Champions Cheer America program has grown from a one squad to 90 active cheerleaders, ages 4-17, across five teams. While the program’s progress has been nothing less than stellar, Leishman is the first to admit that she has had to teach herself the fundamentals of cheer, dance, stunting and of course bow making, along the way. All said, the sacrifices have been worth it.
She has dedicated much of her efforts to attending stunt clinics, cheerleading camps, reading and watching cheer content, talking to other coaches - really anything she can to help her youth cheerleaders. She wrote, “It hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth every tear, smile, and laugh”. Leishman goes on to say that all the hard work involved with such an undertaking seems small compared to the impact that being a good coach and mentor can have on a youth athlete’s life.
Leishman is extremely thankful for all the support her husband Fred, has given her these past few years, especially when she considers his contributions to bow making, spraying glitter socks and the unending chore of loading and unloading the competition trailer. When she’s not on in route to the next competition or event, you can find Leishman enjoying the outdoors.
Leishman’s Keys to Success:
Love what you do and who you are doing it for.
Have fun with your kids!
Learn from your mistakes, we all make them.