Author Archives: Linda Rae Chappell

We here at SpiritWorks pride ourselves on being exactly who we are, pushing athletes and coaches outside of their comfort zone.  That often means going outside of our own.  We call this “Thinking Outside the Megaphone“.

The number one focus of our camps is that athletes and coaches walk away saying-WOW:  WOW, that was fun – WOW, we learned a lot – WOW, look at what we accomplished!  The fun factor is priority in everything we do.  If it is boring, it’s out.

Our unity megaphone

The unity megaphone 

Completed Unity Meg

Completed Unity Meg

This weekend was the first of our “Creativity Sessions”.  We bring in longtime friend and choreographer Beed Harris and Katie Stiles who now serves us as a creativity consultant.

The creative process is one of the most fun and can be one of the most frustrating processes around.

After choosing words and dissecting ideas for cheers, chants, music, stunts, etc. all of staff come together to provide some input.  We can get a little “out there” on some things but we believe it is taking those chances, not being afraid to have high school girls give us the look of “you’ll never catch me doing that in front of people dead or alive”, and going for it full force that define SpiritWorks Cheer Camps!!!

Letting go of the fear of judgement and fear of failure liberates the creative process and welcomes all ideas – traditional or non-traditional, goofy or fun, far-fetched or rockin hot!  Creating an environment to “Think Outside the Megaphone” is the foundation for all that we do.

The tractor meg!

The tractor meg!

Goal setting Megs!

Goal setting Megs!

We hope to encourage and inspire a little “Thinking Outside the Megaphone” at our camps.  By being exactly who we are and having a blast while teaching.  Selling our campers on our fun factor helps them sell it to their crowds.  Recently, we had a team tell us their crowd now starts one of our crowd involvement cheers on their own because they love it that much – How fun is that?!

This kind of feedback just fuels the fire.  Yes, all of us at SpiritWorks Cheer are so lucky and so honored to serve the coaches and athletes we do.  What an amazing job we have!

Now, I am a little biased, but our material this year ROCKS!  Our campers are guaranteed fun, excitement and some awesome ideas to help launch their year.  This last creativity weekend was just the start of what is going to be an awesome summer.  Thanks to our staff and our friends who come in to help.  It was some hard work but it is definitely worth it.  We can hardly wait!!!

Jesse Shroyer – VP of Spirit Development

What a great weekend in Wichita last weekend meeting with some amazing and dedicated people at the KCCA Annual Conference at Andover Central High School.  I can’t say it enough – the people involved in this sport truly have a passion for it.  Real passion comes from the heart and is contagious, much like a smile or the plague 🙂

It is so refreshing and energizing to be around people who simply shine from within and are doing something they love.

Members of the KCCA Board including President, Desirae Moreno (far left)

Members of the KCCA Board including President, Desirae Moreno (far left)

Desirae Moreno – President, KCCA has been building this organization from the ground up over the last few years in an effort to unite cheer coaches from across the state of Kansas.  To educate about new rules, learn about festivals and competition, stunt safety, encouraging community service, awarding scholarships and more – the KCCA is truly on it’s way to be an outstanding resource for coaches.

Among the coaches and sponsors, vendors sat up outside to talk with attendees and the principal of Riley High School even stopped by to support his coaches as they accepted the Community Service Award the Riley Cheer Team had won.  Administrative support at its finest!

SpiritWorks Cheer is excited to be supporting this organizations mission however we can. If you would like more information on the Kansas Cheer Coaches Association please visit their website at www.kansascheercoaches.com.

See you again soon Kansas!

Jesse – VP of Spirit Development, SpiritWorks Cheer!

Coaches LOVED this shirt!

Do what you LOVE and LOVE what you do 

Whew!! If you have kept up with our schedule you know we have been busy with tryouts all over the Kansas City metro area.  Tryout season is my favorite time of year because we get to see new talent, improved talent and coaches who are so excited for their upcoming year. This is the time of year that school is starting to wrap up but cheer season is just getting started!

After tryouts come parent meetings, practices, learning competition routines, a lot of early morning practices getting ready for competition and all throughout summer break – this sport is not a part time commitment.

As a judge for tryouts for many years I see some amazing things (ok, and some not-so-amazing things) but those moments that stick with us judges may not always mean the highest skill.  At the heart of cheerleading is the passion, the smile, the joy that radiates from performing.  It is that natural shine that draws a judge in, same as it does a crowd.  So remember, just because you have a beautiful toe touch and an amazing full doesn’t mean you can get away with looking bored or bland and just because you might not have that back tuck or the best toe touch out there doesn’t mean you can’t impress those judges with your shine.

Just remember to smile, show us all that you LOVE to cheer, you’re having fun and you are excited about the opportunity to cheer for your school and represent them throughout the year.  That excitement leaves a lasting impression on the judges at tryouts, at competition and on your crowd.  It is what makes your student body cheer with you – it is what makes this sport FUN.

Love what you do and do what you love – we know we do!

Jesse Shroyer – Camp Director

Can ONE person make a big difference in the wild world of school spirit and cheer?  Yes. She. Can.

Her name is Barbara Campbell and she is reorganizing the cheer program at Grandview High School.  Bulldog Spirit is alive-and-well in the hallways of this traditionally spirited and athletically superior south Kansas City high school: the tingle of excitement is in the air as Tryouts Week approaches! grandview bulldogs

Barbara has invited SpiritWorks professional staff members to conduct her tryout clinics on April 15-16 and to judge her tryouts the next day, April 17.  We are looking forward to working with returning squad members, and to helping the newbies learn what it means to be a Grandview Cheerleader.

Check out a video from last year’s camp with Grandview’s Spin on a Traditional Cheer.  They are such a fun group!!

Grandview Cheer hopefuls will be working hard to make a spot on the team because they are ready to raise their program to The Next Level.

Barbara recently attended the Missouri Cheerleading Coaches Association Spring Convention so that she could advance her knowledge and fortify her commitment. (Yes, she’s dedicated!)

Pride, spirit, and skill: Grandview is ready to put it all together.  And SpiritWorks will be there every step of the way!

The Missouri Cheer Coaches rocked the Country Club Inn & Suites (at the Lake of the Ozarks) in their “Building Spirit” clothes (think “Construction guy” from The Village People) on the first evening of the Convention last week-end.

Grain Valley Coaches "Building" Gear!

Grain Valley Coaches “Building” Gear!

SpiritWorks Cheer was right in the middle of everything, loving every minute. We had some of our own spirit presents to give away last weekend – with our coach shirts and the smile rings being a fun addition!

Smile Rings :)

Smile Rings were a Hit!

I was asked to be a presenter, and my Saturday session was “Coaches Tool Box for Success.” The session was a fun 45 minutes of theme spirit presents, idea packets, and coach exchanges.  I am not embarrassed to admit that MCCA Spring Convention is one of my absolute favorite week-ends of the whole year. I get to see my favorite “old cheer coach friends” from around the State, and also meet the newby coaches who are just starting out.  It makes my heart smile to help a coach figure out how to handle a challenge with the latest drama on their squad.

I had the honor to spending time talking with Linda Krinkle, cheer coach for many years at St. Mary’s High School in Independence.  The school is closing and Linda is having a hard time saying good-bye. Yes, Linda’s school is closing, she won’t be coaching cheer, and she still attended MCCA’s Cheer Coach Convention.  She told me it was for “closure.”  Linda’s sincerity and honest feelings touched my heart.  She’s a wonderful example of a cheer coach who loves her kids, who loves cheerleading, and who will continue to touch lives forever.  Thank you Linda for making a difference in my life and in the lives of the girls you coached through the years.

The Bill and Linda Show!

The Bill and Linda Show!

To close out the Convention, I was part of the “Bill and Linda Show” on Sunday morning.  Good friend and NCA Vice President Bill Patterson and I “put it all together” with the Building Blocks for Success.  Coaches shared ideas and life experiences with attendees before MCCA Proposals voting session.

We can’t wait to stay in contact with all of the new coaches and old friends – here’s to everyone having a great year as they kick off their 2013-2014 season!

Smiles and Spirit!

Linda Rae Chappell, SpiritWorks President

Watch out Lake of the Ozarks! Cheer coaches from around Missouri are embarking on a journey to the Country Club Hotel and Spa this weekend for the annual MCCA Convention.  SpiritWorks Cheer will definitely be represented well!

While Jesse will be manning the booth and handing out goodies (pictures to come!), Linda will be spreading her over 40 years of cheerleading/coaching experience through working sessions.  A Saturday morning session features Linda in one of her favorite topics – arming coaches with a toolbox of ideas as the new season approaches.

Watch as Bill Patterson with NCA and Linda team up on Sunday for the closing session where they will get coaches ready to “build” on all the MCCA sessions from the weekend and take a few spirit presents back to continue to “build” their own squads.

There will be much more to come as this weekend unfolds – but as a special treat – here is a sneak peek at our postcard going out to all of our coaching contacts, not only in Missouri, but throughout the Midwest!

Let us know what you think!!!SpiritWorks Cheer!

SpiritWorks Cheer is excited to debut our brand new Website with all the extras: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Connecting with coaches, campers, staff, supporters, and friends…truly amazing! We are looking forward to sharing our year-round adventures, from tryouts and camps to private coaching and coach conventions. We will be using this blog to share coaching tips, videos, squad profiles, photos, tips for athletes, and SpiritWorks updates.

And this is the place where we can share “life beyond the megaphone” with stories and cheer life experiences from staff, coaches, and athletes.

As SpiritWorks president, I will be sharing ideas, insights, and inspirational stories from my 40+ years in the Cheer World. I’m looking forward to connecting with other “cheer passionistas” so please feel free to leave comments, thoughts, advice, ideas, and feedback.

Let the fun begin!

Linda Rae Chappell
President and Owner, SpiritWorks Cheer