When You Aren't Chosen To Be Captain Of A Sports Team

To The People Who Screwed Me Out Of Being Captain, I Won't Forgive Or Forget

I will never forgive the people that made my last soccer season suck, even if I eventually get an apology.

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Being a senior in high school means that you have been through it all. All the drama, all the stress, and the seniors finally get take a moment to be recognized for what they accomplished during their time in high school. They get recognition from teachers, coaches, and of course their own proud parents. There are little things that only seniors get the privilege of doing to get some spotlight for their last year, but my senior story was not like the average twelfth grader.

Starting off the school year with my most loved-but-hated fall sport, soccer, I thought my senior year was off to a great start. I already had two years of being on the varsity team, and the same head coach that had taught me since my freshman year. I worked hard for this sport, but the dedication always paid off and that is why I would go back and forth in my mind liking and being mad at the game. Soccer isn't just physical endurance and speed, it takes mental preparation and memorization. Being a senior, I knew I had to step up as a leader and I was so eager and determined to be that role model to the new first-year high-schoolers. Especially because I only had one other senior still with me in this sport.

However, this story started to downhill even before the fall season started. During the summer practices, I was introduced with a problem, new staff.

The head coach still decided to be that same knowing coach for this year's team, but one new face and an old coach of mine came to be the rest of the staff for my last year of soccer.

At first, I didn't see an issue, the staff seemed supportive and the newer coach already was familiar with the freshman. This was a nice stress reliever for them. Of course, the staff came to watch my teams' practices because they are not allowed to officially coach until the fall season hit. They seemed supportive of everyone and gave a few pep-talks to encourage my team. My only senior friend and I were uplifted and told by the coaches to help keep everyone in line. We were first on the field with scrimmages, with my senior partner as a forward and me as the wing right behind her. We worked well together, like we should, and things were where they should have been.

Then, the coaches started to disagree, on a lot.

They started to confront each other on what type of formation my team and I should be doing, on what would work with our more younger of a team, and they even started to bicker just to bicker. They managed to solve a few their problems by dividing the team and having one coach be the offensive coach and one defensive. When they told the team this, it really didn't affect me. I was an offensive player and the head coach in the past had the offense more when we had to split up. When the head coach said he would be taking the defense side of the team, I was a little devastated. That meant that even in games, he would play and switch the defense, and the other coach had all of the offense for the games. Still, I didn't think much would change, but I was looking forward to sharing my senior year practicing with the coach I knew best. Practices were great, I helped the freshman with drills and proving my spot as a leader became easy.

Then, I hit a low point.

Some personal issues arose before the season started and took over my thoughts, making practices foggy. I became too caught up in trying to fix the mess that piled up in front of me when at the time, I had no room to try and help the situation. The weekend after the incident, I did not get to start. I sat the bench for the first 15 minutes all because of a few bad practices. After that weekend, my chances never went back up. By the middle of the next week, the assistant offensive coach took me aside and told me that I need to forget all of my personal issues to play the game of soccer. He said that not starting me at the last scrimmage was also good and that he liked me eyeing the field at the beginning.

To me, it was complete BS.

There was not a change in anything that helped my team. Soon after that, the fall season had started and practices were daily right after school.

I did not get to be that leader as much, and the rest of the team acted like I wasn't even a senior. Sophomores and juniors would try and past my senior friend and me. We would eventually snip at them, it didn't really help the team's chemistry. Then when we couldn't handle the immaturity anymore, we had a talk with them. We had multiple talks throughout the season with the team if anyone can guess how those went. Then It came time for games, the coaches had yet to talk to us two seniors about captain positions. Like all other years, captains were seniors. One time, there was even a senior varsity captain that played more junior varsity than varsity. The only problem we were questioning was if the coaches wanted to add a third captain like usual. When they finally talked about captains, the offensive coach said that the team was going to vote this year.

Instantly I knew where this was going.

I immediately looked at my friend, shocked that the tradition was going to change. Three spots were told to be open, and everyone got handed a card to write three names on. The anxiety I had during this process was insane. In my head, I thought about how obviously the offensive coach didn't think I had the ability to lead because of that one incident. I continued to ponder on how of course the team I know would pick the two seniors, I had nothing to worry about. However, my mind couldn't stay quiet. I thought about how badly I wanted to be a leader for this team, and how one thing could have affected the team as well as the coaches.

I snapped out of my train of thought when I realized how even if the team I thought of as mine would not pick me, the head coach would obviously put me in it. It wouldn't be fair for me not to have a leading position on the team, being that it would be my third year on varsity and there were only two seniors. As the practice went on, I got more confident on my skills and assets for the team. At the end of the practice, the coaches pulled everyone together to announce the captains. They talked about how they had to include a fourth person because it was a tie. Then they announced two juniors, my senior friend, and a sophomore.

I was in utter disbelief at the bad, terrible, horrendous announcement they had just made.

I put up with way too much crap and dedicated way too much of my time into this sport just to have everything that made senior year fun ripped out from under me. I have never been so angry in my entire life. Everyone knew it was wrong, except for the freshman, that all loved the sophomore.

After that day, the rest of that season just added on to the terrible experience. I never started, I never helped, never got asked for opinions. It never mattered how hard I worked for this sport, the dedication ceased to pay off. I was not a captain, but I was a senior. And the senior night was the only game I got recognition for. That cold home game on a late Saturday when no students went, I got to start, I got my name called on the speakers, I got to do my epic dance panned out with the goalie. I got something finally, and it was OK. But, I will never forgive the people that made my last soccer season suck, even if I eventually get an apology.

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Everything The Student Athlete Loses When They Move On From Sports

Enjoy it while it lasts.

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We used to call it "flipping the switch." You would go through eight hours of school (somehow) and then your mentality would automatically change. The worries and stress from the school day would dwindle as you put on your cleats and begin to warm up. Anything that was going on in your life didn't matter when you hit the dirt. You create lifelong friendships with the girls you spent every day with for months at a time. Teammates who see you susceptible after a bad game and on cloud nine after one of your bests.

You develop a routine and superstitions. Hitting your bat on the inside of your cleat before you hit, chewing a certain type of gum on the volleyball court, how many times you spin the ball before you shoot a free throw, whatever your quirk was, you 100% believed it would make you play better. You practice in your free time with your dad, devote three to five months of your school year to a team, and play all summer long with your travel team as you live off hotel breakfast. Then one day, it's all over.

It is a feeling that nobody can prepare you for. They say enjoy it while it lasts but you never really understand what you'll be walking away from when you play your last game and hang it up for good. You lose a part of yourself when you're no longer an athlete. I forgot what it feels like to be competitive and be a part of something that is bigger than myself. It has been two years since I've played my last softball game and not a day goes by when I don't miss it. I didn't play because I wanted to go pro or even to the collegiate level, but I played because it was an escape and helped me become who I am.

You begin to forget what it felt like to hit the sweet spot on a bat, what it sounded like to have an audience cheer for you as you stand alone on second base and see your family in the stands, to hear the metal spikes of your cleats on concrete when walking in the dugout. It's simple things about the game you love that brought you pure joy and an escape from the world and the thoughts in your head. Batting practice was always mine. Focusing on nothing but the next pitch and how hard I could hit it.

When you have to watch the game from the other side of the fence, you realize how much pressure you put on yourself when you played. It's just a game. Make as many memories as you can and enjoy every inning because when you leave sports behind you have to find your inner athlete in other things. Create a workout routine, joining a club sport or intramurals, or even becoming a coach. As much as I miss the sport, I am thankful for everything it brought me. It taught me how to be a good friend, respect others around me, and to push myself to discover what I was capable of.

So, enjoy it while it lasts.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo And Christian Yelich Have Put Milwaukee Back On The Map

Two small market teams making sure the world knows who they are

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"MVP" is currently being chanted around the city of Milwaukee and the people of Milwaukee aren't just talking about one person. Giannis Antetokounmpo, a forward for the Milwaukee Bucks and Christian Yelich, an outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. Giannis is on the path to winning this year's NBA MVP and Yelich, who happened to win the NL MVP last year, is showing no doubts on potentially becoming this year's MVP as well.

Both the Bucks and the Brewers have struggled in the past few years. The Bucks finished their 2013-2014 season with a record of 15-67. On top of that, they have been playing in the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the past couple of decades. The Bradley Center was intentionally built for hockey and not basketball so attending games for the Bucks sometimes had you in the nosebleeds barely seeing what was going on on the court. The Bucks struggled after their 2013-2014 season with records of 41-41 (2014-2015) and 33-49 (2015-2016). Now, the Bucks have recently finished their regular season and moved to the playoffs. From 15-67 just five years ago, to now 60-22 which gave them the best record in the NBA, the number one seed in the East and home-court advantage, Giannis has proved himself as potentially one of the greatest players the NBA and the Bucks franchise will ever see.

The Bucks now have a new arena that opened this season, Fiserv Forum, which is built specifically for the Bucks (and Marquette) instead of hockey. Looking back on the Bucks in their previous years compared to now, the Bucks have sold out every single game this season. Something Milwaukee never thought they would see from being a small market team. From my experience, while working for the Bucks, you can see the difference in the crowd and feel their enthusiasm and excitement radiating off of the fans. And this is all thanks to Mr. Antetokounmpo who is making his mark here in Milwaukee. Giannis has won Eastern Conference Player of the Month for October/November, December, February and March/April and even earned his spot as Eastern Conference captain for the All-Star game this year. Giannis may be considered in his prime right now, but he is only 24-years-old which means he has plenty of time to only make himself better.

The Brewers had won the NL Central Divison back in 2011 but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. After that, they struggled a bit and haven't won the title since until last year in 2018. He brought the Brewers to the NLCS last season, but unfortunately, they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yelich had 36 home runs last season and already has eight (as of 4/16/19) this season. He happens to be a great right fielder as well. In last night's (4/15/19) game against the Cardinals, Yelich alone scored three home runs.

Miller Park has been filling up more and more each game of Brewers fans. Being a small market team like their cross-city friends, the Bucks, bringing home an MVP title as well as a division title, it makes everyone aware of their greatness and dedication. The season may have just started back up again, but there is no doubt, if Yelich and his teammates keep playing like they are right now, they will have another shot of making it to the World Series.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Christian Yelich have brought and will continue to bring excitement and greatness to Milwaukee which is something the city hasn't seen in a while. This era of sports will surely be remembered for a long time by the people of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

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