Power of a Positive Attitude: Fighting through a Mental Block

Tonight as a coach I witnessed what skill progression really creates. We had an athlete  that worked endlessly on PERFECTING each and every skill she had. She fought through a mental block of a back tuck and ended up pushing further than she ever thought possible I am sure. She worked hard on technique of her tucks, layouts, and fulls on the air trak and trampoline but the floor was used strictly for handsprings in her case. Tonight she went in with a positive attitude- continued her fight with her mental block on round off back handspring tucks and rocked them! To further her progress she decided to try a layout. She worked technique on the equipment went to the floor and tried it (never spotted). She had tried fulls on the equipment before so she went back did a couple and decided it couldn’t be much different. So she went to the floor and DID her round off back handspring full ALONE on the floor. No one “stood there” no one spotted..she just did it. That is true skill progression. Now I don’t expect every athlete to just go and throw their next higher skill, but the moral of the story is, when a coach tells you repeatedly to just do it…it is for good reason. Learning skills through progressions and independent work is amazing. Having no prior feeling of being spotted on a skills creates independence and mental strength in everything you do. So from this story I want our athletes to learn. Learn that YOU can do anything you set your mind to..and that Fear has no strength against an athlete with determination.

I want any athlete who has a fear holding them back from greatness to keep this story in mind. Once again just more and more reasons I love my job- it is awesome to see young people learn such powerful life lessons.

Allstar Cheerleading is Changing Lives of Special Needs Children

Last weekend my allstar teams and I headed out to Chicago for JAMBrands GLCC Nationals event. The weekend was hectic but as always was an awesome experience and the teams did great. While I was there I had the pleasure of watching many special needs teams take the floor. This wasn’t the first time I had seen a program have a special needs team- as they are very popular in the allstar world- but it was the first time I had really appreciated the hard work and amazing opportunity these programs were giving children with special needs. In fact, it brought me to tears. The USASF has a division for competitions all its own for the special needs programs and if nothing else, if cheerleading never is respected as a sport, I hope it is at least respected for what it does- gives young people- no matter who- a feeling of purpose, drive, passion, and excitement.

Special Squad- Extraordinary Cheerleading