Updated: Feb 2
You laughed, you cried, you rejoiced… and we’re not just talking about the cheer community. EVERYONE is obsessed with CHEER! on Netflix.
From Buzzfeed to the New Yorker, Corsicana to Cape Town, Mila Kunis to Kendall Jenner, EVERYONE's pressed paused on their lives for 6 hours to binge on the Netflix series. Here are the top 10 things about the show that’s conquered our hearts and what we can learn from each one (and why Netflix can thank the cheer community for a big spike in signups!)
1. LADARIUS: We all have to battle with our inner demons, and some instances in life can push us over the edge. LaDarius’s childhood trauma and the incredible strength it took to face his emotional challenges was herculean. What we can learn from this: If LaDarius can learn to manage his anger, and channel his energy into something positive so can you.
2. MONICA: She’s made every coach reconsider their ways. Her mix of poise, control, assertiveness and maternal love is a winning formula of leadership. Yes, the athletes are second to none, but it’s her drive that leads this team to success. What can we learn from this? As a coach, educator or parent, there is nothing more effective (nor terrifying) than poise and control to command a room. Respect is EARNED through mutual respect, and you don’t always have to shout to be heard.
3. JERRY: Need we say more? His mat talk, his positive approach to cheer, and life. HIs humility, His dedication. His story, His strength. His grace. His everything. What can we learn from this? Be more like Jerry.
4. KEEP CALM & CHEER ON: Everyone, and we mean EVERYONE stopped breathing when Austin got injured on the mat. Even more bewildering was how Alex stepped in, cool as a cucumber and learned the full routine in 30 min. An alumni of UK team, Coventry Dynamite, Alex brings some British mindset to cheer. What we can learn from this: in moments of high pressure and stress, be “British”: Keep Calm and Cheer On. Oh: and having a plan B, C, D… also helps!
5. MORGAN: We’ve all gone puppy-eyed for Morgan. Her story, dedication and serene approach to challenges is fresh and light. What we appreciated even more, however, was her determination to ensure her own safety when she made the decision to visit the emergency room when her ribs hurt. What we can learn from this: Even if you love your sport and trust your coach blindly, we need to recognise that there is a moment where we push too far. Overtraining and training on injury are a real danger. YOU are in control of your own body, and you need to know what your limit is. Don’t let anyone ever make decisions for you. The only person you will let down is yourself, if you go too far and let others make decisions on your behalf.
6. THE HARD WORK BEHIND THE SCENES. If you hadn’t just binge watched the series, and only saw Navarro take to the mat in Daytona, you’d be fooled into thinking these skills came easily to the team. The glamour and finesse with which they perform, hides the blood, sweat and tears that went into making it possible. What can we learn from this? Anything worth doing takes time and hard work, and nobody got to the top of their game without struggle and failure along the way.
7. LEXI: In the Netflix show we see Lexi reflecting on some of the bad choices she made in her life, and also see her make some difficult, but good choices to help turn her life around. What can we learn from this? In life we can’t always choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react to our situation.
8. TEAMWORK: Monica talks about team selection as a business decision. While she cares deeply about each of the athletes on a personal level, her primary objective in choosing who will make the mat for Daytona is about creating the strongest winning team. Her upfront style, means that the athletes accept these decisions, appreciate her honesty and know that the decisions made are for the good of the team as a whole. What can we learn from this? Sometimes when decisions are made that we don’t like, we need to step outside our personal circumstances and look at the bigger picture. It’s not always about us!
9. MOMENTS OF BRAVERY: When Jerry doesn’t make mat for the second year, he initially accepts the decision without really knowing why. He just assumes there were people better than him. A conversation with a team-mate makes Jerry realise that if he wants to improve, he needs to understand more specifically why he didn’t make the team and ask for feedback. Eventually Jerry asks Monica what he can work on to get better, and well, we all know how that particular story ended.. What can we learn from this? Didn’t get shortlisted for a job? Received a particular grade on your test you weren’t expecting? Didn’t get picked for the team? Ask for specific feedback and be ready to listen. Approach feedback openly and with an attitude of willingness to learn.
CHEER! had so many moments of bravery. Big up @AlexBouhuys for stepping up cool as s cucumber and taking the pressure to replace Austin on the mat. Another amazing act of bravery, which was made possible by a supportive team environment and leadership.
10. AN ODE TO CHEERLEADING. Finally, a true representation of our sport: raw and unapologetic. For once, a show that’s not just about the glitter and the politics but the grit. With this show, people really “GET” why cheer is so addictive and why we’re so passionate for recognition as a sport. It can be brutal What can we learn from this? Even though the sport of cheerleading as evolved into a sport of its own, it still has a long way to go to find the right balance to ensure athletes are not being physically being pushed beyond reason. Dedication to your team/sport, yes. Putting yourself in danger? Questionable. National Federations and credentialing providers are working hard to ensure coaches focus more on the safety and athletic development of athletes, but we all have a responsibility in our gyms to create an intentional culture where these things are valued. We would love to hear your thoughts!