It’s That Time Of Year Again!
As coaches the time has begun to work for this upcoming rollercoaster, that is a single season of cheerleading. I find myself spending time reflecting on past titles my teams have won, as well as the disappointments from previous years. This is the time to think about what can be done better for the next go around.
We Can’t Regret A Lesson Learned
As much as we would all love for our teams to be perfect going into every event and winning them all, realistically there will be times of defeat. The pressure of a loss can be so heavy. Personally, I don’t think there is anything to regret about a lesson learned. A loss is never a waste of a weekend, it is an opportunity to allow our athletes to become more prepared for the next time they take that mat. In the moment, leaving a competition without attaining your goals feels like complete failure. It is so easy to let defeat overshadow the good when we are feeling down about a performance.
We Can’t All Win One Trophy
We tell our kids all season long, the slogan that NCA has been pushing into our brains for a few years now. However, when you are holding a jacket in one hand, and an innovative choreography award in the other, it is so easy to jump on the bandwagon. You let the slogan that you have been using as motivation all season, escape your mouth in a sort of “I told you so” manner. The tough part is convincing your athletes that the work was worth it when they are leaving empty handed. Everyone wants to come in first, but only one team can, there is bound to be disappointment. There are hundreds of teams competing for that ONE top spot in each division at an event.
Find Joy In The Journey
As a coach it is so hard to swallow a loss. We are the first people to feel the backlash of each upset by all parties. When your team hits and doesn’t win, it is your fault because you didn’t make the routine hard enough. When your team has deductions it is your fault because you pushed them too hard. It is impossible to keep everyone happy at all times. Instead of taking a loss as a hit to the heart, take it as a nudge to humble yourself. Let it remind you that we are all human. No one is perfect and cheerleading isn’t only about winning. There has to be joy in the journey, not only at the destination. The journey is much longer than the one weekend it all comes down to.
“The Work Is Worth It”
After a very humbling season last year, I have learned so much that I am ready to share about my sport. Moving forward, I know what it takes to be successful. I am incredibly excited for this next season and I will still push my athletes to their full potential. However, this time around I’m focused on more than just the jackets. I am focused on the small victories inside each and every one of my athletes. In the end, win or lose, if your athlete leaves the gym feeling accomplished, the work will always be worth it.