If you've ever played sports before, you know how difficult going through a rough patch can be. You know how much confidence you can lose by simply missing more shots than you would have or striking out three or four times in a row. You know how down you can feel on yourself when you know that you can play better and you simply just are not performing to the best of your ability.
There are a lot of different types of coaches in this world. There are the ones that will tell you that you're not doing your greatest and there are the ones that will help you figure out what the problem is and try to fix it. Confidence is something that is extremely hard to fix. Once it is down you can have moments where it feels like it is never going to climb back up. I went through this period. I felt like all of my skills that I once had were lost. I felt like my mind was completely taken from the game and I was now just worried about messing up. I was worried about making mistakes. The old player that I used to be was fearless. Losing was not an option. I was willing to take risks. The unfortunate thing is sometimes all it takes is one coach to change a player and stop them from taking those risks.
You were the one that believed in me. I know there will be a lot of people who say, "A coach who isn't hard on you isn't that good of a coach."
Don't get me wrong, you were extremely hard on us. You ran us to the ground. I left practices with numb legs. I'd go home and collapse on my couch and not move. I hated you most of the time because of how much you would yell and scream at us. I hated a lot of the things that you did. You were tough. However, you always believed in me even when I was at one of my lowest moments as a player.
You took action. You didn't tell me all of the things I was doing wrong, because trust me, I already knew. You tried to fix it. We worked on it at practice. We put in time and effort. We tried to take action to build my confidence back up. You encouraged me to start taking risks again. It was a long, hard process, but you knew that I could do it.
You genuinely cared about the players on your team. I remember sitting there one night in my car by myself after a game. I was so frustrated in myself. I felt as if I wasn't growing as a player at all. You saw that and were more concerned about how I was feeling than how the scoreboard turned out. Yes, you cared a lot about winning. You cared a lot about stats. You cared a lot about the game, but at the end of the day your players came first and I cannot thank you enough for putting us first.
Sometimes as players we don't look at what coaches are truly doing. We look at how much they run us. We look at how much playing time we get. We look at the final score of the game. I can tell you one thing though, without confidence, you aren't going to get that final score. There are special kinds of coaches out there and those are the ones who see talent and isn't doing great and fix the mistakes to make them better, not drag them down by the mistakes you make.
Thank you for teaching me that there's more to life than a final score.