Nationals may have been canceled for Netflix “Cheer” star Monica Aldama and her 14-time national championship-winning team as a result of the coronavirus pandemic this year, but she continues to coach her superstar squad off the mat.
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The Netflix mega-hit followed Aldama, the woman behind the 14-time national championship cheer program in Navarro, a community college 50 miles south of Dallas in Corsicana, Texas, and her squad's journey to Nationals in Daytona. The show catapulted her team from humble beginnings to big-time successes with endorsement deals with some of the country's biggest brands.
The team has garnered a celebrity fan following from the likes of Oprah and Ellen Degeneres, and squad members like Jerimiah “Jerry” Harris, Gabby Butler and Morgan Simianer have landed deals since the show aired in January. But when it comes to money, Aldama serves as a mentor coaching the kids to be good with their finances, especially in the uncertain times of the pandemic.
“When it comes to money advice I tell them, ‘Don’t spend it. Save for the future. Save for the rainy days.' When the kids start making money they get excited to buy all these new clothes and things they forget that it might not be there in the future, that’s something I try to talk about” Aldama told FOX Business, adding that she also helps with career advice.
“I tell them when you’re looking for a job, you need to look at things like benefits, retirement plans, stuff they don’t think about that I didn’t either when I was their age.”
Aldama had to rethink her routine when the pandemic broke out in March. Her daily coaching sessions turned into frequent check-ins with her team on Zoom and she turned her driveway into a makeshift gym space for HIIT workouts and routines.
America saw Aldama grapple with stress-inducing sleepless nights ahead of Nationals in Daytona, however, Aldama says that getting a good night's rest has been a priority while in quarantine. She swears by saffron-infused Fast Asleep chocolates from Objective Wellness, which subs in GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid, a calming neurotransmitter produced by your brain) instead of melatonin.
"The bedtime routine I had started with Fast Asleep in the lead up to Daytona and continued to be such a huge help with all the changes and new practices," Aldama said.
And she'll need it for when she gets back on the mat. The Navarro cheer team is gearing up to start practicing again in August with temperature checks and COVID-19 tests in place.
"Our conference has decided recently that we would start as normal. We're hoping we can get on the right path," Aldama said. "I know we are definitely going to have some plans in place for testing athletes when they get to campus."