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

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.


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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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.

I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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