Two months ago, we were in the peak of our season. Final upgrades were being made to routines, conditioning was getting easier (slightly), old skills were being perfected, and new ones were being gained. There was a sense of rhythm and structure in our lives. Unfortunately, all of that came to a very abrupt and unexpected ending. We have now had two months away from this sport with no return date in sight. Many have attempted to stay in shape and maintain skills by conditioning, tumbling, and jumping at home; however, it is time for a moment of honesty. None of that compares to the training that is done in the gym or performing a full out. For clarification, I do not think doing any of the above is a waste of time. In fact, I applaud every athlete that has done it because the journey back will be easier for you than those that did nothing. Easier, however, does not mean easy. When we finally can get back in the gym, things will be harder than they were before. I am here to tell you that is okay.
I want each of you to use this comeback as a reset. A chance to start over your cheerleading journey with a clean slate. The athlete you were before no longer exist, mental blocks from old skills no longer exist, and in fact the skills you had before don’t exist either. You are a brand-new version of yourself. This new you will train harder, apply corrections quicker, and complain none. You will work until you feel like you have nothing left and then push even harder to overcome that. This new you will not only gain new skills but master all the previous skills that came before it. This new you will trust the coaches and allow them to mold you into an even greater athlete.
Can we have another moment of honesty? I know starting over sounds insane, but I also know that it works. I was once in your shoes, minus the worldwide pandemic scenario. The summer after I had my largest growth spurt, I lost about 80% of my skills. That season was filled with a lot of tears, doubt, and thoughts about quitting; however, my coach did the greatest thing she could have done for me and that was starting me over from the beginning. When I say the beginning, I mean the absolute beginning. I went from working bounce back passes to head rolls. Yeah, it completely sucked. I had to not only show that I could perform all skills from a previous level before moving up, but I had to do it with confidence. You know the saying one time is luck, two times is a coincidence, and third time is skill? Well let’s change that number from three to ten and that’s how many reps of each skill I had to do. Hindsight, it was the best thing she could have ever made me do. It created a strong tumbling foundation physically and mentally, so that when I was able to work on level 5 (now level 6) skills they came to me easier than they did before. I also had way more confidence in myself and a much better understanding of my body.
I want each of you to have the same outcome. I know everyone dreams of being this amazing athlete, but that training begins now. It requires patience and perseverance. Yes, there will be tears, pain, and frustration, but more importantly there will a spectacular athlete that comes out of it. There will be an athlete that has a strong body and even stronger mind. An athlete that can execute the basic skills and master the advanced ones. This athlete will not only be better, but smarter too. The athlete you were before no longer matters, because the amazing athlete that will make this comeback is YOU.
- Coach Domm