Bring it On
Y’all, I just finished watching Cheer on Netflix. If you haven’t watched it, it’s about a National Championship College Cheer Team, and it’s so good. My favorite part of this show was watching the team lift each other up, encourage one another, and really be a family. Having a daughter who is a competitive gymnast, I could relate to the bond this coach and the team had with one another. Long hours spent together trying to perfect routines and the stress of competition takes its toll mentally and physically and having those teammates that encourage and hype up the team are essential to everyone’s success.
Their coach is amazing. She is everything you hope your child finds in a coach: treats and loves the kids as her own, but also encourages discipline and hard work. Then, there is Jerry and his “mat talk.” Mat talk is basically hyping up your team–the girl going for the stunt, the tumbler throwing a new pass–it’s giving your team that extra push to get that routine done. When my daughter started competing, I first noticed all of the hype that her team gave one another. When someone was up for their event, the whole team cheered them on, “you’ve got this,” “stick it,” and an eruption of cheers when they would finish. It is infectious, and even if that routine isn’t perfect, knowing that someone was cheering you on and will be cheering you on the next time is what being a team is all about.
Being Your Best
We are always telling our kids to do their best, but sometimes we forget to remind them to be their best. It can be hard for kids (and adults too) to remember to be our best even when we are not feeling our best. Sportsmanship is a quality we hope all of our athletes develop. My daughter has a mental block in back tumbling, not great for a gymnast. Because of this, she has not been able to compete for her floor routine for the past two seasons, and it is heartbreaking every time she has to step on that floor and salute the judges to take a scratch for her routine. Despite holding back tears and being disappointed, it doesn’t keep her from cheering on and encouraging the rest of her team; she knows her time will come.
She’s had so many strong role models throughout her gymnastics career who have modeled strong sportsmanship. Her gym “big sister” and former teammate, Olivia, now an LSU gymnast, is one of the best hype leaders we know, and her journey has been amazing to watch and a reminder that your time to shine will come with patience and hard work. Jerry also kept his mat talk and mindset strong while waiting for his chance to be put on the mat for the routine, cheering his team on, no matter the internal struggles he was having. Maintaining a positive outlook isn’t always easy when it seems like everyone else is getting their chance, but when you continue to encourage others and build them up, when it is your time, they’ll be right behind you with the same hype you showed them.
Find That Person, Be That Person
Gymnastics and cheer aside, a hype person is a person we all should strive to be: lifting our friends and family up, praising other’s successes, and encouraging them during a difficult time. Sometimes all it takes is a smile or a quick text to remind someone that we are on their side. Be a Jerry, be an Olivia, and surround yourself with others who do the same. There is enough negativity in this world, so do your best to bring the hype.