The lazy days of summer are long gone, and those sweaty, long, and carefree cheer practices gone with them. There’s no more time for experimenting, or trying out stunts for the hell of it. That’s right – competition season is here, and as every dedicated cheerleader knows, it’s time to bring it.
A new season means changes – maybe a new coach, a few new teammates, and most importantly, a whole new routine. It can often be difficult to get used to change. Maybe you were front and center at last year’s dance section, but in this routine you’re way in the back. Or maybe you were at the top of the pyramid, but are now just a mid-base. Being a good cheerleader means accepting change and continuing to work your butt off as if you were the star. So you’ve got a crappy little part at the back where no one will see you during the dance? OWN IT as if you were the only one up there. So you lost your spot in that tumbling line? OWN every other walkover, handspring, tuck, or full you have in the routine, and continue to practice the line on your own as if your life depended on it.
It can be very frustrating knowing that you’re able to do a lot more than what you’ve been assigned, but being a good sport and a good teammate means knowing when to suck it up and do your part. Choreography decisions are made by your coaches with the best interest of the team in mind, and sometimes that means that you don’t always get everything you want. Cheerleading IS a TEAM sport after all. There are reasons why your coaches have made the routine the way it is, and you need to respect that. If you mope around and keep complaining and putting in minimal effort, your coaches won’t change their mind and put you up front, but the opposite – they’ll see you’re not being a good sport or trying your best, and won’t give you that stunt back. If you have good reason to be upset, and really feel like you’re able to contribute more to the routine, then consider having a chat with your coach about it. Don’t be rude or demanding, but be honest about how you feel, and be prepared to work your hardest to prove to your coaches why you want a certain part over whoever has it at the moment. I admit sometimes staying positive in such a situation can be very hard to do, as not having a routine you love can be rather demotivating. But this is what separates good cheerleaders from bad ones – good cheerleaders not only motivate others, but motivate themselves, during good times and especially during bad. It helps to remember you’re on a team, and you should be proud of having the privilege to be on that team. If you don’t have pride for your team, then you should consider changing teams because you won’t be able to reach your full potential on a team you’re not happy to be on.
So keep smiling, keep shining, and keep cheering no matter what!