Cheer is life…

Hello my rebels and my not so rebels!

I hope you all have been enjoying my most recent posts. I’m excited for the weeks to come.

I’m working on the whole consistency is key thing so if you have any topic suggestions please get them over to me! I welcome and am excited for any and all feedback.

Today’s post is about one of my greatest passions, cheerleading, mostly in this case being a cheer coach.

Let’s give you some background, as a kid I remember sitting in my 2nd grade class and getting a flyer for the TBYFL (Tampa Bay Youth Football League) Carrollwood Cardinals looking for cheerleaders. I came home so excited to tell my mom that I wanted to be a cheerleader. We went to the field for registration and it’s been history since then. I was TBYFL cheerleader for years before I realized that this is something I love. My love grew to the point to where when a friend of mine needed assistance with her cheer team, back in TBYFL, I jumped at the idea.

I have been a cheer coach for a total of 6 seasons on and off and it has genuinely been one of the best experiences. These past two seasons I have stepped up to be cheer coordinator, for those of you not in the recreational side of the cheer world that means I’m in charge of ALL of cheer teams for my organization, in our case five teams. Although I am in charge I have a strong support staff coaching my teams – Mighty Mites, Peewee, Super Midget, Midget and Varsity. (Varsity is the team I coach and has been for a while.)

I never realized how being a coach could impact someone’s life until I became one.

The cheerleaders that I have had the honor of coaching, mentoring and watching them grow up, have started right there on the same field I used to cheer on.

My old TBYFL stomping grounds.

Some of my best memories growing up were when I was a cheerleader, cheering on the same sidelines my cheerleaders cheer on now. It’s amazing to be a part of those memories for my cheerleaders and even now my own daughter. The league alone has been around for 50 years and has been lead by some great leadership. Men and women that I look up to and have looked up to most of my life.

I have met some great coaches along the way and have been taught by some of what I consider to be the great coaches.

Beginning this coaching journey, I had the opportunity to coach with someone who was a great friend in middle school and who I met when we cheered together then. It was surreal to coach the sport that brought us together as young girls. She was already coaching a Varsity cheer squad and she helped lay the foundation as to the type of cheer coach I wanted to be. I came on as an assistant and kept myself there in that position until she decided it was time for her to take a break. That last team we coached together took Grand Champions at our Super Bowl version of cheer…. Cheer Offs.

Stepping up as she left had me in a space to where I was so scared; could I coach a great squad on my own, could I guide these girls in the direction they need to, I questioned my skill, my ability, my knowledge as a coach then the season began but I stepped in at full speed. Going from assistant coach for 3 seasons to going to stepping into a Head coach position and coordinator position was A LOT but taught me so much.

As a coach and a coordinator I live on building strong relationships with my teams, my coaches and everyone that has helped me grow in my position. I wouldn’t be where I am as a coach and a coordinator without everyone that has come along my path.

I have a strong belief and I use this in all aspects of life… ONE TEAM, ONE DREAM. 

That is my motto as a coach, as a mom, in life.

My cheerleaders have taught me that no matter what, you can do it. Like I tell them all the time there is no CAN’T in cheer. There is NOTHING we can’t do.

The reward is…. seeing them apply that to everything in life and that alone is the biggest trophy for me.

Coaching is in my future one way or another and I thank God cheer was the sport he placed in my life.

Cheer and I have a special relationship and I can’t wait to see how it grows!

See you next Wednesday when we talk about health and how important it is, especially as you become an adult. (I’m not ready lol but I hope you are!)

– Val Monique

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