Fresh off their second national championship, the California Baptist University cheerleading team is ready to take on another year of competition in hopes of winning another championship title.
Behind the team stands head coach Tami Fleming, who in her four years of coaching at CBU has brought home two National Cheerleaders Association College Nationals titles.
Fleming said the team’s success has come through hard work and dedication.
“I try my hardest to train the girls to be their best both on and off the mat,” Fleming said. “We practice discipline, control, mental toughness, team unity and focus. I never accept anything less than what the girls know they are capable of.”
Fleming began coaching in 1996 at San Gabriel Christian School. She moved to Glendora High School three years later, where she gained experience coaching freshmen, junior varsity and varsity cheerleading.
She came to CBU in 2010 after the program tragically lost its previous head coach, Wendy Rice, in a car accident. Fleming has been able to maintain the dedication to excellence instilled by Rice, also one of her closest friends.
A self-described “tough coach,” Fleming said she has high standards for the women. She said the cheerleaders rise to her high standards, which not only makes them strong athletes, but also makes them capable young women.
Elianna Amparan, sophomore liberal studies major and base for the cheer squad, said Fleming does not expect anything less than everything they have to give.
“She really believes in us and our ability,” Amparan said. “We give her our all because she gives us her all.”
Fleming said her job as a cheer coach is easy when the love of the entire sport is present. She said she enjoys all of the hard work she puts in and the passion she has to be successful.
“This sport teaches ‘team’ because we simply cannot improve or progress without our teammates,” Fleming said.
She also said her favorite part about being a cheer coach is being able to make an impact in the lives of her cheerleaders.
“I encourage my girls to come talk to me anytime about things going on in their lives,” she said. “I listen when they are frustrated, let them vent when they are angry and pray with them when they need to feel God’s love. Overall, I do my best to take care of each and every one of them.”
Fleming has learned many techniques throughout her coaching career.
“Every coaching job I have ever had has helped mold me into the coach I am today. I try and make myself into the best coach possible in order to make our athletes the best they can be,” she said.