Here's what I have. Whoever can make it would be outstanding, even if it's just 3 or 4 and not 9. Catherine is in Europe & one other of you said you have a family commitment. I'd love for you to be I uniform, but will understand if it's insanely hot- please at least wear cheer "swag." Chelsea- it would ROCK to have Cujo there- do you have him, or is he at school? Do you need me or Shelia to open my classroom for you?
Friday, June 27, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
"Individual commitment to a group effort- that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." ~Vince Lombardi, legendary NFL coach
"If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, then WE did it. If anything goes really good, then YOU did it." ~Paul "Bear" Bryant, NCAA Football coach
"Team Spirit means you are willing to sacrifice personal considerations for the welfare of all. That defines a team player." ~John Wooden
It's not about me. It's not about you. It's about the squad, the program, the team & fans we're cheering for, the school, the town, the community. You and I are a part of something bigger than either of us alone. We are BULLDOGS.You've heard the old cliche', "there's no 'I' in TEAM."
It's not about me. It can never be about you.It's all about US.Be a team player and you'll become a leader. What's it gonna be? 7 individuals who all want their own way? Two or three factions that each coalesce behind different individuals who each want to be in charge? Or ONE unit, one group, one team, one family, one squad with the same purpose- to get the crowds going and make games more fun- for EVERYBODY?
As you've read before, about other bricks in the Pyramid of Success, it might take sacrifice, selflessness, maturity, patience, compromise- but those are all things that genuine and successful leaders do. Be a leader by being a TEAM player.
Coach Wooden on Team Spirit: "This means thinking of others. It means losing oneself in the group for the good of the group. It means being not just willing but eager to sacrifice personal interest or glory for the welfare of all.
There is a profound difference between mere willingness and eagerness. A prisoner on a chain gang may be willing to break rocks to avoid punishment, but how eager is he?
Of course, we all want to do well and receive individual praise. Yes, that's fine, if you put it to use for the good of the team, whatever your team is: sports, business, family, or community.
Team spirit means you are willing to sacrifice personal considerations for the welfare of all. That defines a team player."
For my money, this may be the most difficult block in the pyramid to put into practice, but it may be one of the most rewarding and most important.
The reason King Aurthur's table was round, instead of rectangular, was because he saw his knights as co-equals. He wanted them to know that it wasn't all about him- they were a team. One version of the legend says that the round table was inscribed with this motto: "by serving each other, we become free."
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
"The key to winning is poise under stress." ~Paul Brown
Coach Wooden put Poise and Confidence near the top because they are the natural result of having the first 12 qualities in place.
You've heard of old saying like, "she makes it look so easy," the reason some people make things LOOK easy, is not because they are easy, but because those people have poise.
1 : a stably balanced state : EQUILIBRIUM poise between widely divergent impulses --
2 a : easy self-possessed assurance of manner : gracious tact in coping or handling; also : the pleasantly tranquil interaction between persons of poise poise of the meeting
b : a particular way of carrying oneself : BEARING, CARRIAGE
synonym see TACT
Fashion magazines will tell you that runway models need to be poised, so you might think that poise is all an act, but really it's about being comfortable, unflappable even. It's about being stable.
Coach Wooden says that his definition of poise is simply being yourself. Not acting. Not pretending to be something you're not, you are who you are and you're comfortable with that. You'll function at your own level of competence. Granted, as a cheerleader you may sometimes have to pretend to be happy and you have to work at being positive- but if you have enthusiasm (love/spirit) then you'll be able to smile and act excited and still be genuine even when life is hard or you're having a bad day.
Poise means that your goal is not to satisfy anyone else's expectations but your own. You give your total effort to becoming the best you are capable of being.
Here's a famous poem about poise:
"You understand that the goal is to satisfy not everyone else's expectations but your own. You give your total effort to becoming the best you are capable of being. It takes poise to accomplish this." ~John Wooden
Monday, June 09, 2014
" Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent."
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
"Courage is being scared to death- but saddling up anyway."
"You must have confidence," writes Coach John Wooden, "You must believe in yourself if you expect others to believe in you. However, you can't have poise and confidence unless you've prepared correctly. (remember that failing to prepare is preparing to fail.) Every block is built on the others. When all are in place, poise and confidence result. You don't force them to happen. They happen naturally from proper preparation. "
Webster's Dictionary explains that it is "a state of mind or a manner marked by easy coolness and freedom from uncertainty, diffidence, or embarrassment... faith in oneself and one's powers without any suggestion of conceit or arrogance confidence that comes from long experience>...an ease or coolness under stress that reflects perfect self-control and command of one's powers... a manifest self-possession in trying or challenging situations."
Some kids bring confidence to cheerleading. Generally cheerleading gives kids confidence.
Flying, basing and spotting in stunts. Leading chants; shouting, jumping and kicking in front of hundreds of people. Leading pep-rallies... practice, practice, practice... being LOUD and PROUD!
Heck, just having to perform in front of the whole student body or half the town gives you a certain amount of confidence- once you get over whatever stage fright you had, there won't be many times you'll be afraid to be in front of people anymore!
I wish we still had 10-20 people trying out for cheer- not because the competition means you get a higher caliber of cheerleader- you guys are great- but because having to go through the tryout practice is a real teat or confidence. Over the last 20 years I've known a couple of girls who gave phenomenal tryouts, you'd think they were college cheerleaders, unfortunately they became lazy and sloppy in practice and at games. These girls were "over confident." True confidence is built on the other 13 bricks and includes not just poise, but work, conditioning, alertness, loyalty, Enthusiasm, cooperation, etc.
Then there were a few girls who I absolutely knew had outstanding skills, knowledge, and work-ethic- but unfortunately for them, they completely freaked out when it was time for tryouts. A couple of times girls wound up in tears. It was too bad because I knew that they were brimming with potential. At least once they decided they couldn't stand being in front of crowds, at least once there wasn't anything I could do- there were too many other candidates that performed better, and I know a couple of times it worked out in the end. Even the girls who don't make the squad have said that just having to go through the tryout process helped build their confidence.
And as Coach Wooden explained, working on industriusness, friendship, loyalty, cooperation, enthusiasm, self-control, alertness, initiative, intentness, conditioning, skill, team-spirit, and poise- these are going to give you REAL confidence.
My hope is that through cheerleading, you will build all 15 of these bricks into your character and your thinking. If you do, they may not make you a billionaire or the first woman President, but I guarantee that they will bring you success- that is, the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you did your best. And THAT could make cheer one of the most important things you do in high school. Even if this is the last season you cheer and you don't come out again (and I hope you all will, whether it's during football or basketball or both), but even if you don't- it will be worth it if you gain at least some confidence from it. That will probably happen even if you think this Pyramid business of Coach Wooden is a bunch of bunk.
I've known tons of girls who agree that it made a difference in their lives. Some who were timid, shy and unassuming before cheer and confident and comfortable both with themselves and with others after. But remember, if your confidence is not merely building up an immunity to stage-fright, but if it's backed up by the other 13 bricks in the Pyramid of Success- you'll be ready for just about anything life throws at you.
Everybody need a little confidence. How do you get it? It's not about a sense of entitlement, it's about a sense of accomplishment. Esteem may give you value, but efficacy gives you confidence. If you have the other 12 blocks of the pyramid, then confidence and poise will come along naturally. If there's anything that cheerleading (and I'm sure other sports like VB, XC, BB, and Track) can give a girl, it's confidence.
Friday, June 06, 2014
UCLA Coach John Wooden with some of the artifacts that came from his success, which he attributes to his Pyramid of Success.
“'When the going gets tough, the tough get going.' Be at your best when your best is needed. (competitive greatness is a) Real love of a hard battle." ~John Wooden
Get your game on.
Put your game face on.
Keep your head in the game.
And of course what cheerleader doesn't know "Bring it on?"
All of these cliches mean the same thing; keep your edge.
It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.
All of these mottos mean that the athlete relishes the opportunity to bring all their skill, talent, experience and character to bare on whatever problem or challenge they face.
Coach Wooden says "a hard struggle is to be welcomed, never feared. In fact, when you define success this way, the only thing to fear is your unwillingness to make the full 100% effort to prepare and perform at the highest level of your ability."
Over 20 years of bus rides, I've overheard a lot of conversations between basketball coaches. They talk a lot about who's giving 100%, 90%, 60%, and 110% both in practices and in games.
Competitive greatness isn't about winning competitions (especially in cheer, where yeah, there are such a thing as cheerleading competitions, but the whole purpose is really to help the football or basketball players reach their competitive greatness). Competitive greatness isn't about defeating an opponent or a rival. You can be competitive in an insecure, jealous, selfish, ambitious way like that, but true competitive greatness isn't about vanquishing enemies- it's about overcoming obstacles, solving problems, meeting challenges, and accomplishing personal goals.
The love of a hard battle isn't about destroying enemies or getting attention or power- it's about sojourning on even when you're faced with the most difficult trails. It's about not being lazy, apathetic, or lethargic but industrious, intentional, confident, determined and to bring us full-circle- it means being enthusiastic.
The point, that sharp top (competitive EDGE), the summit of the pyramid isn't possible without the force of the bricks below it, perhaps most importantly the corner stones of industriousness and enthusiasm- but not as high, not as powerful, and not nearly as meaningful or as successful without friendship, loyalty, cooperation, and team-spirit.
You can jump over a hurdle, avoid it by going around, or plow right through it. Sometimes competitive greatness means having to get a little dirty, it means having to work up a sweat. It means not giving up, even if you do lose. It means moving on and trying again after you have failed.
Winston Churchill once said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
That's why I always want you to keep trying to rev up the crowd no matter how unresponsive they are for your time out and quarter break cheers. And that's a lesson that will take you far in life. Another old saying says that if you aim for the moon, even if you miss, you'll end up in the stars.
Take a look and read through the 15 bricks. Do you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you give it your best? That's what it means to be a true success. You can review them at my "Cheer Positive" wiki, at http://cheerpositive.wikispaces.com/P000+The+Pyramid+of+Success-+Intro or at my Coach's blog at http://cheercoach.blogspot.com/search/label/Pyramid%20of%20Success.