Friday, March 22, 2013

Year 29 Day Four

This year was my first year volunteering as a 4th - 6th grade cheer coach for my local church's basketball league. Tonight we had our final award ceremony after spending the last 9 weeks together. There were some weeks that seemed too consumed by "life" to truly appreciate the season, but now looking back on it, I would not have changed a thing. I met some amazing young ladies and parents of these young ladies during the season. 
Group picture missing two girls.

When making the decision of whether or not to volunteer this Upward season, I remembered that God calls us to use the gifts He has given us and to be His servants and to serve. (1 Peter 4:10). Sometimes it is hard for me, however, because very easily I can become too busy and I start to neglect relationships. This, therefore, is still something I am trying to ask God to help me with.

Hopefully God used me to speak into these young ladies' lives as we did our mid-practice devotional each week covering topics of "self-control", "responsibility", and "hope". Some weeks the girls were extra squirmy and I'm not quite sure how much they took away from our short devotionals.  (This seems to be true with parenting as well.  Parents do their best to teach their children the way of the Lord and then in the end must trust that they heard and will follow. Parenting is still very new for me.) 

Being a person who always strives to do my best, I wanted to do my best as a cheer coach.  During games I freted over the girls hitting the right moves, cheering loud, and remembering everything we went over during our quick 1-hour practice.  I watched other coaches who would direct their cheerleaders with calling specific cheers.  I, however, chose a different tactic.  I would simply elect two cheerleaders each week to call out the cheers (or chants) that I had taught them.  It would then be all, for the most part, student-led.  I prefered this tactic because it was teaching the girls to work together, to be a leader, and to "step up to the plate".

My biggest compliment this season came from a parent in the stands during our last game.  As I was sitting on the sideline watching the cheerleaders, she came up behind me and asked, "Are you their coach?" 

Reluctantly I answered in fear that she was going to say something negative, "Yes."

Her response then surprised me.  With a smile on her face she said, "This is the most entertaining squad I have seen yet.  My girls have been wanting to cheer, but I have been hesistant until I saw your cheerleaders.  What's your name so that I can request you next year?"

So many times I worried if what I was doing was enough.  After each practice I thought, "I could have done this... or I should have done that."  This parent's comment gave me the pat on the back that I needed.  Reflecting back on the season, I can see that there are things that I will improve upon for next season, but overall, it has been fantastic and is something that I could see myself doing again! :)

Go Upward!

End of season treats I made for each girl.

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