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hero1I don’t like being loud. I’m absolutely introverted. I’m not a fan of having a crowd staring at me. And I don’t really even enjoy sports.

Yep. That’s me … even today. But that’s not what held me back.

Nobody expected this tiny, shy gal to be a cheerleader in high school (let alone a coach forever). In fact, I never thought I would be a cheerleader.

But one day in junior high, I decided that I didn’t want my whole life to be spent in the gym doing gymnastics. Plus, it was getting to the part with all of the really scary skills, and I just wasn’t sure I wanted it enough anymore. And I didn’t.

What I did want was to have time to go to the movies with my friends and find something that would let me use the skills I already had–namely coordination and tumbling.

And the rest–as they say (whoever “they” is)–is history.

The wrong way to start coaching cheerleading

Somewhere along the way I fell in love with cheerleading, and I knew I could do a heck of a job at coaching it. And I did for a while … coach it … and do a heck of a job. Unfortunately, that “heck of a job” was heck of a lot short-sighted.

You see, I was in high school, so obviously I already knew everything. (HA! I can’t even keep a straight face writing that sentence.) I didn’t see cheerleading for what it could be.

For me, it was just a fun way to make a few bucks. But later on, I would get a job that would change my mind. It was at a small, private school north of Dallas. And they had this crazy idea that all sports should be used as a way to build leaders and instill character in athletes–not just make them strong and proficient in their sport (which was definitely part of it, since excellence is driven by integrity and discipline).

Honestly, it was the first time that thought ever occurred to me … at least in a very clear way. I think we all kind of want that–to be the hero and coach that athletes look back on and say, “She changed my life.” But I had no idea how to get there.

Needless to say, I lost that job because I was lost. I knew about cheerleading, but I didn’t know about being a real coach.

And that’s when it all changed for me.

Why you’re years ahead of young me already

I started to realize that if I just do cheerleading to win trophies that in the end it would be so hollow because I didn’t make an impact. And I think you’re way ahead of me, because you already know that now–at the beginning of your cheer coach career and not years into it like me.

I remember floundering … losing sight of the the fact that I still had something to offer. I knew I had the credibility to coach but I didn’t yet have the heart.

But you have the heart and want the credibility. That’s why I’m here.

Heart + Credibility = Hero

I didn’t really deserve to be a cheerleading coach early on. I was terrible. I cared about me more than the girls (and just saying that makes me cringe, but it’s true).

You’re not like that. You have the heart and need the skills. And I LOVE that you care. So I want to help you get that credibility you need so they will listen to you when you’re shaping them into leaders.

I later became more like the coach I wanted to be and served a program for four years that I was so very proud of. But then I saw that a need existed to serve you so more people could find the joy I did from coaching cheerleading.

You’ve got so much to offer that I don’t want the terms and tricks of the trade to trip you up in front of your team.

So I hope you’ll stick around. It is my immense honor and pleasure to serve you. Because I want to make sure nothing holds you back from making the difference you were born to make.

Photo credit: Bizior

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