Monday, June 9, 2014

Not just a team, but a family

Our four day drive out west was worth every minute on the road just to have time with people I love. The thing about being a coach is that it was my responsibility to mentor and inspire young people to be their best selves and work together as a team. I spent countless hours with the athletes on my squad and their families. Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely loved coaching high school cheer/song/yell leaders. The relationships that were cultivated through coaching have given me the strength, courage, and confidence I needed to be a good teacher and a good mom. I hold the connections I made with my teams in such high esteem. I could never put a price on the experiences we shared, but more importantly the relationships that were fused. Year after year, I suffered such loss as the seniors graduated. I assumed the "new" kids would never match the bond of the previous squad. I was wrong! I found a family in each and every season. The best part has been seeing them succeed and flourish in life after graduation. I firmly believe their lives would be drastically different without the experiences and lessons they learned having been a part of the team. I ran a co-ed competitive squad. In order for pyramids and partner stunts to be successful, it required a tremendous amount of trust. I was baffled each time these silly, fun-filled teenagers were able to leave their complicated lives at the door and come to the mat with serious determination and focus. The sport of cheerleading is about unity, stamina, tenacity, and confidence. I was hired to teach and direct them, when in fact they taught and inspired me. 

My mentor and confidant. I so owe her. 
My first son took his first steps toward this pretty lady at cheer practice. 

She is literally my second mother. 
This family has a special place in my heart. 
These trampoline photos might be blurry, but they're worth recording. 
I've never laughed so hard!
Not only is this family amazing, but they also have a snow cone machine!

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