The air is chilling, the leaves are changing and competition season is STARTING! It’s mine, and I’m sure your, favorite time of the year! Cheerleaders are in gyms across the world, preparing, practicing and perfecting their routines to show off in the 2012-2013 season.
As the excitement of competitions begin to take over and our thoughts turn to whip, full to doubles, strenuous jump combinations and back-breaking inversions; let us not forget the most important piece that brings our wonderful industry together- Sportsmanship.
Here are 5 ways you and your team can be a positive influence to our cheer industry this season by portraying good sportsmanship.
1) Always have positive thoughts: We have all been there. You’re watching your opponent secretly praying that a stunt will bobble or fall and someone eats their tuck, but what if that was YOU. I challenge you, the next time you think something negative about a team, put yourself in their shoes. Don’t just be fair, think fair!
2) Cheer for everyone: Off days. We all go through them and some unfortunately show up at the most inopportune times like the most prestigious event of the year. Encourage those teams who may be struggling, with applause and cheers while you’re watching them from the stands.
3) Help a fellow cheerleader: Nothing brings me more joy than cheerleaders helping out one another. Last season, I had the pleasure of seeing this first hand. A senior team, without being asked, jumped up from their seats and began lifting and helping a special athlete team onto the mat because they didn’t have enough team sponsors and coaches to do it themselves. Sometimes being an unsung hero, is the most rewarding experience of all.
4) Stand tall: My biggest awards pet peeve- when a team doesn’t stand up when their name is called because they’re angry of the placement they were given. Everyone gives the heart and soul on that competition mat and sometimes the scoring comes down to tenths of a point, but like every other sport, one team wins. Instead of grumbling about your placement, stand tall and be proud of your accomplishment because you gave it your all and applaud all your fellow competitors.
5) Bid “Good Luck” & Congratulate others: Whether you’re walking through the halls or practicing in warm-up, take a moment and wish others good luck. You’ll make their day. Also, be the first to walk up to another team and give them or hug or congratulatory handshake once awards are given out. Whether you were placed first or last, embrace the moment and show maturity. You won’t regret it.
Keep all of these pointers in mind as you gear up for competition. We will be looking for YOU at one of our events.
Good Luck everyone!
- Ashlee Wagoner