Local cheer mom reacts to viral video of coach forcing girl into splits

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY – Caught on camera: a cheerleader forced into the splits by her coach as she screams out in agony.

The video was shot back in June at a high school in Denver, Colorado. The coach and several staff members are on leave as police investigate.

Mandy Evitts used to coach cheerleading in McCracken County. Now she’s raising two cheerleaders.

“I think as a parent I would first be asking my child, wanting to know what happened, and then talking to the coach,” says Evitts. “We’ve never been put in these shoes. We’ve always had great coaches.”

Dan Jennewein is a doctor of physical therapy at IMAC Regeneration Center in Paducah.

“It definitely disturbs me to see someone forcing someone into that much pain,” says Jennewein.

Jennewein says stretching can sometimes be uncomfortable, but it should never be painful.

“Your muscle fibers are like thousands of different rubber bands,” says Jennewein. “Obviously, if you stretch a rubber band one time for a short period of time, the rubber band is going to go right back to where it started.”

You can’t become flexible overnight, Jennewein says, it takes time and a lot of stretching.

“Not all coaches are like this,” says Evitts.

Evitts says don’t let the coach in the video steer you away from the sport of cheerleading. She says open communication with coaches is the best way to make sure your kids are safe while at practice.