Lessons My Daughter Learned During a Year of Cheer at Legacy

Sign Up for Legacy's Mid-Season Cheer Season this Friday

By Anastasia Wudzki + Melissa Wudzki, Publisher, Macaroni Kid Point Pleasant November 16, 2021

If you see my posts on Facebook, you may think I've been doing this Cheer Mom thing forever - but that is not the case. My daughter started Central Regional Middle School 3 years ago and decided to try cheerleading. We discovered quickly she needed to get into the gym and learn to tumble - which led us to Legacy Gymnastics and Cheer in Toms River. The plan was for my daughter to practice tumbling for two years so she could make it onto the high school cheer team when she became a freshman.

Flash forward those 2 years and my daughter, Anastasia is finishing not only her freshman year of high school but also her second year cheering with Legacy All Star! It was Legacy and the coaches there that made my daughter fall in love with sport of cheerleading and all that it entails. 

As we drove home from Wildwood a couple of weeks ago, after our final competition of the season, she was already thinking about the next season. As some of cheer friends contemplated moving onto high school cheer programs, she explained to me all the reasons she couldn't leave Legacy. 

It was easy for me to see that these reasons were really a list of all the things she had learned during her time so far at Legacy, from her coaches and her teammates, and simply by being part of the Legacy All Star Cheerleading program.

1. Accountability & Commitment  

Anything that makes a teenage learn about accountability is a good thing in my book. Being a part of a cheer team, or any team is a commitment. Everyone on the team must commit to practice, working hard, showing up and putting in their full effort for the team to be successful. Being new to cheerleading, my daughter quickly learned she was responsible for her position on the floor, making sure her group got their stunts up properly to keep their flyers safe. When something went wrong, she had to learn how to get it right the next time.

2. The Value of Hard Work 

Coming into All Star cheer at 13 with just a cartwheel was a daunting task for my daughter. Halfway through the first season on her Level 1 team, she set a goal to make it on to a Level 2 team the following year with some of the girls closer to her age. She had a long way to get to that point. While Anastasia had always gotten good grades, that had come naturally to her without much effort. Getting the skills she needed to be good at a sport she quickly discovered she loved, was not going to be as easy. My daughter worked harder at the gym than I had ever seen her work at anything. She didn't just work at the gym, she worked at home. She googled stretching, tumbling and jumping videos. She found other workouts to strengthen her arms to help her tumble better. Last June when Anastasia made her Level 2 team, she learned a valuable lesson. Hard work, and only hard work is the ticket to get you wherever you want to go in life.

3. Teamwork 

Being able to work as part of a team is crucial in life - for school projects and later on when gets older and starts working. Teamwork is also necessary for a successful cheerleading team. Communication, working together and trust are required to be able to perform tumbling passes just a couple feet from each other going in opposite directions or for your flyer to focus on squeezing, rather than worry about her bases holding her up. Learning how to communicate in a fast paced sport, with the pressure of competition is learning a whole other level of communicating. Most importantly, your team does not have a shot at winning a competition when everyone on the team isn't in sync with each other.

4. Passion 

Through cheer this past year, my daughter learned that to reach your full potential, it requires passion. Anastasia has learned how to take her passion for cheer, use it to fuel her efforts and motivate her so she can achieve her goals. I learned, by watching her, that passion and hard work make her unstoppable - whether it be getting her tuck this summer or getting into her first choice college in a few years! 

5. Family 

Family isn't just defined by blood - but by the people that are important in your life. "I love my teammates just like they are family." Her cheer friends and her "cheer moms" are there for her, when she doesn't want a hug from me after a performance gone bad, or to text her to see how she is doing after she just lost her dog. They fight with her younger brother on her behalf when he's annoying her and the Tinys and Minis give her the biggest hugs when she needs it the most! She's gotten to be a "big sister" to a lot of little cheerleaders this season!

A new season has been underway since June, and Showcase is next Sunday. Anastasia is excited to see what this next season holds for her, for her teammates and for the gym we have come to love. 

Evaluations are next Friday, November 19th, for Legacy's Mid-Season team. Call to preregister: 732-646.4393. If your child is interested in cheerleading and wants to see what it is about, or you are just looking for a cheer family that is the perfect fit, our mid-season team is the perfect introduction to the Legacy family. If you are not sure about cheer yet, give Kristyn a call and set up a time to come see the gym and meet some coaches. If you missed evaluations, there is still time to sign up for the upcoming season. Give the gym a call to register. Want a glimpse of what a season at Legacy All Star looks like, well, we put that together for you here!