An Open Letter To The Coach That Pushed Me

An Open Letter To The Coach That Pushed Me

There were days I thought you were going to kill me, but really you made me stronger.
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The thing that separates a good coach from a great coach is knowing your team, and not just in the “she can knock down a three” kinda way but knowing each player as a person. At the time I played for you, I didn’t know that, but now I understand that the reason why you pushed us so hard was because you weren’t just out to make exceptional basketball players out of us but exceptional people too.

There were many days that I dreaded practice like the plague. We’d all already heard that one of us had gotten in trouble, and we knew that we were all about to die for their stupidity. We might as well just start running as soon as we were stretched. But as much as we complained to each other and cut our eyes at you, we were learning that in life, many times you suffer the consequences of the actions of others, and that’s just how it’s always gonna be. Who knew those sprints were more than cardio?

Some days you’d show up to practice, and I could have sworn that you hated me. It seemed like I couldn’t do anything right, regardless of how hard I tried. But no matter how terrible it was or I was, practice always ended just like the trials in your life are always going to come to an end too. Sometimes it feels like life has a great big ole target taped to your forehead, but those days don’t last forever, and I know that it’s going to be alright. And the next day at practice, I might even get hot, and shoot the lights out.

There was absolutely no being late or MIA on your team. If practice was at 4:30 that really meant that we should be there at 3:45 dressed and ready to go. If you showed up at 4:15, you were already late.

You simply did not miss practice. You just didn’t. I came to practice with strep throat on more than one occasion. It was that important that I be there. I can’t even tell you how many times that I’ve had a nightmare that my alarm didn’t go off, and I missed morning practice. It was a legitimate concern (even for months after I graduated). You taught me how important it is to fulfill a commitment in my life and to make it a top priority. I learned the importance of time management and sacrifice for sure.

Some days I knew that I didn’t have any more to give. I was exhausted physically and mentally. But you knew that I had more left, and you demanded that I give my all. And somewhere inside of me I found more energy and effort that I didn’t even know existed. I wanted to give up at times, but you refused to let me quit. You were teaching me that life’s not always easy, and a whole lot of times I’m going to think that I have nothing left. But because of you, I know that I do. It’s in there; I just need to push harder.

You demanded perfection, and we weren’t perfect (and neither were our skills). If we were up by 12 at half time, some coaches would have been overjoyed but not you. You wanted to know why weren’t up by 30 because the other team sucked, and we should be embarrassed that people paid money to watch this crap. Of course, you knew real perfection was out of the question, but you were teaching us how successful we could be if we set our expectations for ourselves that high. If you shoot for the moon, you might still land amongst the stars.

Thank you for pushing me. Thank you for pushing us.

Some say that you’re a successful coach because you practice your team so much and have so much natural talent to work with. But I know that it’s because you push your team and your players, and teach them lessons that go beyond the numbers on their backs. You see excellence in each and every one of them and make it your goal to pull that out (now matter how many 1:10’s in a row it takes). There were days I thought you were going to kill me, but really you made me stronger. Thank-you for pushing me.

Cover Image Credit: Shelbyville Times Gazette

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Will The Seahawks Extend Bobby Wagner?

The star veteran linebacker will turn 29 in June.

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The Seattle Seahawks have made a few notable moves so far in the 2019 NFL offseason. They traded star pass rusher Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs for significant draft capital and made quarterback Russell Wilson the highest-paid player in NFL history after his self-imposed April 15 deadline for a contract extension. In addition, they selected Ohio State wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in the 2019 NFL Draft after he surprisingly fell to the 64th overall pick at the end of the second round. However, there are still a few questions to be answered. Most notably, will the Seahawks extend veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner?

Seattle drafted two linebackers in Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven in this year's draft. However, Wagner has been one of the NFL's top linebackers throughout his seven-year career and is considered by many to be the best along with Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. Although a versatile player, he is perhaps most known for his elite tackling ability and efficiency in that department. In the 2018 season, he missed only one tackle out of 139 attempts and was given a 139.0 tackling efficiency score from Pro Football Focus, more than double the score of runner-up Jon Bostic. However, he is entering a contract year and approaching his 29th birthday, so Seattle must make a decision on his long-term future.

Wagner is expected to become the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL after being overtaken by five other players of his position since he signed his initial four-year, $43 million contract extension on August 2, 2015. He has been one of the most consistent linebackers in the league and has stayed relatively healthy throughout his career with few character concerns. After Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley set the market for the position with his five-year, $85 million contract, the Seahawks will have to offer a significant amount of dough to their star to keep him. Wagner has stated that he will play the 2019 season as if it is his last in the Emerald City and reports say that he is not keen on taking a hometown discount to stay with the team.

The Seahawks were in a similar situation with veteran safety Earl Thomas last offseason when he held out for a contract extension that paid him his perceived value. We all know how that turned out. Could the same scenario happen with Wagner? All we know for sure is that Seattle has another large decision to make for another veteran star player.

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