CCA CERTIFIED CHEER COACH
NIKKI VAN DEN WIJNGAERT
Cheerleader Academy Antwerp
CCA CERTIFIED LEVELS
I’m Nikki, 30 years old and living in Belgium. In my daily life I studied special education and right now I work in a nursing home with people with dementia.
I started cheerleading about 10 years ago, coming from gymnastics and dance in the past and having coached both of those. A friend of mine saw a new club being started and told me they thought it would be something I would like. I got curious, went to an open practice and basically never left…
After only one year of doing cheerleading a position as assistant coach opened up for the senior elite (level 5) team I was on and I kind of rolled into it. After a few years of combining both coaching and being an athlete on the team I decided to fully focus on coaching.
I have coached both senior open and youth / junior teams since then. The levels I mostly work with are level 2, 3 and 5 and I have experience with both all-girl and coed teams.
In season 2018-2019 the Belgian Cheerleading Federation started the initiative for the first Belgian national team. I tried out and made it on the team. We participated in the ICU worlds 2019. That season the senior team I coach also won nationals.
MY EXPERIENCE AS A CHEER COACH
MY TRAINING EXPERIENCE WITH CHEERCONDITIONING.ACADEMY
By completing the CCA GOLD certification I have developed not only as a cheerleading coach, but even more so as a coach in general and even as a person. The program covers so many topics, of all possible aspects of coaching and of the human being. If you look at the program at first it might seem a bit overwhelming, because there’s just so much. And then once you start the program you’ll notice it’s all chopped up into manageable pieces, and it just all makes sense. The pieces of information are mixed with video’s that explain more about the topic and go more into depth.
Important things are repeated as you go through the modules and everything follows through in a logical way. You will get lots of info about how the human body works, how things can go wrong if you don’t use it correctly, how you can fuel it, how the human psychology and motivational processes work and so on, but also more specific about coaching techniques, coaching language, and skill specific info. If you can name it, the course is sure to cover it. After each part you will get an online test. This helps you to make sure you understand what you just studied, and if something is not clear you can go back to that part or ask for support if needed. You will learn that coaching, whether it’s cheerleading or another sport, is so much more than just the technicalities of the sport on its own. You’ll go through every facet of the human being, from physiology, through psychology, to motivation and nutrition and you’ll learn that every little thing is part of the bigger picture. It’s truly fascinating to learn how everything has its part in coaching and coachability. Next to the theory part there are also live seminars and zoom meetings throughout the course of the certification. These offer even more an in depth research about what you’ve been reading. You get more new insights as well as input from others who have been going through the same contents as you are, but because of their different background see it maybe just a little bit different. You encounter things on a deeper level and it’s such an enrichment for you as a coach and a person. It is an investment, both time wise and mentally, but it has brought me so much I would definitely say it was worth it. I would do it again in a heartbeat and I can’t wait for what’s more to come!
I am most experienced with youth and senior teams, anywhere from 10-30 years old. I can work with all athletes levels 1- 6, having the most experience with level 2 and 6, specialising mostly in stunts.
Next to the technical parts of cheer I can help with the more psychological and motivational side of cheerleading, thanks to the education I followed and the work field I’m in. I have lots of experience with children / young adults, their struggles and how to help them in their education and development.
I am available for external coaching, mostly in the area around Western Europe and the Benelux region.