A surprise recent favourite show of mine has been Netflix’s Cheer. This is a documentary brought to you by the same people that made Last Chance U, and is about the cheerleaders at Navarro College as they aim to win the NCA National Cheerleading Championship in Daytona.
It is an incredibly inspiring and heart-warming documentary series and well worth watching, even if you don’t know anything about cheerleading or don’t think you would be in to it.
These cheerleaders go through a heck of a lot. They go through pain, struggles, injuries, team breakdowns and more, but they never let these things hold them back from their ultimate goal. They have a clear aim, know exactly what they want, and are willing to do anything to achieve it. Their sense of never giving up is infectious, and it makes you want to push yourself and strive for more in your own life.
There is a great deal we can all learn from the cheerleaders in Cheer, and, below, I have complied a list of the top 9 amazing life lessons you can learn from the show. So let’s get to it!
1. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, how you started in life, or what you have done to date – you can achieve your dreams and ambitions. Your past does not define you.
One of the reasons Cheer works so well is that it gets you to emotionally connect with its central Cheerleaders. We find out about their life stories, where they came from and the adversities they have been through.
On the surface of it, many of these top Cheerleaders would never have been expected to be “successful” in life when looking merely at their upbringing.
But these athletes defied those low expectations. Whether they came from broken homes, had been in jail, had addictions, or lived alone as teenagers, these top athletes did not let their pasts define them. They pushed themselves hard, believed that they could do it, and saw themselves through to their goal of Cheerleading at a top team.
2. A positive attitude will get you far.
One thing that was very noticeable watching Cheer was that, when the Cheerleaders felt down about themselves or their routines, they messed up more. Things only got harder.
When they were positive, the energy difference was stark. They worked as a team, encouraged other, and got the results they were after and then some.
This air of positivity was encouraged, and the Cheerleaders are expected to give positive “mat talk” to encourage each other as they cheer.
No-one in Cheer was better at mat talk than Jerry Harris. Judging by Cheer, Jerry has got to be one of the most positive people on the planet. His words of encouragement and enthusiasm helped to push his teammates. He kept this positivity up even when he had personal disappointments with this cheerleading, and was always a source of inspiration to the group.
We can all learn to be a little bit more like Jerry.
3. You don’t have to do things alone. Lean on your friends and family when you need them. Your team is there to help you.
One thing that was very heart-warming about Cheer was that the team mates all relied on each other. They reached out to each other when they needed support, they all looked up to their coach (Monica Aldama) and thought of her as a mother figure, and they were all aware of the need to support each other emotionally.
They weren’t just teammates or friends, they were a family. And the support they got from each other helped them through the tough times.
When you are having difficult times, it’s important to reach out to friends and family for support. That is what they are there for, and they want to help you.
Further, if there’s one thing that being in a sports team teaches you it’s that working as a team is absolutely vital. Yes, you need to work on yourself, but you have to operate as a unit if you want good results. As they say, teamwork makes the dream work!
4. The things you do now will come back to help you later
Many of the alumni of the Navarro team were featured in Cheer. They all talked about how what they learned during their time cheerleading helped them in their lives.
The thing to learn from this is that the positive things you do now only serve to help you in the future. Whether you are building discipline from working on writing a book every evening, whether you are going to the gym to work on your fitness, or whether you are studying now instead of procrastinating, you are doing things that will benefit you later on.
Likewise, if you are not doing things now that help you, then you can expect to find things harder later on.
So do things that not only help you now, but that will benefit you in the years to come.
5. Sometimes you just have to push through the pain.
These cheerleaders go through a lot! For those that don’t know, this is not basic cheerleading we are talking about here. These guys are supreme athletes. The gymnastics they do will astound you and make you wish you could do them. So, with that, injuries, pains and tiredness are a certainty.
These cheerleaders pushed through all of these to carry on, because it meant a great deal to them. They kept pushing through the pain, cheering through the injuries, doing one more repetition of a stunt, so that they could be the best, because they knew the reward came after.
When you push through despite wanting to stop, you grow, you get better, and you push your limits. This helps you be able to go even further next time. It builds character, because you know you can withstand more than you thought before. In essence, pushing through the pain makes your pain tolerance levels become greater, so you can do even more next time.*
Keep pushing through your difficult times, and you will be rewarded later on.
*Although, maybe stop if you have a serious injury!
6. Practise, practise, practise some more. Then you can be great.
Often in life, people think they can just do something one or two times and get good at it. But that is a recipe for disappointment.
If you watch Cheer, you will see that they do the same routines over and over and over again. This is because they know that practising something makes you good at it.
When you practise over and over, you create muscle memory, which makes it easier for you to do next time. The more you practise, the more muscle memory you get.
The reason the Navarro cheerleaders are some of the best is because they practise so much, and they strive for greatness in their practises.
So do like they do – keep practising at what you want to get good at and eventually you will become great at it.
7. You never know what’s going to happen, so always be prepared and be willing to change things up if you need to.
In some key moments in Cheer, you see that members of the team that are not “on the mat” (i.e., not in the main cheer group, but acting as backups in case of problems) are told to keep practising and working hard, because they never know what might happen. People like Jerry Harris, who I mentioned above.
And, guess what? Many of those people had to step up to the plate because someone got injured or cut. They had to be on their game and able to step in. In fact, these moments provide some of the most inspiring and memorable moments in the series.
Likewise, there are times where someone got injured and the coach, Monica Aldama, had to change things up on the fly, so that they could carry on and still perform at the highest level.
Whether it was the coach or the cheerleaders, the whole team in Cheer was ready to step up or change things up when they needed to.
And that’s what you have to do in life. If something goes wrong unexpectedly, you need to be able to change things up. You can’t rely on things being like they always have been. You have to be prepared to adjust, you have to have confidence that you can handle it, and you have to be able to execute in these times.
8. You only have a limited amount of time, so spend it doing what you love.
If there’s one thing you can see in all the cheerleaders featured in Cheer, it’s that they LOVE what they are doing. But it’s also quite heart-breaking to know they can only do it for a few years. Cheerleading is not considered to be something you can do for your entire life, and these guys go in to that knowing it.
But the cheerleaders love it and they want to do it. They want to commit to it fully and give it everything they have for that short amount of time, so that they get everything out of it that they want to. They are in it because they love it, and they want to experience it on the highest level they can.
This is how we should treat everything we do in life, and, heck, how we should treat life in general. We have no idea how much time we have on this Earth and we don’t know how long we might get to do the things we love, so we should do those things that we love the most and we should do them with full passion and drive so that we get the most out of them that we can. Follow your dreams!
We don’t want to regret the things we don’t do or the effort and passion we don’t put in. Instead, we want to know that we put everything we can in to the things that mean something to us. We want to know that we are getting everything out of life that we can.
So live life to the full. Have no regrets. Put your all in to everything you do, and live with passion and drive!
9. Never give up.
The Navarro cheerleaders in Cheer wanted nothing more than to win the competition at Daytona. Knowing that this was their goal, they had to do everything they could to see that goal come true.
They went through pain, injuries, personal issues, back-to-back practise sessions and more, and never gave up.
If they gave up, they would not have won, and that’s a fact. (Sorry! Spoilers!)
When you have a goal, you have to have an attitude of never giving up. You have to make sure you push through any and every situation to see you goal through. Without that attitude, you simply won’t get to where you want to get to.
So be like the Cheer cheerleaders and never give up in the pursuit of your goals. Only then will you achieve them.
Netflix’s Cheer serves as a great source of inspiration, motivation, and guidance on how we should be if we have things in life we want to go after. The cheerleaders in it are nothing short of inspirational, and we should take these lessons above and apply them to our own lives.
Have you seen Cheer? Did it inspire you and make you want to go out and achieve great things? Did it affect you in any other ways? Let me know in the comments below!
If you are looking for some more inspiration, check out these inspirational and motivational true stories that will make you want to go after your dreams, and these quotes on living life with no regrets.
If you love short ideas like the ones above, these 24 top Chinese proverbs about success will be right up your street.
If you know you want to do something great with your life but aren’t sure what that is yet, these posts will help you to find your aim in life, discover your life mission, and work out what your ambition in life is, and this post will help you if you don’t know what to do with your life at all.
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