Dear Cobras Coaches,
As we are moving on to the next phase, University, I decided I needed to take a moment to tell you about what the club has meant for my daughter. She doesn’t know I am writing, and I am sure would be embarrassed, but I could not let the opportunity pass by to let you know.
When she wanted to move on from Competitive Gymnastics, we searched for something to fill the gap. Cheer was not something we were too familiar with, but once we walked through the door, she just knew. Maybe it was the dancing and gymnastics combined. Maybe it was the team atmosphere Maybe it was the glitter. Either way, we jumped in and to say she loved it would be an understatement. We have been with the club for 7 years, 8 teams. That one year she did two teams at once was a busy blur.
I knew it was important to me to ensure she had sport in her life. I wanted that focus for her. I knew girls could struggle with wanting to fit in, with body image and social pressures. So I was just happy to find a sport she was excited about. What I did not realize was how much it would affect her. How much it imprinted values and confidence in her. Cheer has take her many places. Water parks, big cities, beaches and Disney land. Long bus rides, 3 am border crossings. Bus rides in snow storms, Small venues like in Amherstburg NY to the biggest stages in Texas and ESPN Worlds. All of that gives experiences and fun times. All of it teaches something.
Winning is great, don’t get me wrong. That feeling the kids get of setting a goal, practicing it over and over, and then HITTING IT is amazing for them. But there is more to your club than that.
Commitment to studying until midnight because the test your have falls on the day after cheer. Commitment is wanting to stay home with a bad stomach virus, but the big competition is soon, so you go to practice anyway, with a bucket nearby.
Integrity is doing the extra lap, the extra ab crunch, extra stunt run when no coach is watching, just because they want to get better,
Coach Chris was amazing for the past 2 years. Along with, Jess, Jon, CJ, Nat and every coach in the club is part of it. Every time you take a second to tell her she should try again. Every time you tell her don’t give up, try it this way, push harder because she can. Every time. You are doing something magical. You are ever so slightly changing how she thinks about herself. Changing her perception of commitment, of team, of sacrifice and coming back from a fall. Every time a coach gives her a little nudge, encouragement, feedback, it changes her. It makes her confident, strong and determined. And it changes her forever. And that is everything.
When you are a parent, it brings to focus one goal; to give my child every opportunity to be a healthy, happy adult. And anyone that contributes to that goal you notice. I gave you a little girl years ago, and you helped her grow into a strong, confident young woman.
I stood quietly in the back, I smiled when she won. I cried when she lost. I cheered the cheerleaders. I watched it all. I saw what you did. And I thank you.