Leading the team isn’t as easy as it seems. Coaches know that keeping the team morale up, the drama down, the organization on point, and a bunch of cheerleaders’ attention span on the practice, performance, or event at hand is more than what they’ve originally signed up for. And, so, the cheer captain is born (aka, someone to assist coaches in all of the above mentioned tasks so that they don’t mentally snap midseason). A cheer captain has to have experience; they have to be motivated, organized, cooperative, and empathetic towards their teammates. With the pressure always on, a cheer captain really has to step up in order to get the job done right. However, somewhere in between getting crowned captain and next year’s tryouts, team captains rack up a few secrets that they sweep under the rug.

Confession #1: You secretly wish you could be late/neutral/messy, JUST ONCE.

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Being a cheer captain means that you always have to be the one leading by example, and that means going above and beyond 100% of the time. You show up early to every practice, game, and competition. You always take the fall if anything is disorganized at cheer events, like pep rallies or fundraisers. And, of course, you’re the permanent designated team mediator for the season, which could put you in a tight spot time and time again if teammates are quarreling. You LOVE being team captain… but you long for a day off. One day…

Confession #2: You get paranoid that you’re not as good as the last captain.

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The team captain crown gets passed down over the years of a cheerleading team, as participants age out or graduate. ‘Tis the circle of life, and you accept this. But, now that you’re actually being faced with challenges as new captain, you suffer from recurring paranoia that you’re not living up to the standards set by the last! What would they have done?? How can you take what you’ve inherited and make it better–without your team rioting in the streets? You know that you’re just feeling temporary moments of insecurity when this happens, but the Ghosts of Captains Past is a definitely real thing.

Confession #3: Your art skills are quickly becoming brag-worthy.

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As you complete your 99,000th spirit bag/team sign/ etc, you brush your shoulders off and wonder if you should start pursuing art and crafts as a career. You've got 'DIY' down to a 'T', and you are getting more and more creative as the months pass by. The staff at Michael’s and JoAnn’s Fabrics know you by name with how often you’re there, and your parents have given up trying to keep the area where you do your cheer projects clean… it’s just not going to happen.

Confession #4: You still have your fair share bad days.

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But, no one will EVER KNOW IT. You thrive on positive energy to keep the team upbeat, and you wouldn’t trade your captain role for anything in the world.

What are other confessions of cheer captains? Are you a cheer captain with a secret? Dish in the comments!