"Listen with your Heart" John C. Maxwell


Often in the business of cheer, we are not actively listening.  This is one of my favorites 
from the The Maxwell Daily Reader.

"Herb Cohen, often call the world's best negotiator, says "Effective listening requires more than hearing the words transmitted.  It demands that you find meaning and understanding in what is being said.  After all, meanings are not in words, but in people."  Many people put their focus on the ideas being communicated, and they almost seem to forget about the person.  You can't do that and listen with the heart.

There's a difference between listening passively and listening aggressively.  To listen with your heart, your listening has to be active.  In his book It's Your Ship, Captain Michael Abrashorff explains that people are more likely to speak aggressively than to listen aggressively.  When he decided to become an intentional listener, it made a huge difference in him and his team." 

from "25 Ways to Win with People"  John C. Maxwell



Choices, by John C. Maxwell


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"Poet, critic, and dictionary writer Samuel Johnson observed, 'He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief which he purposes to remove.'  Most people want to change the world to improve their lives, but the world they need to change first is the one inside themselves.  That is a choice - one that some are not willing to make. 

The longer you live, the more your life is shaped by your choices.  You decide what you will eat.  (This is the most common ways small children begin to assert their independence). You decide what toys to play with. You decide whether you will do your homework or watch TV. You choose which friends to spend time with. You choose whether to finish high school, whether you will go to college, who you will marry, what you will do for a living.  The longer you live, the more choices you make - and more responsible you are how how your life is turning out.

I don't know what kind of circumstances you've had to face in your life.   You may have had a really tough time. You may have faced extreme hardship or suffered terrible tragedies.  However, your attitude is still your choice."

- The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player




A Champion's Cup Moment with Patrick Cowherd


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Good Morning! It is great day to be alive don't you think? How are we all doing this morning? Alright? You're doing better than alright! Any day with breath in your body is a good day! I see this day as another day to do better than I did yesterday! Folks, your purpose might not be your passion but you can become passionate about your purpose! 

Note to self: Keep doing what God put you here to do. Everything you've been promised will come. Just work!!

I am looking forward to putting in work today. I don't think there is a day that I stop working on my passion or my my purpose. I feel you have to have faith and work outside of your comfort zone. I have heard that living in your comfort zone will eventually make life very uncomfortable!



A Champion's Cup Moment with Patrick Cowherd


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Good Morning! Blessed and excited for another GREAT day to work on getting better! Running your dream business isn't always easy and def isn't glamorous. It's a long road to get there, with nonstop work ahead! Sometimes you feel like you are not getting anywhere and you want to just give up... Folks, YOU can't quit because you think you are going to fail. Nothing is impossible as long as YOU believe in yourself!!! As I have said in the past, everyday won't be great, but pushing through those bad days is what makes YOU a champion!



A Champion's Cup Moment with Patrick Cowherd


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Good Morning! Rise and SHINE soldiers! Each day I wake I am thankful that I have another day to do better than I did the previous 24 hours. I ask myself daily if I have made the changes and progress in my relationships with GOD, FAMILY, FRIENDS and BUSINESS. Change is important for my GROWTH! I have learned that in life, there must be measurable progress in reasonable time, or you need to make substantial changes. I can 1000% say that I am not the same person today that I was yesterday! Each day I strive to make not only my life better but the others who around me better. It is simple to me. When you truly love LIFE.......life LOVES YOU BACK!!!! 

I love the people who support me and I love the people who do not support me. I love my friends and I love my frienemies! I love those who agree with me and I love those who disagree with me. If you see there is a pattern of Love in every statement. No matter what good or bad it gives me fuel to do bet
ter. There's a message in there so don't miss it!

If you want more, you have to do more! If you want better, then you have to do better! You have to Unleash your talents, stand up and DO YOU! STOP thinking what you are doing is enough..it isn't!!! As there is always someone, somewhere willing to do MORE! I must say this for the record. The people that I have encountered in my life time don't lack talent, they lack vision. I don't mind lacking a lot of things in life... but VISION will never be one of them! If you don't have a Vision then you may not live in your purpose... It's not that most people won't accomplish their dreams & purpose in life it's just that most give UP before they DO!

Folks, every truth I share that will help move a person closer to their purpose may not be immediately embraced but will ALWAYS manifest itself! Everything you want to be in life you already are you r just on a road to discovering it! 



Our Favorites For Competition Day, by Kristen Roeder


The competition season is upon us and I am SO excited, are you?  Bring on, the glitter, baby wipes, competition bags, vendors, entrance fees, travel and of course the ROUTINES!

We have less than 4 weeks until our first competition, 2 months until GSSA and all our friends from our old gym, 6 months until The Aloha Championship in Waikiki, Hawaii and the end of our gyms 10th Anniversary Year, Congrats UCF!  Then we have The Champions Cup in July 2013, amazing stuff going on this year for us.

Are you dreading the morning of competition? The hair, the makeup, packing that competition bag, the early morning? Over the past 5 years, I have found a few products that I love and I want to share them with you.  Maybe they will help; maybe you already have your favorites.  I am in no way an expert but hopefully you will find something you can use or relate too.

We have a saying in our house for competition mornings, “The fewer the baby wipes used, the better the morning.”  For those of you who don’t know, baby wipes are great for wiping off extra glitter eye shadow and make clean lines, so your cheerleader looks less like a monster and more like a performer.  The first time I worked with glitter eye shadow, Tessa definitely looked more ready for Halloween and not competition.  With the help of my fellow cheer moms and one of Tessa’s coaches, I was able to get it under control, with practice all is perfected.

Hair: I love Aussie Instant Freeze Hairspray.  If your daughter has fine hair with a lot of wispy’s like mine, then this is the hairspray for you.  Another one that is great is Got2b Glued Freeze Spray.  If you have to do curls and your daughter has hair that will not hold a curl, use a flat iron, it literally saved me our first competition season.  We love Tresemme Curl Activator, really helps the curl stay.   Practice making curls with the flat iron as it can be a little tricky but the curls do last longer (use hairspray of course).

Eyeliner: Milani Infinite Eyeliner is AMAZING! It will seriously last through sleeping and comes in some cool colors. (Black, Brown, Shadow, Royal Blue and Green)  I got lucky because the royal blue shade matched perfectly with the brand of glitter eye shadow our gym uses.  We even used it to write “UCF” on our little ones cheek and it lasted for the two day competitions easily.  It is hard to remove, after many different types of makeup remover failed, I found Neutrogena  Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (for waterproof mascara) that works perfectly to remove all competition makeup.

Mascara:  There are two that I currently use: Maybelline The Falsies Volume Express (purple) or Rimmel London Lash Accelerator (gold lid).  Whatever you use, just make sure it is waterproof.

Always pack all makeup, hairspray, extra hair ties, a brush,  Q-tips, hand sanitizer (great for removing hairspray off your hands), bobby pins in a Ziploc bag before putting in the competition bag to keep it safe and have for touch ups.

If you have little ones you are bringing to the competition with you, Mack’s Pillow Softearplugs work perfect to protect those “little” ears and can be formed to any size and shape.  Our “little” Peja was only 4 days old when she attended her first competition and she sound asleep with these earplugs in.

We have a couple other “favorites” for competition day. 1. Cheer Soxx to keep our shoes nice and clean while walking around between 

performances.  A game system (DS, Gameboy of iPhone), Mad Libs, protein bars,Sharkies Sports Gummies and jerky.  Don’t forget your fan wear and sport those gym colors!

I am ready to get that bag packed and arm myself with baby wipes, my Tide pen and head to our first competition.  If you are going to be at a competition in Northern California or Hawaii, I would love to meet you!

Cheer, cheer compeititions, iCupids, Cheer Parents Central


A Champion's Cup Moment with Patrick Cowherd


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Good Morning! So many people are trying to make a withdrawal from the Bank of Life but haven't made any deposits! Folks, Help those that are helping themselves. Any other form of help might be a hindrance. Very thankful for those who have recognized how hard I work each day. Your encouragement and words (Kind and Harsh) have given me the fuel to appreciate what it takes to reach the benchmarks for the goals I have set. Good or bad you all have let me know that I am on the right track. I always said being me isn't easy, but I am a slow reader so I read Impossible as I'M POSSIBLE! I have learned that once you forget where you come from then you've lost sight of where you're going! i am blessed and appreciate the Grind. I am laser focused and with the help of God, I am bound to keep making moves that matter!



A Leadership Moment with John C. Maxwell


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"A good navigator takes the trip with the people he is guiding.  He doesn't give directions and then walk away.  He travels alongside his people as a friend.  Author and conference speaker Richard Exley explained his idea of friendship this way: "A true friend is one who hears and understands when you share your deepest feelings.  He supports you when you are struggling;  he corrects you , gently with love, when you err;  and he forgives you when you fail.  A true friend prods you to personal growth, stretches you to your full potential.  And most amazing of all, he celebrates your successes as if they were his own."

As you come alongside some of the people within your influence and mentor them, you and they may experience difficult times together.  You won't be perfect and neither will they, but just keep in mind Henry Ford's words: "Your best friend is he who brings out the best that is within you."  Do your best to follow that objective, and you will help a lot of people."

-Becoming a Person of Influence
John C. Maxwell



A Champion's Cup Motivation Moment with Patrick Cowherd


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Good Morning! It is Saturday, I am ALIVE and I am ready to MAKE MOVES THAT MATTER! I woke up this morning and I said: Lord they're sleeping on me. Then he said: don't worry I already set the alarm clock & your time is coming. Folks, Don't give man God's power... So many are waiting for you to fail. That thought alone ought to be enough to succeed.



What Makes a Team? by Mandi Spina


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This past weekend the high school team I coach had their first competition.  We took our JV and Varsity teams to a Cheer for the Cure, which raised money for Breast Cancer Research.  Nerves were at an all new level as my team kicked off what is sure to be a memorable season.  As we rode the bus down, most everyone was quiet – which, as we all know, is almost impossible for 36 teenage girls.  We arrived and you could see the fear, anxiety and promise of what was to come that day.  We went through registration and headed to our “holding rooms.” 

Fast forward twenty minutes to our first of two warm ups.  At this particular competition, you warm up close to 5 hours before you actually compete.  It’s very nerve wrecking for those who are new to the high school scene and are used to the all-star warm up style.  When we took the mat to warm up stunts, the nerves got the best of my team and they started to bicker instead of pull together to hit the routine.  Back in our holding room, I talked to the team about how they treat each other on the floor and that being stressed or nervous is no reason to take it out on their teammates.  As the coach, I am there to critique, be hard and push.  As teammates, their job is to support and push each other. 

Fast forward another 2 hours.  I give the JV team their pep talk as their coach watches on.  I talk to them about the tradition, legacy and name that our school carries.  This is a very early competition and the nerves are normal.  We don’t expect you to be perfect, but we expect you to give 150% of yourself to your team and our school.  I talk about their routine, how it hits a score sheet and how they need to “bring it” to the judges.  Always make sure the judges know who you are. 

The team performs and does better than expected! Sure, some stunts fell, but wow did they bring the energy and excitement to the floor!! They walk off the mat and about 10 minutes later, I see one of the girls in the hallway surrounded by 2 other girls, and she’s crying.  One of the girls steps away and informs that the girl crying has just found out her brother, who is in the military and overseas, has passed away.  At that moment, I become a different type of coach.  The speech about how well they performed and how they stepped up when they hit the mat is gone.  It’s only about this cheerleader and her loss.  I take her into the bathroom and let her cry on my shoulder.  I know there isn’t anything I can say to take her pain away, but I do know that I can be there to let her cry.  Her family wasn’t with us at the competition, which made it even harder.  I asked her if she wanted me to take her home and she said no.  She wanted to watch our Varsity compete and be able to cheer them on.  It took me a moment to take that statement in.  Here was a girl standing before me, suffering a loss I can’t even comprehend, and she wants to stay and cheer her team on.  In that moment you realize just how much bigger this sport is than just what is put on the mat.  We are family.  She wanted to be in the comfort of her second family. 


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