Last weekend I watched my daughter’s first Cheerleading Competition of the year. Titled: The New Year’s Classic. I have attended this event for five years now. Every year is a bit different. Last year my daughter competed for two squads at her cheer studio. But something about this year really stood out.
At these competitions there are girls of all shapes and sizes, a few boys as well, all working hard to run a perfect routine. Smiles and sweat. Happiness and tears run rampant. But this year, my daughter’s squad was near perfect.
And the judges noticed. They scored first place. In fact, every squad from my daughter’s cheer studio scored higher than they usually do. Maybe it was the coaches. Maybe it was the change in membership. Honestly, I think it was also a change in attitude.
My daughter wanted a win. She worked hard for a win.
She had pushed herself past her regular abilities. Early on in 2016, she injured herself and needed physiotherapy. She worked all summer to try and get herself back into peak physical prowess. We, as parents, encouraged and supported her with the recovery. It wasn’t easy. She didn’t want to try. She complained. She gave up. But we pushed her to try again.
She succeeded. The joy of winning with her squad proved invaluable. Sure, she won’t agree that mom and dad were right, but her team was successful.
One day she will thank us. One day she will realize that her parents, coaches, and teammates knew she would get back out there and win. Even if our daughter doesn’t pursue Cheerleading as a future, I hope she understands why we pushed her to get out there and try again.
As difficult as it may be- getting back on that horse is the right thing to do. Going out and proving you can do it is far superior to just saying you can. As parents, we want our children to remain safe. We want them to be protected.
But sometimes, they need to get hurt and brush themselves off in order to try again. The only way they are going to succeed in life is to fail. Fail and then work at getting better. Learn from mistakes. Accept loses as a stepping stone. Children need to realize that hard work and perseverance pay off.
I’m proud of my daughter and her squad. They are great together. I wouldn’t be surprised if my daughter develops long term friendships from her experience as a cheerleader. Bonding with her squad and having trust in one another is invaluable.