CCC’s FEATURE COACHES
Mother/Daughter Dynamic Duo
Kathy Wiltse/Mindy Marshall
What team(s) you do you currently coach? McDowell High School, Erie, PA
How many years of experience coaching do you have? Kathy: 15 yrs / Mindy: 5 yrs
What is your favorite part of cheerleading?
Kathy: This is hard to pick one favorite part of cheerleading! I love this sport! I really love school spirit & cheering at games & I also love competing where the team can show their talents while working together for one common goal.
Mindy: After the countless hours of practicing, working hard, and perfecting the routine, one of my favorite parts is the last 30 seconds of their 2 minutes & 30 second performance when everything they worked so hard for hits perfectly and they get to the dance and you can just feel their pride and excitement.
What is your favorite part of coaching?
Kathy: My favorite part of coaching is having this awesome opportunity to influence these athletes in positive ways.
I feel it’s a privilege for me to coach, be a mentor & get the chance to make a difference in their lives as I grow to love each one of them.
Mindy: I love the chance to be a part of these kids’ lives. I get several years to try to make a lifelong impact on them as they respect & learn from me as their coach & mentor.
What was your biggest accomplishment as a coach?
Kathy: Changing our style of competing in order to be able to compete at PIAA Districts & States & then making it to the finals for States 2 years in a row, placing 4th & then 3rd in the State. We have shown that we are contenders in the newest official Pennsylvania sport!
Mindy: I could say that this would be all the titles we hold because that is a great accomplishment. But I feel that our biggest accomplishment is when these athletes graduate and constantly come back to visit us saying how much they miss us and this team. To me that means we not only have created a memorable team but a family, knowing that I have made an impact in their lives as they go into adulthood is quite the accomplishment.
Brag about your teams/your coaching success.
Kathy: This team showed great courage & strength this year with the passing of a former teammate & friend, Alyssa O’Neill. They came together to honor Alyssa in so many ways. I was never prouder of them than when they came to the funeral in uniform & made a tunnel for Alyssa & her family as her casket was leaving the church. It was probably the hardest thing they ever did in their lives, with their poms held high & tears streaming down their young faces. That is a moment I will never forget!
Mindy: Going along with ajo I am so proud of how this team stays humble when they win and holds their head high and doesn’t let a loss get to their hearts. They are the kindest team to others at every competition we attend. Watching them spread love and kindness as teenagers is amazing.
What is your coaching motto?
Kathy: Attitude is everything, it can make or break any team.
Coaching has to be about the outcome not the income.
Mindy: It never gets easier, you just get better so never let success get to your head or loosing get to your heart, winners are athletes that never quit.
Best advice you could give to a new coach?
Kathy: Have clear cut rules & expectations, stick with them & hold everyone accountable. Also, communication is the key: keep the athletes & the parents informed about everything! Never ever forget to have some fun!!
Mindy: Take time to get to know each one of your athletes. Encourage them. understand them, correct them and be their biggest fan. Point out their strengths and they will work harder. Hold them accountable and teach them respect. And never forget to leave time for laughter!