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Entries in Perserverance UMASS growth (1)

Wednesday
Aug242011

Encouraging Perseverance

Erin wanted to be a high school cheerleader.

She waRed Devils (Pop Warner)s a “Red Devils” cheerleader, a middle school cheerleader, and had a step sister “in the house” on the high school cheerleading squad.

The first time she went out for high school cheering she was….rejected.  Oh, the tears.  A thankfully sympathetic coach helped “institute” a Junior Varsity squad, allowing Erin to participate (“participate” = move the mats and play thMiddle Schoole music.)  Erin was able to hang with the cheerleaders….and wasn’t one.

As a parent, what do you do in this circumstance?  Do you discourage the child to avoid heartache, or do you encourage them?

This is one of those situations where you have to let the child take some of the lead.  Are they engaging in a positive manner, trying to better them for the next chance?  Or are they withdrawing?

Erin tried out for cheering again and….didn‘t make the squad.  Some would have pushed her inHigh School Co-Captain a different direction.  Erin set the pace, though.  This was a goal, and she wanted to achieve it.

From a parent’s perspective, you have to be supportive of your child.  You need to show up for the “big games,” participate in the fundraisers, help move the squad around to different events….you need to engage. 

Erin tried out for cheering again and…didn’t make it.  Isn’t the third time supposed to be the charm?  She didn’t give up…..she dragged those mats around, and attended every practice and meet.

Then, she got on the squad.  Then, she was a co-captain in her Junior and Senior year.  WOW!Cheering at Mohegan Sun

Graduation came, and Erin went to college.  She missed cheering, and in her junior year went out for an all girl college level program.  And she made the squad.

And they went to Nationals.  And they made it to the finals.

You’ve got it….Daytona beach, ESPN, and all the excitement.

I’ve included the video from their finals performance.  You might think I’m just a proud dad showing off his daughter.  While there’s a bit of truth to that, you should know cheering is more than pompoms and pep rallies.  It’s a serious sport, with a combination of dance and gymnastics.

For parents, sometimes your children know what’s best for them, and you need to support them.  If they are failing, getting depressed and withdrawing, take another tact.

What did it do for Erin?  It helped her know rewards can come from perseverance.  It gave her immense confidence.  And it helped her blossom.  If you look at the pictures, you see a yound woman growing into herself.The Squad on the Beach for Final Pictures