Throughout the ages, individuals that participate and excel in sports have always been completely dedicated to their training and preparation. A good coach will not only push their athletes into top physical form, but will ensure that the athlete’s mind is also focused like a laser on the challenge ahead.
My boys are currently participating in the cross-country program of their school. They have a good coach. He pushes them hard during practices to build their stamina, but he also sets their mind right just before a big race.
“You have to focus on your passing. Put all of the trash in your head aside. Anything negative that affected your day is now irrelevant. Focus one hundred percent of your mind on getting the next pass. Unless you are in first place, your mind shall be focused on the very next pass!”
Hollywood has shown us some inspiring coaches. There have been many scenes depicting a coach’s rally of his football team. That plot and story line has been ingrained in our minds about four billion times over now. It’s time to move on Hollywood. Find a new plot already.
I have a niece that is into the sport of “cheering”. She is about twelve years old and is thoroughly enjoying cheerleading. I was wondering how the coaches of a cheerleading team prepare their squad for the big game. What does a cheerleading coach say to their team to motivate them to motivate a crowd? How do you motivate the motivators?
“Alright you screaming bunch of girls, I want to see total focus out there today. I want to see each and every one of you delivering the cheer of your life. I want your voices to carry to the top of the bleachers. I want smiles plastered ear to ear on each and every one of your faces. I want to be able to look out into that crowd and see the both the young and the old smiling, clapping, and cheering along with us like they don’t have a care in the world!”
In some sports, the participants will play through a nagging injury. I don’t think these people are heroes, but if their coach are relying on them and he calls them into the play, they do it. They run in and give it their all. What happens when a cheerleader is jolted with bad news just before a big game? No different than a football player with a sore elbow, or a cross-country runner with sore legs, a cheerleader will just have to set that pain aside and push through and deliver the well rehearsed game plan.
“Coach, I am really depressed today. My dog was run over by a car. He was flattened like a pancake. He died just hours ago.”
“Suck it up little missy. This is homecoming—the biggest game of the year! Now put a smile on the face and let’s get out there and cheer with everything you have.”
What if your team is cheering against a team with a dog for a mascot? For example, there are a lot of teams with the “bull dog” mascot.
“Rah Rah! Push them back! Push them back! Crush those dogs!”
The smile on the cheerleader begins to falter, until she reaches deep and remembers that her fellow cheerleaders are counting on her. The crowd needs her! She is a well trained cheering machine! She cracks out a new smile even bigger than before. Dedication! Performance!
And with the biggest of smiles on her face she screams, “Pound those dogs into the ground!”
And the crowd goes wild!
At the next sporting event that you attend, look for the cheerleader masking her pain of the day. Which one of them is cheering with a heavy burden weighing on their heart? If their coach was doing their job right, you won’t be able to tell which cheerleader just arrived from a funeral.
Rah Rah! Buy my book! It’s not too expensive. Just have a look!
(a cheerleader, I am not)