Cheerleading is not just a sport to measure athleticism. It is a commitment, and according to Heidi Reeder, (author of the book, Commit to Win) Commitment is the foundation of great accomplishments. In order to set great accomplishments, you must provide an agreement or a contract that a cheerleader and its parents/guardians must sign. This blog will certainly help you to understand why there is a need for a cheer contract and also help you to compose your own. If you don't have a contract or agreement with your gym right now, this is a solid sign to have one (if you already have an agreement, check out this blog to see if you need to update some guidelines). Feel free to scroll down and use this as a reference guide.
Why Is There A Need for a Cheer Contract?
As stated on a blog site called concordnow.com, contracts have many purposes and thus many reasons for why they are important. For starters, contracts are the main source of revenue and relationship building for an organization.
Why is there a need for a contract? It serves as a written communication agreement that both of the parties will get the best deal. It prevents any conflict with the parents/guardians and the gym facilitator. Contracts make sure that both of you will meet for the right purpose and also achieve your goals. Having a written agreement is a sign that the gym has an organized management.
Tips on Composing a Gym Contract for Cheerleaders
Make sure that you pay attention to the detail on your contract contents, as it will be the soul of your brand and core values. This will also protect you and your gym from any miscommunication with the parents/guardians of your team.
I. ORGANIZATION GOALS
Add your mission and vision statement to the contract, as it will help the parents/guardians understand what is expected of your gym and its goals.
If you have an organizational chart or description of the coaches and administration, you can also add it to the contract so that the parents/guardian will have an idea on who is involved in your organization. This will help you to earn their trust.
Make sure that the eligibility section is included in the content. It should describe who are the eligible or qualified cheerleaders to participate in the team. (must include the age and the ability cheer level)
When we speak of eligibility, you should add who are the allowed participants and what you need from them. It can be a physical exam form, parental consent, or allowed grades (GPA).
III. ATTENDANCE, ILLNESS, AND INJURIES
Schedule is important to any parent/guardian, cheerleaders, and coaches. Attendance policy and the arrangement of schedule shall be a part of the agreement. If any changes will be made, (especially if the competition is coming) there should be a prior announcement that each parent/guardian will agree.
Have the parent/guardian sign an agreement that they will not withhold cheer practice as a punishment for their child. Although it is significant for athletes to understand that cheerleading is a privilege, not a right. It will make a great impact and hurt the whole team’s routine when they miss the practice.
Provide what are the excused, and unexcused absences, grace period on their late and also what are the consequences of their tardiness.
In terms of injuries, your contract should state if a doctor’s note or a medical certificate needs to be provided, and if they are qualified to continue or how long they need to heal. If it will be a minor injury, a supervisor, or coach must be informed immediately, and it will be their discretion if the member should be allowed to participate.
IV. DUTIES AND BEHAVIOR
Appearance is an essential in any sport. In cheerleading, appearance is the proper attire that they need to wear during practice. It will help to make a list of what are the allowed attires, shoes, and other cheer garments. (Do you have any specific allowed practice wears, dos and don'ts with their cheer garment when they are inside the mat)
If you have any specific guidelines for behavior and character of each cheerleader, you might want to add it to your contract as well. It can also be applied to the parents/guardians to avoid any misinterpretation. Make a list if there will be any suspension, or behavioral consequences needed.
V. CHEER UNIFORMS, FEES, AND FUNDRAISING
Ensuring that each cheerleader gets what they paid for, kindly provide the cost and fees with a detailed explanation why it is being charged and if any form of refund will be given so that it will avoid any conflict with the parents/guardians later. It is very crucial to anyone when it comes to funding their cheerleading needs, proper explanation and detailed classification of the fees, (and reimbursement procedure if there’s any) and cost is one of the areas that you need to highlight.
In terms of the cheer uniforms, make sure that the parent/guardian understands the payment process. Include them in the planning to avoid any conflict. It will also help if there will be a separate waiver, or you can also include this section in your agreement, that once the order has been made, and the uniform is in production, a uniform cannot be refunded under any circumstances.
If there will be a fundraiser for the uniform costs, make sure to include a thorough explanation on how it will work. If you also welcome any donations, make sure that it is stated.
If a parent/guardian, or a cheerleader wants to quit, include it in your contract if they are still eligible for the next try-out or what the scenarios that will happen if they quit.
With an involuntary termination of a cheerleader, make a list of guidelines or code of conduct on why they are being terminated and what are the consequences that they will be facing.
In terms of refund and reimbursement, you should also state if they are able to get a percentage with their fees or if there’s none. It will protect you and the parents from any form of argument in the future if they wish to end their cheer agreement with you.
These are the brief tips to compose your own contract/agreement, and you have all the right to control the contents. It will serve as your protection and guide, and will also benefit each member and their parents/guardians once they understand the chapters of your contract. Also, make sure that both parties will be updated if there will be any amendments on your contract. As a gym and team facilitator, you have the liability to your team. Having an agreement will exercise both of your rights and help you meet your mutual cheerleading goals.
For more reference and information, check out these links to help you compose your gym agreement for cheerleading.
Centaurus Cheerleading https://www.centauruscheerleading.com/cheer-agreement-contracts