30-year-old Sarah Holloway knows the drill. If you volunteer to coach cheerleading, it's a year-round commitment. Her season launches during the first week of August and concludes nine months later. Our Coach of the Week then uses June and July or her "down time" to organize the logistics for the following season. Oh, did we mention she's also the president of her league as well as a mother of three?
[Coach Holloway and her daughter Anna]
"So often I hear, and I’m sure other dedicated coaches hear it too, that I’m nuts or crazy or should do less and should take time out for myself," wrote Coach Holloway. "But that's just it, I love coaching, it’s what I do best. So, at the end the day, while it’s not a paid job, I can say I LOVE MY JOB!"
Our successful coach and league president heads up the Swift Creek Flag Cheerleaders as well as assists with the Swift Creek Sailor Cheerleaders. She took on coaching four-years ago when her local league was in need of coaches for their younger teams. Though her own daughter (Anna now 8-years-old) was too young to sign up, Coach Holloway volunteered anyway and helped Anna preform as the team mascot until she became eligible to cheer the following year.
A former youth, middle school and high school cheerleader, Coach Holloway has proven to be a stellar leader and active sports parent. With the support of her loving husband Kevin, son Brent, 12, a tri-sport athlete and youngest daughter Lauren, 4, also a cheerleader, she's been able to expand her commitment to coaching and the sport of cheerleading. In fact this year, she not only led her recreational team to a State Championship title, but also secured a 1st place bid to the US Finals, to be held the first weekend of May in Virginia Beach, VA.
"Practices for this competition have begun and we are working hard to bring our community the recognition that comes from competing with other top teams in the nation," expressed Coach Holloway about the upcoming competition.
Like many coaches of the week past, Coach Holloway teaches her cheerleaders that their actions and attitude on the team and in school will reflect on them later in life. She further believes that winning isn't everything, but working as a team is.
The Swift Creek team motto: "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success."
Teaching young athletes life lessons as well as the fundamentals of their sport is key for Coach Holloway. Besides coaching cheerleading, she also works to share her belief in community service and self-esteem. She does so by being open and honest with her team about the importance of volunteering, mentoring and bettering the community. Coach Holloway believes that 90 percent of success is measured from the shoulders. Meaning her girls know that they should be proud of their achievements at the end of the season whether they place last or win the title. And that's the attitude they'll take with them to the national competition.
[Swift Creek Cheerleaders]
As you can see, Coach Holloway and each of her teams have been successful over the years because they focus on the core benefits of youth sports athletic participation: participation, family, communication, friendship, accomplishment and passion.
Coach Holloway, we wish you and your team all the best at the national competition. But your team motto says it best, "Working together is success".
Coach Holloway's Keys to Success:
1. Make sure everyone is having fun
2. Work hard but stay focused on the basics
3. Encourage teamwork
4. Respect each other