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Take a Break.

Sometimes you just need a break.

My competition team (Red Squad) has been working very hard and I am super proud of their progress. We made our video last month to submit to USA to qualify for USA Nationals. When we made the video we'd had only five weeks of practice. But we qualified for Nationals (whew!) and now we are preparing for the State Championships.

Our last dedicated Red Squad practice before the Winter Break was scheduled for December 15th. It was on my problem...same old, same old. That was, until the choir I sing with scheduled a second night of our Christmas concert for the same night.

(As a side note, the choir I perform with is the Ensign Symphony & Chorus. We are in our third season, and I am an inaugural member. All of our concerts are performed at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. This is a big deal—you DON’T miss performances (much like what I expect of my cheerleaders).

I had decided to get a sub for practice—I would have another coach come in and work with the girls for the evening. Then it occurred to me—maybe we just needed a break. As a team. Even though we REALLY need more practice on the routine, it seems everyone is getting overly stressed and we were experiencing the “law of diminishing returns.”

So I called a time out.

Ensign offered a special price for youth groups for the Tuesday night concert…only $10 a ticket for any youth groups attending. I made an executive decision. I bought concert tickets for my girls as a gift to them, and we took the night off of practice. They got all dressed up, came to Benaroya, and enjoyed an evening of beautiful music. It was fun for me to share this part of my life with them, and fun for them to see another side of “Coach Anne.”

And the next day at Power Squad practice (our larger group), the Red Squad girls were re-energized and ready to go. It was amazing.

The moral of this story is: When you really need it, take a break!

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