Episode #57 – Preparing For College

Hello and welcome to Tulsa tumble talk with justice tumbling company, the one and only Tulsa tumbling show where we your Tulsa tumbling experts. Answer the questions that we get from parents and athletes on a daily basis. We are your hosts, Coulton cruise and rusty breath slur and we are the owners of justice tumbling company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. All right. Now today we’re going to be going over how to prepare for college. Now I don’t mean your act or your sat scores are your GPA. We’re certainly not the people to talk to you about your GPA, but I’m talking about, uh, what you need to do as an athlete to best prepare for college cheer tryouts and the demanding college cheer life. And joining us today is rusty.

We are at, we are in the presence of greatness. Did you know how we are now? I mean this guy is a legend from Kraft gymnastics to cheer dynamics from Bixby Varsity to twist and shout diamonds. Now he’s the cheer captain on the, uh, the large coed squad at Oklahoma State University. Tulsa Cheerleading, we’re talking 18 years of tumbling experience. The one, the only my brother from an, not another mother from the same mother Cooper crews. Good old Cooper. Yeah, I’m in Colton grew up together, so I got to see Cooper grow up a little bit cold and pick on him. Quite a bit. Grown up. Now Cooper, why don’t you tell our listeners a little bit about who you are and where you come from?

Yeah, so, um, I did gymnastics when I was a five or six years old. Did that for 12, 11 or 12 years. And I got into high school and he just kind of became too much of a time requirement between school and practices. So I played football, baseball, took a little time off from tumbling. Um, and then once I really got into high school, I tried out for the big suite of high school cheer team and that’s where I really got into cheer. Um,

now real quick, for those who don’t know, Cooper, um, his personality is a little bit more like Rusty’s personality. He’s kind of reserved and quiet. And, uh, and so correct me if I’m wrong, but cheerleading with the dancing and the, uh, the peppiness and everything, uh, you kinda had to drag yourself out of your shell then you,

yeah, for sure. Um, I definitely haven’t noticed that until pretty recent. How much, uh, doing all star in high school cheer from a younger age impacted hat my personality today from being more open, more outgoing, um, and my, um, like all around confidence and that’s really been one big thing I’ve noticed recently is the confidence element that I’ve developed through the years of tumbling and cheerleading. Hmm. Okay. So you start here, we’ll definitely get you out of your shell. You have to do some, uh, interesting dances. Did they ever make you put on makeup? No. No. Make it a spray Tan. Nope. You know they’re making boys do that now. Yeah. No, no spray Tan. I was never into that anyway. Okay, so you started out tumbling in gymnastics around five or six, Tulsa Cheerleading, competitive, all that stuff and then into high school, uh, doing, doing high school and income and competitive cheerleading.

Okay. Okay. Now. So now we’re going to get into the meat of this podcast. And um, the question is how you’re a senior now, congratulations at Osu. Yeah. Uh, what can you give our audience, cause it, most of most of the kids are in middle school and high school. What, what could you tell them? Um, would be the best way to prepare for, for college? Definitely if you’re going for the coed side of uh, college cheer would to be getting, getting into a coed. Stunning for sure. Um, tumbling on a hard floor. That was one big thing that I wasn’t quite ready for coming from all star mainly. Um, and tumbling everyday on spring floor to doing the same tumbling but on hard floor. So that was a big, big switch. So between tumbling a hard floor, um, coed stunning. Say those are the big, the big too.

Yeah. Now, now this is coming from a diamond like this. This is a diamond diamond guy and if anybody didn’t know diamond is a level five all star, they are a team, they are hot. They are the hottest team in America, I would say. I mean all of America, all of America, America, we, we weren’t, we weren’t quite there when I was, when I was there, but they have definitely developed. So you okay, you can humble yourself all you want, but you, how many times did you go to worlds? Uh, three times. Three times. Three times. Now back in that time, like if you went to world once, you were, you were, you were awesome. You go to world’s twice, you’re something else, but you go to worlds three times a man. You are an all American and a true American now. Um, with that being said, and we love, we love our all star athletes out there.

But Cooper, will you repeat the part about the hard floor thing one more time? Uh, that was a big eye opener and I still, every day I tell him all on hard floor and it still do you love, don’t you just love hard floor? I have. I’ve now have, I found a love for it. I do. I do now. I was thinking, I was at the beginning, I was, I was talking some sarcasm. I don’t know anybody who loves it, but, but you’ve done it for four years. Nothing but hard floor. So Cooper due to say tumbling on the hard floor requires more technique than spring floor. Absolutely. And I think that’s one reason why luckily I have not had any major injuries, Tulsa Cheerleading, through my four years of tumbling on hard floor and being in college here is because if, if you just go out there and throw, throw your skills, like you don’t want to spring floor, you’re going to get hurt.

And technique has just the big thing that you have. You have to have the technique when you’re telling me on a hard floor. Okay. So we’ve talked about the technique and the hard floor difference. I know it, we’ve probably been talking about scheduling this pro, this podcast for probably a month. And, and so what’s really stopped us was your busy schedule. You know, you’re, you’re, you’re a cheer captain at Osu. Um, and just not only that, but the schooling, like what kind of time constraints or are these kids having to give up once they become a college cheerleader? Well for, um, at Osu, um, we have work, we have workouts twice a week, um, Monday morning, Wednesday mornings, and then we practice three times a week, which is Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. So I mean we’re, we’re in the gym almost every day for at least two hours.

Um, so it is a big, um, time restraint, but at the same time the college gives you a lot of academic help through tutors. Um, at Osu we don’t have any financial aid, so there’s no scholarships available. Um, but with all the tutors, they give you all the resources. They really help you to get the good grades and study for tests and all that good stuff. That’s good. That’s good. Now, if you guys heard, he said that they do have practice on Sundays, so, uh, if you’re looking on at going home on the weekends, that’s probably not going to be the easiest thing to do. Um, so staying on top of of practices, what about conditioning? We don’t do much conditioning. Do you think that your conditioning before you got into college helped you with the, the amount of work that you’re having to put in?

Oh yeah. Yeah, for sure. Um, so we don’t do the reason we don’t condition like a lot of, Tulsa Cheerleading, a lot of other colleges they have, like during practice they’ll do conditioning. Our conditioning is done on our own outside of practice, whether that’s additional workouts or I’m going in and tumbling by herself, doing line drill type stuff. So it’s really based solely on the individual. And at Osu the team is, we’re all highly motivated, so it’s pretty easy to not let yourself get out of shape. And, um, so when we come into practice, it’s, it’s skills, routine, Tumblin stunts. We don’t condition that practice. I love that because we’re, you know, with a lot of our athletes, they’re still trying to discover who they are and what they will become. And so we’re having to do like guided, uh, conditioning. And then we’ll send them home with homework

and you can really tell the difference. People who are driven and the people who are not driven because the ones who are driven, we’ll go home and do it and do the conditioning on their own. So you’re saying that if you want to be a Osu cheerleader special on coed, you need to be, have that discipline to, to condition yourself on your own.

Yeah, absolutely. And I mean it definitely starts at a young age. Um, most of the, the other athletes on my cheer team, at least we’re all from high, higher up, um, all star teams and I mean, it’s just something that we have all grown to do just out of second nature because we’ve been surrounded by our whole lives right now. Is there anything you wish you would’ve known before getting into college cheer or anything that kind of took you by surprise? Yeah, I’d say the biggest thing would definitely be, um, you know, coming from high school, you, you chair at the football games, basketball games, and that’s about it. Um, for the, the spirits side of it, when it comes to the school and for when you’re at a college, you’re, you’re doing basketball games, football games, um, women’s basketball, men’s basketball, you’re doing all the sports.

And that’s one thing I wasn’t quite ready for because that, that is a nother time commitment. Um, we’re usually doing one or two, um, basketball games a week. And then during football season you have football games every weekend and you’re traveling too, aren’t you? Yep. So, um, you’ll, you’ll do either one or two away football games a semester and so that, that takes up the whole weekend. So not just the competitive side of the Osu cheer, the, uh, the spirit side was almost more demanding as well. Oh yeah, absolutely. And um, that’s one thing, the reason why, um, Osu athletics gives us so much, so much room and um, they, they provide us with so much because of the commitment we have to the spirit side of it. And that’s one big thing that, um, I mean it, that’s the same thing for any college cheer, not just at Osu is the amount of time and effort you put into representing your school. Well

now, now just an estimate and I’ll give you some time to think on this, but just an estimate, how many hours do you put in a week that is dedicated to Osu cheer squad? So whether that spirit that’s all star, whether that’s you working out personally for your sport, um, uh, whatever it is. How many hours do you think, I was actually thinking about this on the way up here and I think I calculated about right around 20 hours a week. 20 hours a week. So I mean, it’s almost a part time job. Yeah. Yeah. And Tulsa Cheerleading, you know, if you’re thinking of like high school level athletes, um, usually what kids go to high school six hours a or something like that. So I mean, if you’re putting in 20 plus hours a week just into cheerleading, that’s what they’ve been used to in their entire education weekly.

Yeah. I mean, that doesn’t even include the actual going to school part. And so with that right now, my schedule, um, I have two classes a day and they range anywhere between nine 30 to three 15.

Something that we want to make sure that we’re emphasizing is that we’re not trying to discourage anybody from going to college and being a college cheerleader. Um, the demanding, I mean, I would probably say that it’s well worth it. Like it’s gotta be pretty rewarding.

It is. It is. And um, so every April we go to Daytona nationals, which is NCA for college, uh, cheer. And that’s, that’s where it all gets rewarded at. When you step on the band shell and you’re right there on the beach with hundreds of people watching you. And that’s definitely where I’m all the hard work, sweat, tears. It all pays for right there.

And then don’t you and your, your cheer squad, like get to go on a, on a s like a snowboarding outing

once a year. At the end of the first semester, um, early December, every year, one of our, um, athletic department, um, sponsor persons, he takes us to New Mexico and it’s like a weekend ski trip. And that’s a good time. That’s nice.

No. Yeah, that’s what I never planned on going to college, but that’s what my coach said is you have to at least do one year of college cheer so you get the experience. It is, it is a fun experience. Um, we mentioned a little bit about the hard floor just in the spring, Florida hard floor. Uh, what other differences would you say there are between high school and all star cheer? Verse College?

Yeah, I definitely, I think the, the biggest difference would be the mindset that the athlete has to have coming between high school and all star cheer in college cheer. Because, Tulsa Cheerleading, when you come into college, cheer your mom, your parents aren’t there, you don’t have anyone to go home and gossip too. It’s just you and your team. And so if you have, you have to have a strong mindset. And, um, that’s what really pushes the, the standard within college cheer between a college team that’s average and your college teams that are up there in the top three, top five. You don’t have your mother waking you up telling you you have to go to practice

does or get up and go, no, we’re tumbling. You have to self motivate yourself to do that. Absolutely. And that, and you know, that doesn’t only differentiate between the colleges who are successful and who are not, but also the individuals who, um, make the squad and who don’t.

Yeah. And, um, I mean definitely everybody finds out within their first year if it’s something for them or not. And I mean, I’ve seen, this is my fourth year on the team and I’ve seen athletes make the team and then they come back from the summer and they decide it’s not for them. And so, I mean, it’s definitely a mindset thing and you have to be ready to put in the work. You’ve got to put in the effort. And, um, but at the end of the day, it’s rewarding and you also get a college degree, so, yeah. Yeah. There you go. There you go. Um, so something that we, uh, like our athletes to know is that, you know, college isn’t for everybody. Um, and, and so if there’s ever something that you want to fall back on, uh, like why could we did, which was spotting and coaching something we love to do.

Have you ever, have you ever thought about coaching? Uh, yeah, I have a little bit. Um, maybe not so much in the coaching a team aspect, but I’ve definitely talked about coaching, tumbling and, um, maybe doing stunt privates, that kind of, I don’t know if you know this, but we have a gym and a, yeah, we coached humbling. We do stuff thing. We have this dark cloth that we do be code. Our snap class is actually today. We always have a good turnout for that. And so anyway, um, so like we said, college isn’t for everybody. So if you ever find yourself, um, not wanting to go to college or you know, just you get there and colleges isn’t for you. Uh, we’ve, we’ve talked about before, we want us, we want to create this atmosphere where kids can learn how to spot and we teach them how to coach and then eventually maybe they’ll take over their own justice tumbling companies.

Yeah, I mean that’s like, I think that’s a great idea because I’ve, I’ve been approached and asked if, um, I’d like to do tumbling privates and I mean, I’ve grown up and cheer, but I’ve never learned how to spot tumbling. I can, I can tall you’re standing backs and everything, but when it comes to more difficult skills, that’s not my forte yet. Yet you can learn. You get, so there is, there is room to learn and I think that that’d be something good to teach kids at a younger age. And I mean, they can take it back to their high schools or their all star gyms and possibly save lives. Right. Um, and it’s a weird thing. I’ve seen some of the greatest tumblers ever, like in the coaching, and it’s just not for them. Cause coaching takes more than just knowing how to do it.

It’s being able to transfer that knowledge onto another athlete. It’s, it’s a lot harder than people think. Oh yeah. Well, and it’s, it’s like, you know, we’ve all been preschoolers, but it takes a special person to be a preschool teacher. It’s kind of the same way. Uh, you can, you can take a tumbler who’s the one of the greatest tumblers and if they don’t, if they don’t want to know how to like talk with kids and, and, uh, make kids laugh and enjoy themselves around the kids, it’s going to be difficult. Um, but you know, there are, there are aspiring coaches everywhere. Oh yeah. And I definitely think, I mean, like rusty said is it’s not for everyone. Um, because there is a, there is a mindset that you have to have when coaching athletes as well. Um, just to know how to deal with them, how to talk to them, mentor them, and that aspect of it.

No. Yeah. So, okay. We know that you’re a senior in college now. What are your plans after you graduate, after you’re done with Osu cheer? Um, what, what are your plans? Yeah, so, um, I have a job opportunity lined up with a security company out of Dallas. Um, and I’ll be kind of like a, um, hired on as a project manager type position. And I’d love to also get into entrepreneurship. Um, kind of like you guys are done here, like start your own gym, create your own kind of stuff. And I think that’s kind of the direction I want to go after college. So what are you, what are you studying in college? Business Management. Business Management. Okay. So that, that actually aligns. Yeah. So many people I know who went to college aren’t in the field that they actually went to school for. So anyway. All right, Cooper, this has been fun. This is where we’re pushing almost 20 minutes on this podcast. We go. Longest podcast we’ve ever had. So rescue. You got anything?

Um, when I’m talking to other advanced athletes who are in college, what is the, whether it was all star, whether it was on hard floor when it came to tumbling, what is one thing when you figured it out and you’re tumbling and made like the world of difference, it made you get skills quicker, things like that.

Uh, definitely being like, are you talking like a specific thing? Yeah, I asked one athlete and uh, he chooses that Trinity Valley, he said when he figured how to rebound or he called it like the toe pop your toes being light on your toes. Yeah, absolutely. That and um, you definitely have to speed everything up. When you’re tumbling on hard floor, you can’t just um, go through the motions like you can on spring floor. Whenever you’re on hard floor, it has to be rebound, rebound, hit, hit. Um, and I, I say that to myself as I’m in my pass is all right. Round off, quick toes, quick toes, arms, arms. Um, cause you got it. You got to keep that momentum right that down. If you’re listening, write that down and apply that to your tumbling.

Amen. That’s why I love asking advanced athletes who have been in it for years. Uh, what it is and it’s seems to be the same thing. Yeah. Speed and figuring out how to push off your toes on the hard floor.

Well, we, we all love tumbling here so we could go on for another 20 minutes talking about it, I’m sure. But yeah, we’re just boring you at this point. I bet. Uh, listen, if you’re, if you’re interested in finding out more about us justice tumbling company or Colton and rusty, or you can check out Cooper’s Facebook, uh, and uh, sigma friend request and check out what he’s up to. Tulsa Cheerleading, you can look at our website, it’s just as tumbling co.com or you can find us online,

Facebook and Instagram. And if you have a Google account, you can leave us an objective Dougal review to let us know how we’re doing it.

We’ll see you next time on Tulsa tumble. Talk with justice, tempo and companies. Now Cooper go tumble