Life Lessons From A Competitive Baton Twirler

Life Lessons From A Competitive Baton Twirler

Whether you're a baton twirler or not, these lessons are the keys to success and happiness in every aspect of life.
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If you've ever played a sport, you know that it takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to be your best, and if you don't really love it, you'll never reach your true potential. Even then, there are times we may feel like giving up because we feel like we'll never be good enough, we'll never get that move perfect, we'll never win. Nevertheless, WE PERSIST, and we're better people because of it. Here are some important lessons I've learned through twirling.

1. Resilience Is Key.

Whether it be doing a trick over and over again, or continuing to plug away at that math problem until you finally get it, resilience is essential to success. No matter how long it takes, you can do it! You will get frustrated, you will want to give up, you will feel there's no hope at times, but if you keep going and push passed that you'll be amazed at the things you can accomplish.

2. Success Is Internal.

There will be times when you go out and do your absolute best, but when the results come out they aren't what you feel you deserved. Your self-worth is not determined by a professor, a friend, a family member, or a judge behind a table. If you are happy with the job that you did, that's all that matters. Do what you love for you, not for the approval of someone else.

3. Don't Hold Back.

Sometimes we feel like we need to play it safe, but when you've worked your butt off for days, weeks, months, or years, don't let the fear of failure hold you back! Go out with confidence, and give it your all. Show them everything you've worked so hard on, lay it all on the line, and enjoy what your hard work has given you. Even if it doesn't go exactly how you wanted, at least you will know you didn't sell yourself short, and that is an accomplishment in itself (and it will be so much easier next time!)

4. Lift Others Up.

It's so easy to play into he game of competition, but in the end we're all working towards the same goal. We all want to be the best we can be. So, instead of avoiding those you see as your competitors for fear of showing them your weaknesses, lift them up, celebrate their accomplishments with them, connect with them! No one knows better what you've went through to get to the point you're at than those who are running the same race as you are. Although there will be a "winner" chosen in the end, the real prize is the friendships we have the ability to make, strengthened by a bond of doing something we have so much passion for.

5. You Are Your Own Worst Critic.

So you started off great but messed up a little some where in the middle. DON'T GIVE IN! Odds are whatever went wrong wasn't as big of a deal as you felt it was anyway. You and you alone have the opportunity to pick yourself up and finish strong or succumb to the negative feelings of disappointment and embarrassment. Don't let one bump in the rode ruin everything you've worked for. Keep on keeping on!

6. Find What Works For You And Own It.

It's so easy to see when everyone else can do something that you can't, but we all have things that we're uniquely good at. Identify those strengths, and use them to your advantage! Stop comparing yourself to others and do you because that's what you do best. Let your own style shine bright!

Whether it's a gymnastics routine, a basketball game, a business meeting, or a baton competition, these are key factors to help you live your best life. Baton twirling has taught me so much since I started at age 4, and I hope these lessons help you be the best you you can be. Now go on and own your 2018!



Cover Image Credit: Emmy Rinehart

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The Warriors' Fans May Need To Be Concerned About Stephen Curry

The six-time All-Star point guard's PPG has dipped over the past few games.

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The Golden State Warriors have been the most dominant NBA team over the past five years. They have claimed three NBA championships in the past four seasons and look to pull off a three-peat as they currently hold first place in the Western Conference more than halfway into the 2018-2019 NBA season. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been one of the primary reasons for their sustained success and is regarded by many around the NBA as the greatest shooter of all time and one of the best point guards in the league today. However, his points per game (PPG) total has dipped over the last few games. Should this be concerning for Warriors fans?

Curry got off to a hot streak early in the season and has had a few notable games like every season. He scored 51 points in three quarters while tallying 11 three-pointers against the Washington Wizards in the fifth game of the season and has delivered in the clutch with high-scoring games against the Los Angeles Clippers on December 23, 2018 (42 PTS) and Dallas Mavericks on January 13, 2019 (48 PTS).

However, Curry's consistency and point total have slipped over the past few games. He only put up 14 points and had a generally sloppy three-point shooting performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 2, and only 19 points four days later against the San Antonio Spurs, who were resting two of their best players, Demar Derozan and Lamarcus Aldridge due to load management. In addition, he only managed 20 points against a hapless Phoenix Suns team who made an expected cakewalk win for Golden State much harder than it should have been.

Perhaps Curry's numbers have dipped because he is still adjusting to having center Demarcus Cousins in the offense, or maybe I am simply exaggerating because Curry's standards are so high. The Warriors have won fifteen of their last sixteen games and are currently in cruise control heading for the top seed in the Western Conference. Perhaps the Warriors will ask more of Curry if the situation gets direr.

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