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Kylie McLendon shares her experience instructing Whitney Junior Wildcats cheer program

Before+running+their+competition+routine+full-out%2C+Kylie+McLendon+helps+a+stunt+group+warm+up+at+Whitney+Junior+Wildcats+cheer+practice.+Photo+by+Emily+Pontes.+%0A
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Kylie McLendon shares her experience instructing Whitney Junior Wildcats cheer program

Before running their competition routine full-out, Kylie McLendon helps a stunt group warm up at Whitney Junior Wildcats cheer practice. Photo by Emily Pontes.

Before running their competition routine full-out, Kylie McLendon helps a stunt group warm up at Whitney Junior Wildcats cheer practice. Photo by Emily Pontes.

Before running their competition routine full-out, Kylie McLendon helps a stunt group warm up at Whitney Junior Wildcats cheer practice. Photo by Emily Pontes.

Before running their competition routine full-out, Kylie McLendon helps a stunt group warm up at Whitney Junior Wildcats cheer practice. Photo by Emily Pontes.

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Handling school and extracurriculars can be challenging, especially for Kylie McLendon, who has to juggle being on the varsity cheer team and instructing the Whitney Junior Wildcats competition team. WJW has practice twice a week and competes at three competitions, including Nationals in Anaheim coming up in February.

Q: How is it handling basketball sideline and coaching the Whitney Junior Wildcats competition cheer team at the same time?

A: Handling cheer and WJW gets really hard at times and I should definitely plan out my schedule better.   

Q: How does it feel to impact these girls at such an important age in their lives?   

A: It feels really good because I know some of the stuff I teach will impact them for the rest of their lives.

Q: How different is a typical Whitney Junior Wildcat cheer practice compared to a Whitney High school cheer practice?

A: High school is a lot more on your own; more independent. WJW is more intense because they need to perfect their competition routine. Instead of one coach yelling, there’s around five to six.

Q: How have your girls advanced a lot this year?

A: Their skill level last year compared to this year is such a jump. They are really developing their own personalities and figuring out what drives them.

Q: How are the WJW cheerleaders handling a harder routine?

A: They are doing way better than I thought. This past year they totally grew up.

Q: How long have they been practicing this season?

A: About a month to a month and a half. They normally have at most about a two-week break from cheering for WJW football to transitioning to a competition team.

Q: Have you learned anything from a coach about yourself you could apply to your girls?

A: So probably when I was younger, I struggled stepping out while basing. So now it is very easy for me to see it when other girls do it. I can now help fix it.

Q: What made you want to coach?

A: My love for cheer and looking up to my own instructors made me want to coach.

Q: What do you plan to do with WJW once you graduate?

A: I plan to be an actual assistant coach since I will no longer be able to be a student instructor.  

 

by: EMILY PONTES

 

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Kylie McLendon shares her experience instructing Whitney Junior Wildcats cheer program