Saturday, September 18, 2010

Too Blue?

The other day a parent of one of my cheerleaders was frustrated that girls weren't coming to practice regularly and that they want to wear boys' football jerseys over their uniforms on game day. She suggested that I needed to be more of a hard-ass, "like that cheer coach on that TV show, Glee."

I listened to her appreciatively but reminded her that we're a very small school (fewer than 300 kids, grades 6-12) and it was difficult to scrape up enough kids willing to come out for cheerleading, especially since we have to share their interest with Volleyball, Cross Country, Drill Squad, family, part time jobs, and of course, friends and boys.

If I reprimand them too sternly, there won't be any cheerleaders.

My wife is a guidance counselor at another school. She's explained to me about a personality system that's been around since 1979 when author Don Lowry modeled it as a graphical version of both Keirsey’s Temperament and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

In Lowery's system, Blues seek harmony and seek to nurture and build people up. Blues are relational. Greens are conceptual, analytical, and logical thinkers. Golds are highly organized, sometimes black and white thinkers that like to establish and maintain policies, procedures, and schedules- control freaks. Oranges are creative but physical and impulsive, they like to have fun, need stimulation, freedom, and excitement.

One would Under this concept, you might imagine that the best cheerleaders are are oranges. Most people go into teaching because they're blues. A lot of artists are green and plenty of coaches and administrators tend to be golds. On the "True Colors" quiz, I score really dominant in the blue and heavy in the green. The few episodes of Glee that I've seen, Sue Sylvester here strikes me as really heavy on the yellow side.

The point of all this is that the green in me is driven to try to rationalize my short comings as a coach, and the blue in me loves and wants to mentor the kids on my squad. Meanwhile, what little yellow I have is tormented by how much better the squad could be. I wish I had at least an ounce of orange in me so that I could fire them up and show them how to REALLY make cheerleading fun.

I talked about this all with a dear friend of mine, who happened to have been my mascot when he was a high school Senior about ten years ago. He agrees that I let my cheerleaders walk all over me and that they need to have a lot more pride and respect for standards. But he did concede that many of them are probably drawn to our squad because they need a stable but empathetic adult in their lives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Quit whining about your inadequacies as a coach, Mallory. Suck it up and lay down the law. Cheerleading isn't about having fun and making memories, it's about winning trophies by shaking your coochie. Man up or shut up.