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Cheers to the Squad: Long Live the Worthy Teammate

It appears that teams are Nature’s way of organizing living organisms for a common purpose. Whether we think of a pack of wolves, a troop of monkeys, a flock of geese or a swarm of bees, we picture a fused body of interconnected individual animals, creating an effective and purpose-driven unit. The same is basically true in the case of humanity: families, communities, nations. However, with people things always seem to be a bit more challenging.

Having a great cheerleading team means so much more than showing off with an amazing routine. Building a great cheerleading team will cost a lot more than long hours of practice and repetition. The whole equals a sum of all its parts; in cheerleading, it requires every teammate to do her best in order to make up a great squad.

However, you should never start by pointing out the shortcomings of others. After all, the only person that you can ever really change is yourself.

Know Your Place

Different organs in a body serve different functions; some of them seem more glorious then others. Yet, without each and every organ performing exactly the task it has been designed for, the body will die. And even though you may feel that your position on the squad is far from glamorous, realize that it is equally crucial and necessary to be performed.

Be Honest and Trustworthy

Being able to fully rely upon one another is the most important aspect of any team. When one wobbles, the team needs to be there to support her. When one slips, they need to be there to catch her. Trust building starts outside of the field. Do not lie, do not twist the truth, do not say you will do something but fail to follow through.

Never Gossip

Getting into the habit of gossiping is the worst disservice any cheerleader can do to her team. We do not like others to talk behind our backs, so why do we so often let our tongues loose or, at least, offer a willing ear? If you have issues with another teammate, address your concerns openly, but in private. In public, always speak of your squad in good terms only.

Suggest, but Never Demand

There will be times when you may feel that things should be done a little differently. Indeed, if that is the case, you should feel free to raise your concerns politely. Suggest and propose your opinions, but never demand that they be accepted. And never, ever, threaten to leave the squad if you won’t get your way.

Make Others Shine

To paraphrase John F. Kennedy: “Do not ask what your team can do for you; ask what you can do for your team.” Do not just perform your duties, looking for ways to make yourself stand out. Rather, everything you do, do it with the whole squad in mind. Enjoy the success of others on the team and never try to take a selfish advantage of another’s failure.

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