Do we always win first place?

No. We don’t always win first place. And we shouldn’t.

As KCAC coaches, all we ask is that our athletes do their best and have fun. A deduction free routine where they did their best is a win for us.  That is what makes us proud.

Unfortunately, and sadly, in today’s society, kids (and their parents) feel that they have to win everything to be successful. They feel like they did a good job, their routine was perfect – they should win. But the fact is – you cannot always be the winner….sometimes there are other teams who work just as hard and they get to be the “winner”. Perhaps the other teams did a better job. Perhaps their stunts were more difficult. Perhaps they had full squad tumbling skills (meaning every single person on the team did the highest skill allowed in the level). Perhaps another team had better technical skills. We do what we can with who we can and push our athletes to perfect the highest level skills for their level. We ask them to perform at the best of their abilities and strive to receive no deductions. That is the beauty of the sport. Sometimes we are the best and sometimes we are not. And that is OK!

It truly saddens me to see kids and parents in our sport crying when they do not win a first place. That is not what our sport is about. It is ok to be disappointed but we need to teach our children that we cannot always win everything. Our kids need to learn how to accept a placement other than first place. They need to learn to be proud of what they have accomplished no matter the final placement. But most important, they need to learn to be a good sport and not throw a fit when they do not receive the place they want (or jacket, medal or trophy).

Learning this starts with the adults in their life. We are really doing our kids a disservice to lead them to believe that they have to and are entitled to win everything they do.

I personally believe the sport of cheerleading is more than a ranking, a trophy, a banner, a medal, a jacket or even a ring. It’s about athleticism, teamwork, dedication, pride, sportsmanship, self confidence, friendships, responsibility, development, skill building, diligence, enthusiasm, perseverance, persistence, drive, power, effort, …

In life, you are going to lose more often than win, even if you are really good at something.  You win some, you lose some. Sometimes you need to just be proud of finishing in the top half of your division. Sometimes just running a deduction free routine is a win. That is an awesome accomplishment.

When our kids feel like they “lost” when receiving anything but a first place – we have a problem. Please help us in helping your child to understand this. I know going home without a jacket on your back can be disappointing, but, unfortunately, that is life …..There was another athlete who worked just as hard who got to take that jacket home and that is something to congratulate. And sometimes we get to take home the award and we can celebrate that too!

At KCAC we celebrate hard work. Help us celebrate your athletes hard work – not just their placement.

Thanks! Dyana Daniel, KCAC Coach

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