Other / athletics
A day in the life of a Cheer Dad!!
One of the first posts I ever read here on Scorum was a post by @fullcoverbetting where he was sharing some of his experiences as a father of kids in sports activities. I loved reading about how hard he works to make sure that his kids get to be active and doing the activities they love and even more, I was so impressed with how supportive he is. He is doing all the things that a parent should be when their kids are involved in sports. This got me thinking about my own experiences and how involved I am in my own kid's extra-curricular activities and sports. With 3 kids all over the age of 10, I have been a sports dad for a very long time. Source Before I ramble on about my life as a father of athletes, I think it is important to first let you in on my philosophy when it comes to my kids and sports. I think that the first part is easy and that is to simply introduce them to sports. They may or may not like the particular sport and that is fine. Maybe you try a different sport, but the key is getting them involved and giving them choice. After that, it is all about supporting them. Sports can be a big commitment for some kids and if they feel supported in all they do, through the good times and the bad, then they are going to be more likely to want to continue. From practices to games and competitions. Through wins and losses. Our role as parents is to always be there and letting them know we are proud of their accomplishments no matter what. This is the story of this dad supporting his daughter in her efforts to be a cheerleader. Source Its 5 AM and the alarm screech wakes me. My eyes still groggy from the late night of preparation, I look around and try to bring them back into focus. It feels like it was just midnight and I was laying down to sleep. I slowly start to take in the view of the hotel room and sit up on the side of the bed. I look over at my daughters sleeping in the other bed, dreading having to wake them up but I have no choice. It's competition day and check-in is at 7:30. You might think 2 hours is a lot of time and in reality, maybe it is. In the world of a cheer dad getting his girl ready to compete, it feels like a nanosecond. As I prepare to wake her up I go over my prep list in my head. Hair, makeup, uniform, shoes and oh yeah I have to get her fed. Oh, and check out of this hotel and drive to the venue. No worries dad. You got this!! Still so tired [Source] My youngest daughter is 10 years old and she is a competitive cheerleader. She has been involved in the sport for 3 years now and absolutely loves it. The team competes in competitions all over the province. Being separated from her mother, we take turns taking her to competitions. This way the other children don't all have to go, although my other daughter enjoys coming for the hotel stay and the traditional Sushi dinner the night before a competition. The whole thing has become an event and a great bonding experience for me and my daughters. My other daughter is a dancer. (A story for another time) Pre-competition meal. Tradition. [Source] Now, there are lots of other cheer dads on our team that attend competitions. However, my cheer dad experience is a little bit different. Sure, I have the cheer dad shirt and hat and I am sitting in the stands cheering them on during their 3 1/2 minutes of glory. (That's right. a days travel, hotel expense and $$$ for one 3 1/2 minute performance) The moment when I'm cheering her on in the stands for me is the end of the road. My day starts at 5 AM and the prep work that is usually left to the moms. I am the only dad, on our team anyway, that gets his daughter ready for the competition on my own. Over the years I have mastered the top ponytail and the art of cheer makeup which if you didn't know can be very specific and MUST be perfect. Yes, I am a make-up artist!! [Source] At first, these mornings were a little stressful as I was new to the world of perfect girl hair and makeup but over the years I have hit my stride and these mornings usually run pretty smoothly. The most stressful morning being the day that my daughter decided she was going to help with the lip stain. Yes, stain! Unfortunately, she made an absolute mess and it took forever to get the stain off her lips and face so that I could apply it properly. I have been told by several other dads that there is no way they would do that part. At first, the other moms were super impressed that I was able to accomplish the feat but now they have just come to realize that I am no different than them and can do it just as well. The team had a great season last year and won 3 competitions and finished 3rd in another. They followed that up by finishing fourth in their division at Nationals and that had these 10-12 year olds over the moon. For me, it's not how they finish that matters though. It's that beautiful smile on my daughters face at the end of the day because she has had so much fun and that is all I need. I don't know how far my daughter wants to go in cheerleading. This sport can get extremely competitive. Is she going to be an NFL cheerleader? I doubt it. Whatever she ends up choosing, I will be right there to support her and I will do the same for my other kids as well. The reality is, there's a lot we can do to help our children get involved in sports and they really don't take much effort. Supporting them in their passions and their efforts will help to foster a love of sports and the desire to continue. If they get tired of a sport then support that and help guide them to trying a new one. All too often we put too much pressure on kids to succeed and to be the best when the reality is they should be having fun and doing their best. If that happens then we are all winners.
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