Cheer is an incredibly challenging sport, and competitive teams endlessly practice intricate, physically and mentally exhausting routines. They sustain the kinds of injuries more commonly associated with football, yet anyone who has witnessed the aerial daring or the rapid-fire tumbling of a high-intensity cheer routine has witnessed the undeniable skill involved in the sport.
For Trinette, though, it all just comes naturally. But Trinette didn’t start off in cheer. Not technically, anyway.
“My mom introduced me to a lot of different sports and activities,” Trinette said. “One of which was soccer. When I was playing soccer, I always avoided the ball, ran alongside my friends, and cheered for them instead. That’s when my mom decided to introduce me to cheer, and I have been cheering ever since!”
It’s not hard to imagine the sideline frustrations of Trinette’s poor soccer coach, yelling and tearing their hair out while trying to get her to just kick a ball. All she wanted to do was prop up and cheer on her teammates, though. Imagine if everyone was as supportive and encouraging as she was. Even at a young age, Trinette only wanted to spread joy, love her teammates, and to see everyone around her do better.
While she has clearly always been a great person, Trinette attributes her involvement in cheer with a mindset of self-improvement and confidence. It’s taught her a lot.
“I’ve learned to believe in myself more,” she said. “I’ve learned to keep trying, and I’ve learned that even when my coaches are hard on me, they just want me to do my best because they know my potential.”
As always, however, Trinette likes to think about everyone else. She does this even when considering her own success. She is a cheerleader, you see.
“My favorite part about cheer is the friendships I’ve made,” she said. “I have friends that go to different schools, and friends who are younger and older than me.”
Truly, as much as cheerleaders are capable of inspiring their fellow athletes in competition, it’s really the spirited passion of the individuals involved who create the magic of a rally cry. People like Trinette, her family, and her teammates. These are people who show up every game, every play, and with every minute of their lives to encourage us all, no matter what.
Trinette and her gym used Double Good to fundraise for their competitive cheer tournaments. Traveling to World Championships in places like Orlando, FL is a commitment. She and her team were able to easily raise the money with social media and their shared contacts lists. Trinette credits her grandma, one of her biggest supporters, with a lot of her success.
“She asked all of her friends at work to buy popcorn and placed one really large order for her office. I know my grandma is so proud of me, and I believe she wants to support my passion for cheer. My grandma’s sales also saved my parents a lot of money,” Trinnete said. Clearly, encouragement and spreading joy runs in the family.
After this past season ended, Trinette’s friend, Ally, the one holding her up in this photo, was diagnosed with Stage IV Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. For that reason, Ally wasn’t able to cheer with them last season, but it gave her whole team something to rally for. For Trinette, it was just another thing to cheer for, another person who needed to be loved, encouraged, and praised. “We are all hoping that Ally can find the strength to participate this season,” Trinette said.
Cheer is about winning, no matter what and no matter who the team is up against. It is inclusive, meant to offer encouragement and praise for all. And here’s the best part: at every Cheer competition all the teams cheer each other on, too.
If our world looked like this everywhere else, we’d all be better off. If we all cared about everyone else having fun and doing well, just like Trinette does each day of her life, society would be stronger and those of us living in it would definitely be living happier, more joyful and fulfilling lives.
Cheer is the perfect sport for someone like Trinette. There is a saying in football that coaches like to use: “You can’t coach speed.”
Give a great coach a great athlete, fast and strong, and that coach can turn that kid into a football player. Speed is a gift, one you either have or not. Same goes for height, balance, or a vertical leap.
Trinette is a great athlete– and certainly coachable– but what she has inside is just as much of a gift as speed, size, vertical, or any other measurable trait.
You can’t coach heart.