Cheerleading This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I love being a cheerleader. In fact, I've been one for 13 years. What's most important to me, though, is that through those years of hard work and dedication, I have achieved what every young cheerleader dreams of: being a member of our high school's varsity squad. I also feel fortunate to belong to a community where I am able to get involved with the teams I was once part of - as a coach.

Within the past year, I have coached three different teams and I became very involved in shaping many girls' cheerleading careers. I have had to deal with 12 to 23 pre-teens and teenagers, teaching them about spirit, dedication, working hard, as well as the correct ways to do all aspects of cheerleading. This is not always an easy job, as many of these young girls have minds and attitudes all their own. Still, I spend about 10 hours a week with them and I love every second of it. There is no greater satisfaction, at least for me, than to see a team I helped create take first or second place in a competition (which two of my teams have done).

At the end of each season, there are many hard good-byes to say. I don't see most of my girls in our off-season, so it's like losing a little sister every time. They've taught me how to find ways to accomplish even seemingly impossible tasks and to have fun and work hard at the same time. I am forever grateful to them, and to my community, for presenting me with such a wonderful opportunity. fl


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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