Although high school cheer might be over, I enjoyed the feeling I got from cheerleading so much that I now coach a Pop Warner Cheer team. I have traded in my fitted uniform for a professional looking athletic polo declaring my position as “Head Coach” and member of the “RPPW Cheer Coaching Staff”. Now I am not just a distant girl that little girls look up to, but I am their ultimate role model. Everything I do and say is mimicked by five adorable six-year-old girls and instantaneously picked apart by their watchful mothers.
I am no longer a part of a team of girls trying to be uniform, but a team of adults volunteering their time and hard work to enrich the lives of our community’s children. I am proud to be recognized by parents and players at games and practices as a coach. Even though I am the youngest staff member in the entire league aside from the high school aides, I am respected as an adult because of a simple t-shirt. Other coaches, parents, field officials, and coaches of the opposing teams, often decades older than me, speak to me with respect and value my opinion as their equal. Without my coach shirt, I would probably be mistaken for a high school aide and be spoken down to like a child, but with it, it is automatically assumed that I am knowledgeable and can be trusted.
It is a wonderful feeling to have people associate you with positive connotations, and although we hardly think about it, the clothing we wear makes a huge difference in the way others perceive us. Most people base their feelings off of what they see rather than what they hear, and the messages we send with our clothing can be interpreted by others and used to judge our entire character.