I'd like to take this Christmas break as an opportunity to start talking to you about something I think is very important. I don't just want you to learn chants and stunts and prepare you for games. I want to teach you about character and hopefully try to prepare you for life. If you read these posts and really take them to heart, we will have a better squad and you will take something away from cheerleading that will be much more powerfull than being able to yell loud.
The "Pyramid of Success" was developed by Coach John Wooden. His 10 NCAA National Championships in 12 years while at UCLA are unmatched by any other college basketball coach ever. He has long since retired and lives near where I used to live in California. My friend and former Vice Principal goes to his church and has gotten to know him pretty well. He has written books on success and is widely respected in both sports and business.
Here's is most famous quote-
"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."
The first brick in the foundation of the pyramid is something Coach Wooden called "industriousness," but you could call it having a strong work-ethic.
"Hard work, dedication and desire don't guarantee you a thing, but without them you don't stand a chance."
~Pat Riley, NBA Coach (Bulls, Lakers)
"The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price."
~Vince Lombardi (Green Bay Packers - the Super Bowl trophy was named for him)
Success depends more on how hard you work for it then on your talent. Think of it as a math equation:
Effort divided by Ability equals Success. You can have all the talent & skill in the world, but if you aren't willing to work hard, you will go nowhere.
Cheerleaders need to focus and push themselves (& each other) in practice. We should WANT to work out and train and review and improve. If we don't work, we won't get anything done.
Not everybody likes to have to work. It may not be that they're lazy- it's just that they don't want to have to do what someone else tells them to, or they have higher priorities for using their time, but nothing pays off like hard work.
Between now and January, I'll be posting notes on the other bricks in the pyramid. I hope you think about them and take them to heart. It would be easy to not take it seriously- just more "Character Ed" stuff like the 5 pillars that you learned in elementary school, but John Wooden swore by his pyramid. And he must've known what he was doing. Check out what Wikipedia says about him:
"During his tenure with the Bruins, Wooden became known as the 'Wizard of Westwood' (UCLA) and gained lasting fame with UCLA by winning 664 games in 27 seasons and 10 NCAA titles during his last 12 seasons, including 7 in a row from 1967 to 1973. His UCLA teams also had a record winning streak of 88 games and four perfect 30–0 seasons. They also won 38 straight games in NCAA Tournaments and a record 98 straight home games"
Some of his players include the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who while he was a student, thought the pyramid was a little corny- but credits it with his later success in the NBA and in life in general.
I want cheer to be fun and full of memories for you, but I also want each and every one of you to come away from cheer with integrity, respect and genuine leadership abilities. Take time to read these and you'll be building yourself and our squad into something great.
"I am only an average man but, by George, I work harder at it than the average man."