As the summer has come to a close, cheerleaders must start thinking of tryouts and how they are going to showcase the hard work they have been putting into the summer in preparation for tryouts in the fall. Once the squad has been chosen, it is go time; practices twice a week, along with extra cheer assignments outside of practice, school, jobs and a social life are all mixed together. It can be hard to find a balance between the thing that us college cheerleaders experience in the fall once the team is getting ready for the season’s first game. Let’s take a moment to breathe….inhale, become aware of your worries….exhale out all the negativity and restore it with positive thoughts. Turn your thoughts from, “I am stressed out about my school work and not having energy for cheer practice” into, “I am excited to get a break from school work to focus on my passion for cheerleading and being a part of a team.” It is small things like changing your train of thoughts into a positive experience through breathing exercises, such as the breathing exercises in a yoga class, that can help you get through a tough time where finding a balance between school and cheerleading are tough. Always seek the positive side to life’s challenges, on and off the court, because when it comes to cheerleading, positivity is the best approach .
What characteristics make up a Lipscomb cheerleader? Are they stereotyped the way our society stereotypes most cheerleaders, as the peppiest, most beautiful but not-so-smart girls on campus who have no worries in the world except the fighting urge to cheer on their basketball team to victory that weekend? Granted, I have never heard those stereotypes be spoken about Lipscomb cheerleaders because, quite frankly, I believe these ladies have much more to offer Lipscomb than just a pretty face. To be a Lipscomb cheerleader, you must have as much passion and drive towards your walk of faith as you do for your school and Bison teams. My purpose for this blog is to give you, the reader, a very special inside look to what fuels the Lipscomb cheerleader, not just as cheerleaders for athletic teams but also as encouragers of faith.
As a Lipscomb cheerleader alum, I have experienced the sisterhood that bonds us cheerleaders together. I know what fuels a Lipscomb cheerleader, the mindset they have to have in order to cheer on their Bisons, whether it is a big win against our rivals down the boulevard or a short-lived A-Sun Tournament, these ladies are the cheerleaders of Lipscomb whether it is on court, in class or off campus. They strive to be women of God and pride themselves on encouraging others.
Last school year, 2011-2012, Coach Amy Benefield gave the cheerleaders shirts with a saying on the back that clearly describes our purpose on and off court, “As for me, I will raise your banner high. I will shout aloud your name. I won’t deny. Jesus, you have given all so I give you my life. I will raise your banner high.”
The Lipscomb University cheerleaders strive, not only to be athletic and encouraging, but to be a light to those who love Lipscomb and share the same passion for living a life of faith. This year’s team looks like it have great plans for the 2012-2013 season, and I hope you will continue to read this blog as we go through the year celebrating our wins and working harder once we evaluate our losses to make the Bisons a better team. As the natural cheerleader in me says…..”Goooooooo TEAM!”