We’re All Human

There’s been a lot of really inspirational posts coming out with creative things to do while in isolation, lots of video calls and workouts happening all over the world. For some people, it can be overwhelming and add to a feeling of pressure, that you’re not doing things the right way. The honest truth is that there is no right way, or wrong way, to handle social isolation. None of us have lived through anything like this before! We’re all making it up as we go along. What you see on social media is someone’s highlight reel. You don’t know what they’re doing for the other 22 hours a day, if they’re struggling or crying or feeling overwhelmed, too.

It’s a lot to keep moving forward as if everything is normal and this is just a temporary hiccup. Your parents, siblings, grandparents, teammates, their families, coaches… everyone is trying to find a new way to be normal. When it’s all over, we’ll have to find a new way to adjust to a changed world, and we’ll continue to do that together.

Until we know what the future holds, sometimes it’s the little things that remind us we’re still people, processing this upheaval and waking up every day to face what comes.

So, every day, try to do a few simple things to remember you’re a human who owns more than one pair of sweat pants!

  • Have a shower.
  • Brush your hair.
  • Put on fresh clothes.
  • Make your bed.
  • Allow yourself to disconnect from screens (it can be really peaceful!).
  • Go outside or open a window, breathe in the fresh air.
  • Sit down to one proper meal.
  • Check-in on one person each day. It can be as simple as a text, or as personal as curling up on the couch with your mom. It’s up to you to see how you feel that day.

You don’t need to do all of them, or any of them if you don’t want to! All we want you to know it’s that sometimes it’s enough to get by; you don’t need to be extraordinary today, tomorrow, or next week. You just need to keep your head above water.

Stay In, Stick Together

This is it, we’re a week in and are all going stir-crazy. The first week was okay, but now we’re potentially looking at another few weeks and our brains will be mush if we don’t all start doing something together, while apart!!

When everything is in a weird kind of calm panic with no answers, remember we’re all in this together and social isolation and distancing doesn’t mean you have to cut off all your connection to the world. We are so lucky that we are digitally more connected than ever, and all we need is some wifi to talk to our friends, teammates and (sorry!) teachers to keep some sense of normalcy going.

Have themed calls with your team. Competition ready! PJ day (most days, lol), crazy hair day, fave gym sweater!

Study from Home

Studying from home, or as we like to call it, “browsing websites and looking at anything but schoolwork” is harrrrrrd. We get it. The entire internet is right there and full of dog pics and videos. But there’s power in productivity and making sure you still keep up with your homework and school study packs. If you don’t have a teacher holding virtual classes, learning self-discipline during this time is an excellent life skill!

Study space: Set up a clean space for a clear mindset. Working on your laptop in bed, or on the couch in front of the tv… it’s not optimal or sustainable long-term. Rearrange your room so you’re near natural light, or set up a study space in your parent’s home office (if they have one). Your study space is your study space ONLY. If you play PC games, make sure there’s a clear difference from study time at your desk, and playtime. Whether that’s turning off an external monitor, putting a study chart on the wall during study hours, or having a different lighting scheme, setting boundaries will train your brain to understand the difference.

Schedule: Make yourself sit down for two one hour sessions, minimum, each day. Put your phone on airplane mode, close all browser tabs you don’t need, put on some focus music (Spotify has some great focus playlists) and get it done.

Communicate: In addition to your two hours of personal study, set aside one hour a day to study with someone else. Ten minutes can be catchup in the beginning, and then hold each other accountable for the remaining 50 minutes to discuss and go over the subject/project.

Family distancing! Hard to do when you’re all stuck in the house together, but make it know that your study time is YOUR STUDY TIME. They can’t knock on the door, ask you questions, play outside your door or interrupt you until you’re done.

 

Dealing with Disappointment and COVID-19

The recent postponement of the ICU, USASF and IASF World Championships, the Summit, and cancellation of the NCA College Nationals have lead to a lot of heartache, heartbreak and worry for athletes, coaches, gym owners and parents. Although objectively we all realize it’s for the best for our global community, the reality still stings, and it’s absolutely okay to feel sadness, anger and grief for what could have been.

While we wait to see what will happen with all-star competitions, how can we all help our athletes and teammates manage the disappointment?

COVID-19 has affected all sports, it’s not only cheerleading. From professional leagues to NCAA and high school, all student-athletes are in the same situation. Particularly heartbreaking for seniors, processing the loss of their final season can seem insurmountable. It’s not selfish to feel this way, on the contrary, it’s a healthy response to something you care about so deeply being suddenly taken away by circumstances beyond your—or anyone’s—control. For those seniors out there, and to all experiencing the abrupt end to your season, we ask you to draw on the life lessons you’ve learned as a cheerleader: to be a leader in your community, to be the light, and to be resilient in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Continue Reading

Coronavirus, Simple Ways to Stay Safe

There’s been so much talk about the coronavirus, whole countries shutting down travel and concerns it may be worse than the flu. But how worried should we be? In times like this, how can you take control to keep you, your family, and your team, safe?

Yes, it is true that more people die from the flu every year, but the coronavirus is still new and if the absolute worst scenario happens, significantly more people will die from the coronavirus. That being said, all the precautions people are taking will prevent the worst from happening, and protect the vulnerable populations in our community.

The good news for most of us is that the coronavirus does not seem to be affecting young people at the same rate as elderly populations. But most of us have families, grandparents, relatives… we want to keep them safe, too. We don’t live in an isolation bubble so what we all do affects everyone.

Luckily, if everyone gets involved, preventing the spread of the coronavirus is fairly simple and something we should ALL be practicing, anyway.  Continue Reading

Life Skills from the Mat

How many times have people asked why you’re not skipping practice to study? Or how cheering in your junior and senior year is going to help you with college or getting a job? Turns out there’s a lot more cheerleaders learn on the mat than how to throw other cheerleaders around and flip our bodies over.

Teamwork Makes My Dream Work

Yes, cheer is a team sport, but it’s also an individual sport. You need to bring your best skills to the mat to make sure your whole team gets the execution score they need, as well as doing your job while stunting. It’s the ultimate accountability because you need to know how to your job for the betterment of the team, all while knowing that your weaknesses affect everyone. This means spending time to be the best individual you, so you can be the best collective team. And it goes without saying that strong teams are made up of individuals with a strong sense of self-accountability. Take this mentality into the workplace and you’re an invaluable team player who can not only excel at your own work but can create an environment where everyone wants to excel.  Continue Reading

How to Date Your Teammate and Not Make it Weird

When you’re on an all-star team or cheering for your college, you’re going to spend a lot of time with your teammates. It’s inevitable that sometimes, someone is going to catch your eye. You know that dating a teammate can lead to all sorts of drama, but you also can’t help how you feel. So how do you date someone on the team and still be a good teammate?

Continue Reading

The Guardian: Cheer review – absolute proof that cheerleaders are gravity-defying gods

From The Guardian

Simply watching Cheer, Netflix’s documentary series about cheerleading champions from Navarro college in Texas is like being in the marines. Seeing the dedication, resilience and innate talent of the athletes, many of whom come from profoundly troubled backgrounds and have seized upon the sport and the specialised college course as an almost literal lifeline, will break you down. (“What,” you will find yourself asking, “is there in my pathetic simulacrum of existence that can compare to this ennobling vision of humanity unspooling across six hour-long episodes before my sofa-spread, doughy form?” and no answer will come.) Continue Reading

The Washington Post: Netflix’s ‘Cheer’ is the documentary that hard-working cheerleaders have long deserved

From The Washington Post

Television hasn’t been especially kind to cheerleaders, usually portraying them as bullies, beyotches and brazen killers. The worst of it is always somehow loosely based on a true-crime tale, often originating somewhere in Texas. How long must these beautiful and popular people endure the effects of stereotype? And could the sympathy violins get any tinier?

This is where director Greg Whiteley’s fascinating — and often surprisingly moving — documentary series “Cheer” (now streaming on Netflix) tries to meet us: right at the line between cliche and reality, as he and his cameras follow a season in the life of the scrappy but consistently winning cheer program at Navarro, a 9,000-student community college in Corsicana, Tex., about 50 miles south of Dallas.

Navarro’s cheer team — the Bulldogs — has won the national title in its division more than a dozen times over the past two decades, thanks to the fierce (and occasionally fearsome) dedication of its coach, Monica Aldama.

Continue Reading

CBS DFW: North Texas’ Navarro College Getting National Attention For ‘Cheer’

From CBS DFW

 

People: Netflix’s Latest Docuseries Profiles Competitive College Cheerleaders — and It’s Streaming Now

From People

The world of competitive cheerleading is getting another moment in the spotlight, 20 years after Bring It On first highlighted a dramatized version of the grueling and intense sport.

Netflix’s newest documentary series, Cheer, hit the streaming site on Wednesday, and profiles the cheerleaders at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas.

The community college has won the college National Championship 14 times, and the team is led by coach Monica Aldama. Their journey for another title is highlighted in the series, which is directed by the team behind documentary Last Chance U. Continue Reading