I have always gravitated toward the high school age, because I relate more to them. However, today as I was working with the four amazing girls from the DSA cheer team, I saw each one of them as individuals and they wore their fears and their story on their face and in every thing they did. I made a huge effort to slow down and encourage them and make each one feel important. Yes, they were frustrating and new, but they did try and they did keep working all day. I was worried at the end of the day they would feel frustrated and a little out numbered with the amount of high school girls at camp.
Later this evening I received a short email from their coach about how much the girls enjoyed the camp and what an amazing experience this was. I made me stop and re-think my contact with those girls today. It made me think of the very few teachers that encouraged me at that age and how different I would be if mote teachers would have made the effort. It's nice to know that even though I get busy and I worry about things that don't ultimately matter, I am still making a difference. That I can still change the course of a day by just stopping to listen and watch.
It's humbling to know that as we tell our cheerleaders that there are little girls in the stands looking up to them, our cheerleaders are also looking up to us. Years from now when they are coaching their own teams the examples and expectations we set help define who they are as people and coaches. I hope that over the years I have made a difference to them all.
I am afraid I missed a few. I hope that those who have looked up to me haven't been let down. Thank you for allowing me to grow as a person and a coach be being in your lives.