Cheer has been a big part of who I am since I was in kindergarten. The first time I stunted as a shy five year old girl in kindergarten I knew instantly that I was in love. As I got older, I got to appreciate cheer more and more. I learn countless lessons from the sport that I will carry with me long past my days of jumping and yelling in competitions and at football games. Here are 5 lessons I’ve learned both from myself and from my coach.
- Teamwork – probably the most important lesson. In cheer, nothing will work unless you can work together. The stunts won’t go up, the scores won’t improve, and everything is honestly more difficult if you don’t work with your team. I’ve seen it firsthand that if one person doesn’t do what they are supposed to, nothing will go right.
- Get out of your comfort zone – I learned this when I was in kindergarten, when I started cheering in middle school, and then again when I got into high school. I get it, sometimes it’s hard to do things you’re uncomfortable with. Sometimes it’s easier to just do the same thing over and over instead of changing. Sometimes it just feels awkward. But you have to get over it. It’s a part of life. There will be times when you have to do something in your job or for your family or even in college that you wouldn’t do if you had a choice. But you have to step out of your comfort zone. Do you honestly think that if people didn’t step out of their comfort zone we’d be where we are?
- Taking the blame – ‘it was my fault’. That’s all it takes. It doesn’t mean throw a team mate under the bus. It doesn’t mean saying ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’. It means knowing you messed up, saying you messed up, and then taking the consequences. It can be hard. It can suck to admit that you made a mistake. But blaming someone else when you know it wasn’t their fault it never the right way to deal with it.
- Don’t be scared to be you – whether it’s smiling and winking and making faces that you think look stupid at the judges or going to school and standing up tall while you walk in the hallways, I’ve learned that you should never feel afraid to be yourself. When I first started cheering, I never wanted to do facials because I thought I looked like an idiot. Now? Now the smile doesn’t leave my face, I make the best facials I can, and it shows not only in cheer but in my life as a whole. I feel more confident and proud of myself. Cheer has brought me from a super shy girl to a girl who can stand in front of a crowd and yell a cheer to the fans in the stand.
- If you fall, get back up – let me just tell you that being injured? Yeah, it sucks. You feel helpless. You feel like your life is over even if it’s not something major. But you have to get back up and keep going. If you lose a skill, you can get it back. You can even gain a new one. And you can’t let a bad day or a bad week or a bad month get to you. Whether you fall literally or figuratively you just have to get up and keep going. Whatever you’re dealing with, you can push through.
Cheerleading has changed my life. Some days it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Other days I hate it with a passion. It can be the love of my life or my worst enemy. But I’ve learned so much from cheer. So much more than I can put into one blog post.
Thanks for reading lovelies!