I wrapped up my second year as a head cheer coach about a month ago. Last year, I ended the season thinking my next season would be so great, because I’d have different rules and more experience. Boy, was I wrong.
It was a long, very stressful and frustrating season. I dealt with injuries, attitude, behavior, and poor grades, just to name a few. I started with 14 and ended with 9 after three tryouts. I prayed before every practice and game asking the Lord to send His peace.
I would be in practice thinking, What am I even doing here? They don’t care. I’d see the looks on their faces as I was explaining something and want to hide in the equipment closet. I don’t think I could have taken one more eye roll. I love my cheerleaders so very much, but it was rough.
The last game of the season came, and the girls were excited to be leaving school early for the out of town game. The girls took their seats at the front of the bus and we were ready to go. The bus driver took a phone call, and when he hung up the phone he stared right at me. “I’m so sorry,” he said, “but the cheerleaders have to stay behind. I wasn’t informed that the cheerleaders were coming and we have to pick up another team. There’s no room.” We pleaded with him and tried to change the seating arrangements to make room. He pleaded with his bosses, but it was to no avail. “I’m sorry girls,” I told them, “come on.” The girls, fighting back tears, grabbed their bags and walked out of the bus. The eighth graders let their tears out, as this would have been their last game at this school. It felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. The season ended with salt rubbed into our wounds.
So we had our pizza party, I did inventory, and the season was completely over. I was doubtful about my future as a cheer coach and worried about the kind of impression I left on the girls. I always wanted to be like Eric Taylor, but the cheer coach version. After the season I had, I couldn’t help but laugh a little at myself.
But the veil of discouragement would be lifted off my eyes and I’d see clearly again. One of my cheerleaders, who doesn’t show emotion or care for much, asked me, “You’ll still come around right? Like, we’ll still see you?” When I said yes, she smiled and breathed a sigh of relief. My heart melted.
Another cheerleader came up to me and told me, “I have to thank you, Coach Sarah. I made the high school dance team because of you. I remembered everything you taught us when I went for tryouts and I was prepared because of you.” I was nearly in tears. My little eighth grade cheerleader made the high school dance team.
No matter how hard it was. No matter how much time was wasted because of misbehavior. No matter how many times I left feeling defeated, I didn’t do any of it in vain. It was a struggle, but the result of perseverance is greater than the comfort of giving up.
You might think no one is watching. Maybe you think no one cares. Or maybe you even feel like what you’re doing is worthless, but it’s not. You never know who is watching. You never know whose world you’re lighting up. You never know who will be inspired by your actions.
So keep on going. Keep doing the good thing you’re doing. Your good doesn’t go unnoticed.
Be blessed. ❤️