If you're a cheerleader, chances are you're a pretty positive person. You are spirited and put a lot of energy into spreading that spirit to others. But, you're still a real person, and there are times when it's hard to stay positive. Part of being a good sport and not just a good athlete is keeping a good attitude when things get tough. While it's normal and OK to be disappointed now and then, it's no fun—and it could hold your team back. Take a look at these tough situations you might encounter throughout your season and how you can stay positive through them:
Situation #1: Fighting on the team.
Stay positive by: separating yourself from it. Simply refuse to take part in any negativity. If someone is talking bad about someone else, don't join in. Set the example for how the team members should conduct themselves. You can also plan a team bonding activity, like a sleepover, pizza party, or movie night, to bring the team together.
Situation #2: Practices have been hard and things aren't going well.
Stay positive by: shifting your focus. Maybe you are struggling to get the routine down or perform a pass or stunt, but if you are truly trying your best, that's something to be proud of. And chances are you did plenty of other good things that practice. Take those things into account rather than letting your mistakes define the whole practice.
Situation #3: You lost a competition.
Stay positive by: not placing blame. You can't change the outcome now, so just look forward. Let it motivate you to work harder. Think of it as an opportunity to improve, not a major defeat.
Situation #4: The sports team you cheer for isn't very good this year.
Stay positive by: having fun with your routines. While it's not as fun to cheer for a losing team, performing what you've been working so hard on in front of a crowd is always fun. Use it as a chance to show your stuff and entertain the fans since they're struggling to keep their spirits up, too.
Situation #5: It's been a tough week at school.
Stay positive by: leaning on your teammates. That's what they're there for. Spending time with your friends at practice will help you relax and reset your brain. You can even all get together after practice to study or work on school projects together. Those weeks where everything is due at once happen, and the best thing you can do is plan ahead as much as possible, then be sure to get as much rest as possible to help you cope.
Situation #6: There's been a tragedy at your school or on the team.
Stay positive by: coming together. Do whatever you can to help the situation and be there for those affected by it. Depending on the situation, you can organize a fundraiser or vigil or make a "get well soon" card. Know that whoever it is would want you to keep cheering. You could make signs or t-shirts or hold a moment of silence to honor the victim(s) of the tragedy.
What tough situations has your team faced, and how did you stay positive through them?
About the Author
Emily is a California transplant and longtime athlete who loves the beach, burritos, and fitness.