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Determination: A Cheerleaders Golden Rule

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Determination is one of a cheerleaders golden rules. Have you ever wondered why it takes some athletes longer to achieve a new goal than others? Have you ever been frustrated with yourself for not being able to pick up a new skill right away? What about having a mental block? Or do you ever feel a strong urge to give up? Well, don’t! If I have learned one thing about cheer, it is that no matter what comes your way, push on. You have to be patient with others as well as yourself.

This is my 3rd season of cheerleading. When I first began in a small gym with just 3 teams, I was placed as a back spot/ front spot on a 5 restricted team, with barely the ability to do a round off tuck or back handspring.  Within my first couple of practices, I tried a toe back (which is a standing tumbling pass) but kept landing on my knees.  A teammate, who also did not have the skill mastered, was placed in front of me in the formation. As I was moved back into the formation, this fueled my fire and determination set in. I took that and applied it to learning the skill, worked hard and landed it.

Learning new technical skills doesn’t always come this easy but if you remain focused your determination will help you reach all of your goals.  Once I finally landed a double down, even though it initially scared me, it was one of the best feelings I have ever had. To see how far I had come and to finally achieve my goal, was amazing.

Next came my third season, where I focused on learning a back handspring.  When I first started, I had struggled with back handsprings because I don’t have flexible shoulders or strong arms. This has been the one thing throughout all 3 seasons of cheering that I have had a difficult time learning. Even my teammates noticed I needed improvement. I knew if I ignored the comments, I would never fix anything. So one day I came into the gym and I told myself that today was the day. I wouldn’t let myself work on any other skill until I got it down. I still bend my arms and land wrong sometimes, but by working hard on my skills, I feel so much better about myself. Although I am still improving, determination got me through! My coaches and team mates recognize all my hard work and continue pushing me to keep growing and learning new skills.

What I have learned in cheer is to never give up, no matter how hard the struggle, and no matter what obstacles come your way. Always remember that you can do this, anything is possible, just as long as you set your mind to it. Which is what determination is all about. So go out there, work hard, and get it!

 

 

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Amanda Ferrell

Amanda Ferrell is on a senior coed 4 and an open level 4 team. She has been cheering for three seasons, and is currently part of a first year gym in Conway, Arkansas.

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