Tuesday, April 16, 2013

No Cheerleader Left Behind

Supporting each other in more than just stunts.

Cheerleaders are responsible for so many things around the school and community.  Many times they have issues happening in their own lives that make things harder on them.  Some kids have a ton of support at home for the activities that they want to participate in and some kids struggle with parents and priorities.  We all want our kids to grow up to be contributing members of society but there is a fine line between to strict and too lenient.  While we cannot control our squad’s home lives, we can try to make their cheer lives positive. 

In our practices we have a very strict ‘leave it at the door policy.’  Regardless of what has happened during the day, we are to come to practice ready to work and give 100%.  As a coach, it is my job to read my team and see what direction practice needs to go.  There are just some days when we need to sit down and have a team bonding chat and some days when we need to plow through our material and go home. 

The biggest thing I expect of my squads is that at the end of the day they are a family.  Families don’t always like each other and don’t always get along, but at the end of the day we have each others back.  We accomplish this by learning about each other.  We learn what makes our teammates happy and sad, we learn to read when they are excited and when they need a hug. 

Here is a wonderful poem written about cheerleaders that does a good job of expressing what cheerleading is like:

Cheerleading is a way of life, shared by a chosen few.
It is working as a unit in everything you do.
Cheerleading is rivalry, the competition makes you strong.
It is sharing secrets and tears, learning to get along.
Cheerleading is that ongoing drive to be the very best.
It is patience, perseverance, and very little rest.
Cheerleading is having poise and charm with every word you say.
It is total dedication twenty-four hours a day.
It is always being ready with encouragement or a smile,
Cheerleading is your chance to express your individual style.
Cheerleading is reaching out to comfort a sister who is sad.
It is defending each other in the good times and the bad.
Cheerleaders are always there whenever someone asks,
They treasure the present moment and let go of the past.
Cheerleading is a talent to be able to shine on cue,
It is hiding the pain and anguish that if only people knew.
Cheerleaders after all, are real people that sometimes get down,
But when they’re in the spotlight, they must never put on a frown.
Cheerleaders are actresses, always ready to go,
That is why it is important for all the world to know;
Not every girl can be a cheerleader, it takes a special kind.
Cheerleaders are full of like and a little bit out of their minds!


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