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There is a good way to help high school athletes that is easy and free — cheering.

I enjoy covering playoff games more than regular season games. One big reason is that the atmosphere of the crowd is drastically different.

Many of the same fans that attend regular season games also travel to see the playoff games. I understand that a playoff game has more on the line than a regular season game. I think it would be nice if the playoff games' crowd atmospheres were the same as the regular season atmosphere.

I know that it can be hard to cheer in some sports. But cheering for a team or a high school player can lend energy and boost morale. That can make a difference in how an individual or team plays.

The effects of being positive have been proven many times over to lead to better outcomes in a person's life.

When a player makes a mistake, it can affect the player's performance. Cheering that player on with encouragement can help him recover from a mistake.

I have felt the energy from a crowd many times while covering games. Some games, sadly, I don't feel any energy. It would be nice for the crowd to remain lively and feed the team with energy and positive vibes.

Many things come from positive vibes—motivation, self esteem and an overall mood of happiness.

From the extra cheering comes the vibes which leads to motivation. Motivation can help push a team or player to overcome obstacles during a game. Extra motivation usually leads to more success. One thing to remember is that, even if a game is lost, a player or team can find other ways in which he or they were successful.

I was at College Bowl a few years ago, and I was bowling beside a father and his two children. These children were probably around 12 or 13 years old. When the children had a bad throw, the father would get upset and say things that were negative. When the father kept his mouth shut, the children did much better.

Self-esteem may be bolstered as a result of cheering. The way a player thinks has a lot to do with how he feels about himself. Boisterous cheering can restore a player or team's self esteem in an instant after a mistake.

I know that not every fan is vocal. I do not expect high school fans to match cheering of professional sports crowds. I think that cheering more enthusiastically, if a fan is up for it, can make games a lot more fun and energetic for the teams.

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