Saturday was possibly the end of an era... After 5 seasons here (& 7 total), this was perhaps my last youth league game head coaching just my cheer squad. (I said *possibly* ;-)) I'm definitely continuing as VP of Cheer - I love teaching Coach Certification, Cheer Camp, Opening Ceremonies, & Turf Bowl for every division! - but I have a vision for helping other new cheer coaches get started. My squad can stunt as high as we can safely go without mats, and we've learned almost 60 cheers, including most that our junior highs do. I'm not sure what else new I have to offer them...although I have a couple families who don't care if it's all the same: they filled my soul to overflowing! When I mentioned this was probably it & why, they said they absolutely didn't care if we repeated everything next year, that not only would it make their girls stronger & cleaner, but it would make them even more confident, and that above all, they just want *me* as their daughters' role model. :-O Whaaaat?! Holy heartstring tugs!!! I was 100% sure this was it: I had several parents/children I am relieved to be done with - challenging = understatement; they left me drained & emotionally raw... But then the parents of the girls I adore begged me to stay, and every challenge confirmed they are not coming back for different reasons, so...
Annelise will still have competition cheer, and she'll have Pep Squad, (you must do 6th Grade Pep Squad to be eligible to try out for 7th Grade Cheer,) so she won't *need* our youth league. There's definitely enough to keep me otherwise busy still as VP of Cheer - I really want to have the time to actively mentor our new coaches, beyond just troubleshooting when they have issues! It's exhausting to voluntarily pour HOURS & HOURS not only into practices & games, but exponentially more into preparing... ...But my select families & precious girls who want *me* to be their role model above all?!? We'll see. The possibility either way doesn't seem too monumental, b/c I'm definitely not leaving my VP position.
Our final complete game overview video!
Many families on my squad couldn't be bothered with a team party or even a team meal (?!?!?! - refer back to my challenging comment; I don't know why, but this felt like a snub & really hurt my feelings. The same people also left after getting their trophies at halftime of our last game Saturday; only one mom had the decency to tell me they were going, and they truly had a legit event. The others ditched as soon as they got their hardware. I'm sooooo not ok with my kids not completely fulfilling their commitments!) ANYWAY, cheering the 2nd half of our last game with only the girls & families who truly love being there was dreamy. (A taste of what coming back with them would be like...& why I'm remotely considering it!) It was also FANTASTIC to have just six girls, be able to hear them all clearly, be able to focus on each of them more intently, and have the time to let each one shine! Because it was my strongest, most focused stunters who remained, they put Annelise up in an extension for the first time all season!!! (The big girls who always put her up last year all graduated.) It took all season for them to get strong enough, but I was bursting that they reached it the last game...and I think having the concentrated focus without extra distractions was as important as having gained the strength.
Afterwards, these wonderful remaining families agreed we should all go out to eat to celebrate!!! BLESS THEM!!! I'm so thankful we did something to end it right:
To be very clear that I'm not trying to go out with any sour grapes, (just explaining the circumstances coloring my future decision,) we *did* also have happiness before halftime, too! We even did the mannequin challenge right before the game started, and we got the referees to join in!!! (Cinematographer: Will)
What's in store next season? Ummm, do you have any insight for me? I honestly cannot (should not?) decide right now. I'm going to pray for clarity...and stamina for this immediate week: teaching the Rookie & PeeWee Turf Bowl dances, extra competition practices for Annelise, Zumba, running Annelise's thankful party at school, hopefully volunteering Friday at the Million Meal Pack-A-Thon (packing one million meals for people in Haiti), and running two Turf Bowls Saturday morning before turning our attention to AUSTIN...