I No Longer Miss High School, But I Still Want To Put On My Cheer Uniform Again

I No Longer Miss High School, But I Still Want To Put On My Cheer Uniform Again

I took it from nostalgia to actually missing the sport.

375
views

Although it doesn't feel like it, I graduated high school almost two years ago. I absolutely loved everything about my high school experience: clubs and organizations, leadership roles, my friends, my class (#ForeverL17), my teachers, and being a cheerleader.

I'll be the first to admit it: I missed high school so much my first semester of college. I missed the comfort and familiarity it brought me. I missed having a solid group of friends I could make plans with all the time. I missed being at home with my family. And of course, I missed cheer. I started cheering when I was in 7th grade, so it was definitely an adjustment to stop doing something I had been doing for the last six years.

At first, the missing cheer was more of a nostalgia thing than truly missing the sport itself. So many friendships and memories came from being on the cheer team, so I think I was trying to cling to those rather than missing being on the sidelines to cheer on the football or basketball team.

Despite my efforts to stay in touch with teammates and go back home to support the team as an alum, I soon realized that the chapter had really been closed and it was time to declare it all memories. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy going back to watch the cheer team on the sidelines to cheer on the football and basketball teams or on the mat as they show off their skills in their competition routine, but my motive in doing that has changed. I just enjoy watching the games and supporting them from the stands.

Now that I'm two years post-graduation, aka two years post-cheerleader, I really do miss the sport itself.

I miss being on the sidelines. I love going to college sporting events, but it's really different being in the stands instead of down where all the action is happening.

I miss being a part of creating the fan experience. I loved making game plans and routines that involved the crowd. Now I'm on the receiving end of things.

I miss performing. After all the time and hard work we put into a routine, there was no better feeling than hitting it perfectly in front of the crowd at a game or competition. It made all the blood, sweat, and tears far beyond worth it.

I miss learning new skills. A close second to that feeling of hitting a perfect routine was perfecting a new stunt sequence with your stunt group or conquering a mental block with a new tumbling pass.

I even find myself actually missing the things I never thought I would.

I miss the early morning practices. They taught me self-discipline to actually get up and go after the things I wanted.

I miss the workouts. They kept me in shape. Now, I'm a full-time college student who never has time to workout anymore.

I miss the bus rides to away games and competitions. They forced me to take a break from my studies and spend time with friends.

I miss being told "one more full out" at the end of practice. Pushing through the pure exhaustion and being ready to go home taught me how to keep giving it my all no matter what was thrown at me.

With all of the friendships, memories, and life lessons cheer brought into my life, I know that my time with cheer is up. But what I'd give to put on that uniform to cheer on the sidelines one more time... do one more stunt sequence... one more tumbling pass... one last routine...




Popular Right Now

To The Coach Who Took Away My Confidence

You had me playing in fear.
256506
views
"The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure."

As a coach, you have a wide variety of players. You have your slow players, your fast players. You have the ones that are good at defense. You have the ones that are good at offense. You have the ones who would choose to drive and dish and you have the ones that would rather shoot the three. You have the people who set up the plays and you have the people who finish them. You are in charge of getting these types of players to work together and get the job done.

Sure, a coach can put together a pretty set of plays. A coach can scream their head off in a game and try and get their players motivated. A coach can make you run for punishment, or they can make you run to get more in shape. The most important role of a coach, however, is to make the players on their team better. To hopefully help them to reach their fullest potential. Players do make mistakes, but it is from those mistakes that you learn and grow.

To the coach the destroyed my confidence,

You wanted to win, and there was nothing wrong with that. I saw it in your eyes if I made a mistake, you were not too happy, which is normal for a coach. Turnovers happen. Players miss shots. Sometimes the girl you are defending gets past you. Sometimes your serve is not in bounds. Sometimes someone beats you in a race. Sometimes things happen. Players make mistakes. It is when you have players scared to move that more mistakes happen.

I came on to your team very confident in the way that I played the game. Confident, but not cocky. I knew my role on the team and I knew that there were things that I could improve on, but overall, I was an asset that could've been made into an extremely great player.

You paid attention to the weaknesses that I had as a player, and you let me know about them every time I stepped onto the court. You wanted to turn me into a player I was not. I am fast, so let me fly. You didn't want that. You wanted me to be slow. I knew my role wasn't to drain threes. My role on the team was to get steals. My role was to draw the defense and pass. You got mad when I drove instead of shot. You wanted me to walk instead of run. You wanted me to become a player that I simply wasn't. You took away my strengths and got mad at me when I wasn't always successful with my weaknesses.

You did a lot more than just take away my strengths and force me to focus on my weaknesses. You took away my love for the game. You took away the freedom of just playing and being confident. I went from being a player that would take risks. I went from being a player that was not afraid to fail. Suddenly, I turned into a player that questioned every single move that I made. I questioned everything that I did. Every practice and game was a battle between my heart and my head. My heart would tell me to go to for it. My heart before every game would tell me to just not listen and be the player that I used to be. Something in my head stopped me every time. I started wondering, "What if I mess up?" and that's when my confidence completely disappeared.

Because of you, I was afraid to fail.

You took away my freedom of playing a game that I once loved. You took away the relaxation of going out and playing hard. Instead, I played in fear. You took away me looking forward to go to my games. I was now scared of messing up. I was sad because I knew that I was not playing to my fullest potential. I felt as if I was going backward and instead of trying to help me, you seemed to just drag me down. I'd walk up to shoot, thinking in my head, "What happens if I miss?" I would have an open lane and know that you'd yell at me if I took it, so I just wouldn't do it.

SEE ALSO: The Coach That Killed My Passion

The fight to get my confidence back was a tough one. It was something I wish I never would've had to do. Instead of becoming the best player that I could've been, I now had to fight to become the player that I used to be. You took away my freedom of playing a game that I loved. You took away my good memories in a basketball uniform, which is something I can never get back. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but without confidence, you won't go very far.

Cover Image Credit: Christina Silies

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

615
views

On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

Related Content

Facebook Comments