Monica Aldama explains why she doesn’t ask her cheerleaders to use helmets or protective gear during practice

Hit docuseries Applaud brought a lot of drama to Netflix, both on and off screen. The show follows cheerleaders from Navarro junior college in Texas. Head coach Monica Aldama established herself as a force to be reckoned with at the start of the first season.

Aldama loves the children she works with and pushes them to do their best. However, some critics think she might take it too far. Aldama had to defend himself several times. She recently spoke with Dax Shepard about her Expert Armchair Podcast. There, she defended her use or lack of protective gear.

Some critics think Navarro’s coach Monica Aldama pushes her cheerleaders too far

by Netflix Applaud stars Monica Aldama and Morgan Simianer | Aaron Poole/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Almost all reality TV stars receive criticism in one form or another. Aldama is no exception. When she opened up about her life and joy practices to the Netflix show, she unwittingly invited people to criticize her coaching style. Naturally, they did. Some viewers complained that she was too hard on her students.

Aldama doesn’t see it that way. She knows she pushes her children, but she considers this to keep them high. The mother of two has high expectations of herself and passes those expectations on to her students. As Aldama has said in the past, she had a successful career as a cheerleader. She doesn’t need to push her students for personal glory. She has already won her own awards and trophies. Everything she does is for her students.

Not all fans worry about Aldama pushing his students too much. Some are more concerned about the physical health of cheerleaders. The students seem to get hurt a lot on the show and they don’t wear protective gear.

‘Cheer’ star Monica Aldama doesn’t require her cheerleaders to wear protective gear during practice

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According to Aldama, her cheerleaders have the flexibility to use whatever protective gear they want. She even has some at their disposal. Aldama cheerleaders can grab helmets, rib gear, face shields, and other defensive gear. She explained on the podcast that they don’t like using it because it makes it harder to complete moves.

Aldama told Shepard, “I went to get [protectective gear]. I also went to buy a little football thing for kids that has pads to protect their ribs. I have tried everything. I got it. They are welcome to use it. But often they just don’t like to use it.

Shepard compared cheerleaders’ reluctance to wear protective gear to other athletes. He said, “Look, the hockey players said the same thing. Bulls–t. They said you can’t play with the face shield. Race car drivers said they couldn’t drive a car with HANS devices.

He wasn’t buying that cheerleaders would be embarrassed by certain gear. Aldama agreed and said she couldn’t force her athletes to wear them.

Critics also slammed Aldama for not catching cheerleader Jerry Harris’ troubling behavior.

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Jerry Harris, one of Aldama’s students, was recently arrested for producing child pornography. Aldama has been criticized for not seeing some of Harris’ problematic behavior prior to his arrest.

Harris was portrayed as a teenage athlete with a troubled past in the first season of Applaud. He won fans over when he spoke about losing his mother at 16 and he was always there for his teammates. Currently, Harris has pleaded guilty to the charges and faces up to 30 years in prison.

While some Applaud fans think Aldama should have seen red flags in Harris’ behavior, others defend her. Aldama had no way of knowing what Harris did in his spare time. She didn’t have to check her phone. During her interview with Armchair Expert, Aldama explained that she doesn’t even check her own husband’s phone.

RELATED: Jerry Harris faces up to 30 years in prison after overturning his ‘guilty’ plea in child pornography case

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