When I think of cheerleading, I think of a true sport that has taught me patience, teamwork, compassion, acceptance, determination, and the true meaning of team. Cheerleading has taught me so much simply because I have been doing it for almost my entire life. If I hadn’t been cheering, and met the people I have met in my life, my life now and my future would be totally different. I owe my success in life to my previous teammates whom I call my sixteen sisters and my other two moms who have been my coaches for the previous five years.
Until about five years ago, I realized I only knew knowledge of the sport itself, and none about the people, including myself. It was my first year of all-star cheerleading and I only knew about four girls out of sixteen. Our team remained for the next three years and that’s when I found the true meanings of cheerleading. These girls taught me not only about them but myself also. They taught me patience when learning an entire routine in eight hours. The girls taught me teamwork as each practice was eliminated. They taught me compassion from the feeling of performing together on the mat. They taught me acceptance by sixteen strangers coming together as sisters. They taught me determination by never letting one another give up. The most important of all was they taught me the true meaning of team. They taught me the true meaning of team because if someone got hurt, or not at practice, we adapted to every position and made the routine happen.
This year I was faced with probably the hardest decision that I have made in my life so far. I had to decide if I was going to continue to cheerlead on all-star cheerleading. Eventually I decided that I physically couldn’t do it anymore. As months passed by, I began to think if I had made the right decision, however, my mother was against all-star cheerleading. I began coming after school and helping the high school coaches at Auburn High School with the football cheerleaders. As soon as basketball cheerleading was in season, I realized I missed cheerleading way too much to not cheer for my last year of high school. I am happy that I made the decision to come back because I love the girls, coaches, and most of all, the sport.
Cheerleading is not like any other sport. In the case of other sports, it is clear that you have to work together as a team. However, other sports are more about individual ability at one thing. For example, in football, you don’t see everyone playing offense and defense, they have a strict position and that’s it. On the contrary, cheerleading you have to be knowledgeable and able to be moved everywhere, whether you’re a flyer being moved to a base, or a non-tumbler learning how to tumble, etc. I guess the most fitting phrase when it comes to cheerleading would have to be “there is no I in team.” This quotation is without a doubt form fitting for cheerleading simply because there really is no I in team when it comes to cheerleading, everyone has to move together as one.