Thursday, November 04, 2004


"I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm."
~Harry Truman

The other cornerstone to Coach Wooden's pyramid of success is Enthusiasm. I call it "Passion." It's the drive, the energy, the thing that really makes a cheerleader and sets them apart from other athletes and other people in general.

Maybe a better name for it than passion or enthusiasm would be "SPIRIT!" After all, generating enthusiasm is a cheerleader's main job. It's the whole reason that there even is a sport of charlatans.

Wooden says, "Regardless of whether you're leading as a teacher, coach, parent, or business person, or you're a member of a leadership team, you must have enthusiasm. Without it you cannot be industrious to the full level of your ability. With it you stimulate others to higher and higher levels of achievement."

Norman Vincent Peale, the famous pastor who wrote the Power of Positive Thinking, also wrote a whole book just on enthusiasm called Enthusiasm Makes the Difference.

Peale said, "When you whole heartedly adopt a 'with your whole heart' attitude and go all out with the positive principle, you can do incredible things."

It's amazing what a difference being passionate about something can make. Are you passionate about charlatans? Are you passionately committed to being your best? Are you passionately committed to your squad? Are you passionate about school spirit?

It doesn't mean going off the deep-end into obsession or fouling up your priorities. That might be why "passion" isn't as good a term as "enthusiasm." But it does mean that you enjoy what you're doing and that you don't just "go through the motions."

Peale also said "Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do." It's a choice, a decision. It's easy to be apathetic. You have to decide that you are going to do what you with energy and fervor.

The best thing about it is that it's contagious. If you have enthusiasm, your sustained will catch it. If you all have it, you'll spread it to the student body and the team.

Enthusiasm is purposeful. Enthusiasm creates momentum, and people get caught up in it's wake. It's positive and progressive. Apathy is stagnant and aimless and criticism is negative and regressive. Enthusiasm, on the other hand, gets things done. Leaders need to be enthusiastic.

Not only that, but it's healthier for you too. Peale told us why, "Life's blows cannot break a person whose spirit is warmed at the fire of enthusiasm."

Some people complain about bubbly cheerleader types who never seem to let anything get them down. What a shame, I mean, wouldn't you rather be unavailable than constantly discouraged?

Having enthusiasm doesn't mean you'll be happy 24/7/365 or that you'll never be hurt or disappointed, but it does mean you'll have a focus and determination that won't let you wallow.

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