Sports have been a part of my life since I can remember. I played soccer from the age of four to 14, and basketball from age 9 to my senior year of high school. Sports gave me joy and brought me some of my closest friends. They taught me important life lessons and helped me be who I am today. I loved basketball so much that I stopped playing soccer the summer going into high school. I was all in for basketball and was determined to be great at it. But senior year of high school that all changed.
I was pulled up to the varsity team my junior year. I was so excited that I proved to myself and my coach that I was worthy to hold a spot on the team. I was told when I got pulled up that I wouldn't play that much and was okay with that. That was probably the biggest mistake I made. I figured that I'd get a few minutes each game and get some decent play time. I was wrong. I did not play but maybe 10 minutes that season. I was discouraged but was determined that senior year was going to be the year I made a statement.
Senior year came around and it was time for basketball season. All summer I worked on my game so that I could go in and get a spot on the court. I was so pumped, but the first game came and I did not play. We played a horrible team and were killing them, but I did not step on that court once. I was mad but then told myself I just had to work harder the following week during practice. That next week came and I made sure I pushed myself. Next game came around, didn't play again. The cycle happened for about the next month. My coach would tell me that I would get my time and I believed her.
District play was about to happen and I figured I'd get some good play time, but all I ended up with was disappointment. It got to the point where I stopped going to my basketball trainer, I dreaded practice and I dreaded having to sit on that bench every Tuesday and Friday night. What made it more frustrating was that I showed up and showed out every summer. I went to every camp that was recommended we go to and showed up to every open gym. There was a moment where I thought about quitting, and my parents fully supported the decision, but I decided to stay to show my coach why I deserved to play. But no matter how hard I tried, my love for playing faded away.
Sports were my escape for whatever was going on in my life, and now I didn't have that anymore. My coach made me hate the sport I once loved. I literally counted down the days until the season ended that's how much I hated it. I couldn't stand going to practice or games. I would just complain about it. Every night I'd come home and just whine and say how much I couldn't wait for the season to be over. I got so numb that I didn't even get upset or cry like everyone else did when we lost our last game. Did not shed one single tear because I was so relieved that it was all over. Isn't that sad? The game I loved ended up turning into an enemy for me.
Coaches ruin sports for kids all the time, and I'm so disappointed that it happened to me.