Why does it seem that, these days, people fail to honor their commitments? Personally, this baffles me.
I was on the cheer team at my high school, and during basketball playoffs, we were to cheer at each game for the men's and women's teams, as these are important games and we want our classmates to succeed (or at least we should). Most of the students and a lot of the cheerleaders at the time preferred the men's games (regular season and playoffs), and there was always higher attendance at those games. However, though both of our teams were rather successful, the women's team had an outstanding record and were two-time defending champions looking for a three-peat. I loved the atmosphere of the men's games, but I also loved to support the women's team and watch as they got closer to another title.
During playoffs that year, I had to miss one of the women's games because of a prior commitment, and I was really bummed about it because I wanted to cheer and to support the girls, but I just looked forward to their next game. On the morning of the next women's game (a Saturday), I got a message from my coach saying that we would not be cheering at the game that evening because not enough cheerleaders would be there. I was disappointed, to say the least. I asked my coach about it, and her response conveyed with similar frustration that most of the girls who texted her simply did not want to go and had no legitimate reason to miss it.
I was livid.
First of all, how dare you? Whether or not we are performing or simply doing sideline chants, you are a member of the team and are expected to attend, regardless of whether you feel like it -- you made a commitment as a cheerleader, so deal with it. Furthermore, do you realize how privileged you are, how many people wish they had the opportunity to be a cheerleader and to wear that uniform proudly and properly? Even fellow cheerleaders like me who actually look forward to these games and are excited to cheer, only to be let down by her own teammates? I simply could not fathom any of it and, frankly, it still makes zero sense to me.
My dad was going to the game anyway and suggested I wear my uniform and cheer by myself, so I did.
It would have been admittedly awkward and frankly pointless to chant by myself, so I would do jumps when our team sunk their foul shots, and tumbled across the court during time-outs. I am forever glad that I did that, and the women's team was extremely grateful that I came to cheer them on even without the rest of the squad.
Next time you think about making a commitment, remember this:
First of all, if you are not going to give 100 percent, why make the commitment in the first place?
Second, commit for the right reasons. For example, if you want to join your school's cheer-leading squad, do it because you want to work hard, perform the best routines you can and support your fellow athletes, not because you just want to wear the uniform and look cute. You need to earn that uniform.
Third, when you make a commitment, such as to a team, you need to follow through. If your commitment obligates that you cheer at boys' home games on Tuesdays and Fridays and select girls' games, then you should be there on time, ready to go.
Fourth, communicate. If you have another legitimate commitment that conflicts with those times, all you have to do is communicate! Let your coach or manager or whoever is in charge know -- in advance (not night/day of) -- that you unfortunately cannot make it that time. I promise that it will be much more appreciated than texting a teammate/coworker or simply not showing up. It is very simple to just send a quick text.
Fifth, you can not do it only when you feel like it. As mentioned above, you are expected to be present at the designated times and you should communicate to a superior any delays in your arrival or advance notice with legitimate reason for being absent from the event.
The moral of the story: Only make commitments that you will honor properly. Otherwise, do not waste everyone's time, including your own, and do not abuse an opportunity that someone else would dream of having.