A Shot of Nice

Sometimes being a coach is hard.

Really hard.

Especially coaching cheerleading. I have been coach for 17 years now (I can't believe that even as I write it!), and I've dealt with my share of crazy parents and administrators and some challenging kids too. I have a long list of doozies over the course of my tenure, and there were several times I wanted to quit. Wanted to give up. In fact, I did give up another team I was coaching last year due to a couple of parents who were causing problems and a great amount of drama. Decided I was too old for that and I wanted to narrow my focus to my growing EDE program.

Every so often, though, I get an unsolicited email or note from a parent or cheerleader or alum that keeps me going. I keep these emails in a folder labeled "Nice Things Said." When things get tough, this is where I turn to remind myself why I keep doing what I do. Here is excerpt from an email I got yesterday from a girl who was in my program two years ago. She has since moved out-of-state and I had lost track of her:

"I hope EDE is growing and doing very well. I hope you a can continue to be an amazing coach. It was a great comfort to me and I think every girl should have cheer and dance in her life. I still remember every routine I did with you and I laugh looking back at our father/daughter cake and ice cream dance. You are so inspirational and a genuinely good and caring person. I hope to see you again and catch up wth you more." There are a few more like that in the folder. I read through when I need a boost. I recommend EVERY coach keep a folder like this, electronically, or in a paper folder next to your bed, and read through it occasionally. Let's remember why we do this: at the end of the day, we are making a positive difference in kids' lives, and this is a sacred duty. Let's not forget the gravity of the impact we can have with the young people we influence. Coach on!

The Eastside Dream Elite cheerleading program is associated with Bellevue Parks, Mercer Island Parks, Renton Parks, Kirkland Parks, Issaquah Parks, and the Ballard Boys & Girls Club. Try-outs are not required for any EDE teams, and all teams are non-competitive except for Red Squad.  We work hard to keep costs low for EDE participants.  Scholarships for class fees are available from the respective organizations for residents who qualify.  Uniform fees are not covered by those scholarships, however we make every effort to help those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate.

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