by Lisa Aucoin
If you’re even a little bit involved with cheerleading, you’ve probably seen the phrase “trust the process” everywhere on your timelines this week. Many of you may look at this and see it as reassurance that everything will be ok. If you are a coach, you may repeat it to a parent – hoping they will understand there is a bigger plan at stake. You may overhear it between parents saying it to each other as they try to understand why their child didn’t make the team of their dreams. In some cases, it may even come out of the mouth of the children we coach who are encouraged to celebrate every step of the journey, as they should!
But this buzz word/catch phrase for all its pleasant intent is really a battle cry. A plea if you will. The fact that we even have to use it at all, is quite sad.
What have we become that we are required to plead for sanity and measure responses to the selection process for our children’s extracurricular activities?
Tragic. Yes – we are tragic.
The phrase “trust the process” coming from a coach or a program in essence means: please allow me to do my job and put your child’s best interest first. It means I’m begging you to not overreact and threaten to remove your child from my program because you’re not happy with where he/she has been placed. It suggests that parents believe they truly know better than experienced, qualified and trained PROFESSIONALS.
It is a soothing phrase designed to encourage everyone to accept their hand and manage the seemingly unmanageable devastation their children will surely suffer because of our selfish decisions. Unbelievable!
What really happens when a child makes another team than they’d hope… well in most cases they COPE. They learn to manage their disappointment and work harder towards a better result. In some cases, they become leaders and in other instances – it reveals true character.
Let me be clear that not all character revealed is flattering. But this is life and a good reminder that the children who participate in our sport are lucky. They have a chance to experience this unique sport before they go out into the real world and realize that being an adult is harder than any reality they’ve ever known.
I don’t own a gym and my role in this industry is different than most – so I can see this for what it is and fill in the blanks that most of you are missing.
Athletes earn their placement long before tryouts ever happens. Parents behavior dictates the response and reaction to these decisions more than any other influencer.
Gym owners and coaches begging you to understand the professional assessment of your child and manage your feelings and emotions is ridiculous. This is just cheerleading. Children are far more resilient than we give them credit for.
If you want your athlete to be guaranteed a place on a team – teach them. Nothing in life comes easy or without hard work and sacrifice. Be truthful about where they really stand and work together with your coaches to achieve realistic and manageable goals. Hope for success – but prepare for all outcomes. Know that you can only control your experience and not the efforts and abilities of others.
Don’t have a crazy reaction, or burn bridges that have been built over years of positive interactions. Don’t remove your child from their friends or the gym they love. The grass is greener when you water it.
Teaching a child to bolt when you don’t get your way is not a lesson in life. No adult should be proud of teaching them anything less than respecting where they are and the skills they have acquired.
But, maybe instead of trust the process – maybe we can see this replaced with EARN YOUR RESULT.