To Those of You Involved with Inman Middle School,
On Saturday I got my girls dressed and took them to see the middle school cheerleading competition. I was invited by my sister, who goes to the Bible study that your cheerleading coach, Tae Baker goes to too. Really with two under two I will take any excuse to get out of the house with another adult in tow.
I am so glad I did. The Inman girls were phenomenal. They did things that I did not know middle school girls were capable of. I could tell that somewhere along the way someone convinced them that they were capable of great things. I have coached other activities in the past, and I know that this is the hardest part of coaching, convincing the kids that they are capable of more than they are settling for. Pushing them to be even better than they knew they could be. Coach Baker managed to get the very best out of those girls.
The routine was great, and the execution was phenomenal, but that was not what I was thinking about the rest of the weekend. The moment that stayed with me this morning as I walked into the classroom that I teach in everyday, was the moment right after the music stopped. I was sitting at the top of the bleachers, and even from there I could see on Coach Baker’s face just how proud he was of his cheerleaders. They knew too. As soon as they could they mobbed him.
Those girls, in that moment, knew that they were capable of big things. They knew that they could do something of value. They knew that there was someone who wanted them to succeed, someone who was rooting for them. They were proud of themselves, and they were proud that they had made someone who cared about them proud. The bar was raised on what exactly was their very best.
I know that moment will stay with my some of those girls for a very long time. I still have some of mine from girlhood. There are so many pressures for these girls, to act a certain way, or be a certain thing. I watched a layer of protection from all of those pressures form over those girls on Saturday. “I am capable of big things, and Coach Baker thinks so too.”
I found out through a text message after I left the event, that the Inman cheerleaders took first place. I am not surprised. They earned it. But on Saturday, they took home so much more than that. I am thankful that I was there to witness it. I know my girls are tiny, but my oldest already looks up to those Inman cheerleaders. I am proud she has chosen such good role models.