Who’s On Your Bleacher Team?

I was watching TV with my husband one night – well – watching with one eye, trying to work a crossword puzzle with the other, when I heard one of the characters from the show say, “He’s your bleacher person.”

My head snapped up and I abandoned my crossword. That term, ‘bleacher person’ intrigued me. The actor went on to explain that everyone needs people in their lives who support and cheer them on. They are the people you can count on to show up for you rain or shine. They’re your biggest fans.

They’re your bleacher team.

Isn’t that a beautiful way to describe the members of your fan club? And it’s a great visual too. While we’re out there working hard on the field of life, we have true supporters in the seats who cheer, wave banners and make sure we know we’re the greatest ever.

Maybe you’ve never thought about members of your family, your friends or you job partners that way. Well, maybe not all of them are true bleacher people for you. But some of them are.

Who are your biggest fans?

I’d have to include my mom on my list, and here’s one reason why.

She got all of her eight children involved in competitive swimming at a young age. I think I was five years old when I started belly-flopping into the water, racing the width of the pool. I kept on swimming, year round, until I was nineteen. (I had to leave my college campus a a junior to live in a nurses dorm in Rochester, Minnesota. No pool there!)

But my mom didn’t just drop us off at meets and go on her way. She stayed for every single one we were in. Sometimes, she’d film us for home movies with the old Super 8 movie camera. Maybe she’d announce at home meets, or be a lane timer. But mostly, she sat on the sidelines, recording our times and cheering for us from starting block to finish.

I remember one meet on a chilly, rainy June morning. My mom left the pool to race over to my Nana’s house. She picked up dry sweatshirts and towels for us, and I can still remember the warmth I felt, pulling that old, outsized shirt over my head.

Isn’t that just what bleacher people do? They support and encourage us to keep going, especially when the going gets tough. I know I would have been completely miserable without her support and presence that day.

We all need a bleacher team. But you know what else we need? We need to be a part of someone’s fan section too.

So maybe another good question would be, “Who do you cheer on?” Who do you show up for, and wave that banner?

I know that you are an important source of support for many in your life. So don’t forget to be their cheerleader. They need you in order to keep working on the field of life.

Just like you need them.

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46 thoughts on “Who’s On Your Bleacher Team?

    • Hi Sandi! Good for you! I know that you are an amazing cheerleader, one that always shows up.

      I know that you are greatly prized as a friend and mentor.
      Keep on doing it!

  1. I’ve never heard the term bleacher person before. But I agree with you, we all need someone to support us, and indeed we should support others. Especially when there’s hard work involved. I like hard work. I can cheer and support others doing it any time.

    My father taught me to swim. We used to go out at sea in a small boat and then he would gently lower me in the water as I swam back to shore. I always got back to shore before the shark.

    Sorry Ceil, I am having a silly minute or two. You’ve got a great post here with a serious message. Perhaps our cheerleader, without us knowing, is Christ Himself.

    God bless you and your family.

    • Hi Victor! You can be silly here anytime! I know you were in a silly mood by your post today. Lots of smiles 🙂

      I think you are so right that when we cheer for each other, we are being like Christ. Who is our biggest supporter? Our Savior for sure. That makes us holy, so I guess we are all truly holy cheerleaders when we support others. I’m in on that!

  2. With the Super Bowl coming up next weekend, this is the perfect imagery, Ceil! Yes, we all need our bleacher team in life, encouraging us and cheering us on, but as you say here, we must be the same for others. I feel so fortunate to have a large bleacher team in my life, and I hope I’m giving that support to others in return.
    Blessings, and thanks for your inspiration today!

    • Oh my gosh Martha, I didn’t even think about the Super Bowl. Good thought! And I’m so glad that you have a wonderful team behind you. We all need that so much. And the fact that you are being that cheerleader for others is really wonderful. (I can see that in your family through your posts.)

      Keep on cheering!

  3. What a great analogy, Ceil! I had never heard that term until you shared it, but it fits perfectly with what you are saying. Sadly, I think some of us do not do a good job for others as bleacher people. There can be a great many reasons, but sometimes I think it comes from no experience having one OR always having had one so assuming everyone else has one as well. Your post gives an opening to think more about this beyond an initial reading of it. Thanks, my friend! Blessings and love to you! Pam

    • Hi Pam! I had never heard of that either, I think that’s why I just stopped everything when I heard it on that TV show. Isn’t it a great term?
      What an interesting perspective on why we don’t support each other. I think both ways are certainly possible. We may have so much support, we might think everyone else has that too. I can really see where that might be true.
      Thank you for your thoughtful reflections on this post. You always add to the conversation!

    • Aww Lulu, thank you. That means so much. I hope I am a good cheerleader for you too. The blog world is a wonderfully supportive place, and you are a big part of that for me.

      God bless!

  4. Great post. I will totally be using that term in the future.
    I’ve always felt that you were on my “bleacher team” with your sweet comments on my posts (back in the day when I actually wrote a post!) and your encouraging words here.

    • Hi Kathleen! How nice to see you here! I really do like the term ‘bleacher team’ myself. It was the first time I ever heard it, but it’s so descriptive.

      I’m so glad that I could be a cheerleader for you! I always enjoy your posts and seeing your family too.
      Have a restful night,

  5. I love that analogy! I think that often our parents are our original bleacher people. Mine always were, and my Dad who is still living continues to be. When he has had health issues and I am with him in a hospital or Dr’s office, he always tells them – “this is my daughter, she is a nurse”. I said “Dad, you don’t always have to tell them that”. He said – “Well, I’m proud of you” No matter how old we are, that’s a nice thing to hear. I’m a bleacher person for my kids and hubby, and now my two grandkids. However, this makes me think about who else I should e cheering on in life!

    • Hi Mari! I think we are so blessed to have had supportive parents. Your dad is so proud of you! That’s so sweet, and I know he taught you through that to support your children too.

      I’m sure God will bring you many people in your life to encourage. Like your patients, and co-workers. But part of the fun is not knowing what he has planned, just being ready to be a fan in the stands.
      Sunday blessings,

  6. I love this concept! And, it made me think of all of the wonderful people I love so much, who have been there for me time and time again, regardless. Sadly, some of them are already in Heaven with Jesus. I want to be that bleacher person for others. God, help me to be faithful. Thank you for sharing, sweet friend. I hope you are feeling better. 🙂

    • Hi Cheryl! The thought of being someone’s rooting section really resonated with me too. I hope I never tire of encouraging and supporting my friends and family members. I do have a solid bleacher team, and I’m really thankful for that. Time to pay it forward 🙂


  7. I love this! I have often used the term ‘balcony’ people as those that lead you to do your best, instead of tearing you down into their drama or negativity. You can still love them, of course, but need those balcony people to keep climbing. What I love about “bleacher” people is they wave the flags and cheer you on! I’m going to adopt this, and you made a really great point by asking the question, “Who am I cheering on?” It can be so about me, me, me! Very humbling….thanks!

    • Hi Lynn! I have never heard of ‘balcony people’, but it seems to be the same theory. I guess you could say that bleacher people are more vocal, so let’s have more of that.
      Good point about being selfish, only asking for support and not giving any. Let’s all get out there and support the ones in our lives!

      Monday blessings,

    • Hi Bill! I think pastors need that team more than anyone. You are constantly putting yourself in service and leadership. I’m so glad you have a strong bleacher team, both at your church and in your home and blogging community. We need to support each other.


    • Hi Alice! Supporting the whole person is a wonderful point. We should encourage everyone in body and soul. I like that! Thank you for that thought.

      I didn’t even think about the Super Bowl connection when I wrote this, but it does fit. Maybe that event will remind me to keep on cheering!


  8. That phrase sounds so familiar, Ceil. I know I’ve heard it and was impressed by it, too, but I can’t remember which movie. Anyway, I love the message in it, too. Both here and in your comments at my blog, you definitely are one of my bleacher people. 🙂 May we be bleacher people to whoever we meet, whether a loved one or some stranger behind a cash register! 🙂 Love and hugs!

    • Hi Trudy! Yay! I’m so glad to be one of your many bleacher people (and you must know you are one of mine too).
      I really appreciate your taking the concept out into the world, to everyone we meet. It might just be a kind word to a restaurant server, or a thank you to the mail person. It’s all about encouraging and being a positive light in our days.

      Love and hugs right back!

  9. I’m blessed to still have mom with us. She’s one of my biggest cheerleaders, but isn’t afraid to speak a bit of truth here and there. I love that about her. At just about 87, she’s quite wise.

    Grateful for all the in-person cheering back and forth that goes on in my life, grateful for texting that keeps me in touch with my oh-so-busy daughters, grateful for this online community we mingle in.

    Women like you, Ceil.

    Frankly, it’s been a lifeline. Thank You, Lord …

    • Hi Linda! You are very blessed to have your mom around you. A truth-speaking cheerleader? We all need those.

      Texting is a wonderful way to keep in touch with my kids too. I love the videos and pictures, and it helps me to stay connected. As for the blogging world, it is a vast place, but full of loving people. And of course that includes you. Thank you for sharing your heart as you do, and encouraging so many of your blog-friends.

      Have a peaceful afternoon,

  10. I love the concept of a bleacher team and the great example your mom set. It is important to cheer each other on. Thank you for always doing that when you visit my blog. In the blogging world you are definitely part of my bleacher team!

    • Hi Lesley! I’m so glad to be a part of your blogging world bleacher team! I’m glad we met each other through our websites, and can truly be cheerleaders for each other.

      Have a peaceful evening,

  11. Hi Ceil! I love this concept of a “bleacher person”. The “cheerleaders”, as I call them, are so important as we live in this world. ALL of my master’s thesis committee were my fans; one in particular was my cheerleader–she wanted me to get done with it so she could read it! (All that happened over a decade ago.)

    I have a “bleacher team” when it comes to my blog; likewise, I fulfill that for a few fellow bloggers. I also have one for Sunday school too.

    We all need people to cheer us on, encourage us as we run the race before us. I’m reminded of what the writer of Hebrews stated about how we have a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on as we run our race to the finish line.


    • Hi Kim! I know that you are a real cheerleader for me both here and on Twitter. You are a born encourager. I’m so glad you have so many bleacher teams ready to cheer you on! It really does make a difference.

      They are a cloud of witnesses, I love that! Thank you for quoting that Scripture.
      Have a blessed Tuesday,

  12. Hi Ceil,
    I have never heard the expression ‘bleacher team’, and bleach is a liquid used to clean :-), but I love the way that we all need one another for encouragement, comfort and support in many ways. I think that is why I love how we have all been made different, it is like a jigsaw puzzle isn’t it, many pieces can come together to form one picture.
    God bless you for sharing this Ceil

    • Hi Brenda! We have the same bleach here too. I’m not sure why the stands at an arena are called ‘bleachers’?

      We are all so different, but all in the same family too. Makes life pretty interesting doesn’t it? I might not be able to do what someone else can, but I can always cheer them on.

      God bless you too Brenda, for being a cheerleader for me,

  13. Excellent post and questions!
    It’s always good to count our blessings…especially the people who cheer us on.
    It’s also good to make sure we are not just consumers but also givers. Everyone needs a fan.
    Our preacher challenged us to ask God for at least one person this year to pour our lives into and show the love of Christ. I thought of that as I read your post.

    Christ is our biggest fan and the world needs to see that He wants to cheer them on too!

    • Hi TC! You make a good point about how Christ is our biggest cheerleader of all. But as in all things on this earth, he needs us to be his hands and feet. Love the idea of your preacher, to find someone to really be Christ to in love and service. That’s the ultimate encouragement!


  14. I’ve never heard of the term before either but it sure is a great way to describe those who support us (and those we support as well.) We all need to be encouraged AND encourage others in every aspect of our lives! Great post, Ceil!

    • Hi Debby! We are thinking alike about this subject. I think it’s such a great image…cheering in the stands for our loved ones and friends, and doing the same for them. What a wonderful, supportive world that is!

      Hope you had a great day my friend,

  15. Who’s on my bleacher team? I have not thought about it that way but I am intrigued. What a wonderful way to think about who is cheering us on. I’m curious what show you were watching that you heard this question being asked.

    The story about your mom is a wonderful memory. She is your biggest cheerleader. I was transported back in time at the mention of Super 8 movies. Oh my!

    Happy day friend!

    • Hi Mary! I’ll have to ask my husband the name of the show. I wasn’t really in the room to watch it, but it sure caught my attention!

      Thanks for the words about my mom and the Super 8 movies. I remember my dad nearly blinding us with those flood lights on Christmas mornings…makes me smile to this day 🙂
      Have a wonderful weekend,

  16. Never heard this term before but I love the image of it. Like the great crowd of witnesses cheering us on. This is encouraging. And had to laugh about semi watching the tv shows – I do that all the time too. doing two things at once right now too….

    • Hi Jean! Ah, the multi-tasker in us is blooming! Sometimes I just sit in the TV room to be company for my husband. I don’t have as many ‘must see TV’ shows as he does.

      Love that crowd/cloud of witnesses reference. It’s really true!
      Happy Weekend 🙂

  17. Love this! So many ways to apply and see the effects of this in ours and others’ lives. I sat in the bleachers often while my kids were young – swimming for my daughter and hockey for my sons. I did a fair amount of praying and cheering there. 🙂 My mom was my bleacher person too. Always was thankful for that. Thanks so much for sharing this, Ceil. Happy weekend!

    • Hi Karen! My brothers played hockey in high school, so we’d troop out to see them play. Loved to be under those heaters! You were a great bleacher team for your children, that’s a wonderful thing.

      Happy Weekend to you too Karen!

  18. You have a way with words, and the Lord just dropped that little phrase into your heart to share a beautiful thought. Many times the “bleacher person” doesn’t get much recognition, but I loved the story of your mother and how she did all that she could to cheer her kids on, what an amazing lady! Always am blessed to read what the Lord laid on your heart to share 🙂 Hugs to you today!

    • Hi MM! It does seem like I was right where I needed to be to hear that phrase. It’s going to stick with me for a long time.

      I had a very supportive mom, she was a swimmer herself when she was a girl. Aren’t we so blessed by our mothers? I miss her a lot.

      Have a wonderful Sunday! It’s always great to see you my friend,

  19. My mother and I and some of our family sat on bleachers when my dad was racing. When I was quite small, I wouldn’t sit still and fell through the opening between the seat and the foot walk. When our son played T-ball, I was the one who sat through all the games he played in. One of the two seasons, he had surgery scheduled and we had to cut his participation short by a few games. The bleachers at his grade school were hard. No parent liked sitting on them for very long.

    • Hi Cecelia! My goodness, what a scare to fall from the bleachers! That’s something I’d never forget.

      I don’t like bleachers much myself. I always have to bring a back support with me. But if we’re on someone’s bleacher team, we don’t have to sit in real bleachers! We can cheer wherever we are.


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