I Loved the Sport I Played Until....
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I Loved the Sport I Played Until....

To the coach who ruined my sport for me:

I Loved the Sport I Played Until....

If you asked me today, “Do you love this sport?” the answer would be no. If you had asked me prior to college, I would have told you that it was my favorite thing in the world. If you asked me, “Why don’t you love it anymore?” my answer would be: “Because of you.”

Although I’ve since quit your team, I thought that you should fully understand why I walked away from the game I loved so much. This sport was something that I cherished; it was something I defined myself by.

You never gave me a chance. When I came in as a freshman, it was as if my fate was immediately sealed because I was not one of your favorites. Game after game, tournament after tournament—I was always the one player who never stepped on the field. The only “chance” you gave me was playing a position I was unfamiliar with for the final three minutes of a game, and the ball never even came to my side of the field.

I thought it would be different sophomore year, yet I was still the only player who did not play a single minute. Again, my “chance” this year was the last six minutes of a game in a position that I had never played before, never even practiced at before, and that was it. Then, you proceeded to tell someone—who told me—that I was just not in “game shape” enough to play. However, how could I be in “game shape” when you even bench me in practice?

Junior year felt different going in. I played well, I worked hard, and yet in our first scrimmage, you put me in for the final minute and a half. You told me that you didn’t really “know where to put me on the field” and told me that I might get some playing time in the future.

You put me down. During one early morning conditioning my freshman year, you had us do a core workout. In an attempt to be funny, you said, “We’re getting you girls ready for bikini season!” and most people laughed. You then looked at me and said, “You’ll thank me later, Taylor.” Shaming anyone because of his or her body is disrespectful, and how I continued to play for you after that moment is beyond me.

The day before I finally quit, you told me that this year I was doing better because I was “more mobile” than I was the past two years. By that, you indirectly said that the 15 pounds I lost coming in to junior year finally made it so that I was not too fat to play. After that comment, I went and emptied my locker.

Comments like this were made to me several times, as well as other actions that were incredibly hurtful. Like that time sophomore year that you scrimmaged with us, and when I pressured the ball, you said “F*** off!” Treating any human being with such disrespect is uncalled for—I have no idea why I did not just quit your team right away.

I only stayed because of my teammates. I did not continue playing soccer because I thought you were a nice coach. I continued playing because I loved playing soccer and because I loved—and still love—all of my teammates so much. Because of this, deciding to quit was one of the most heartbreaking choices I have ever made.

After playing for two seasons, I had to walk away from the sport I loved a few weeks in to this year’s season. I could not deal with the heartbreak or emotional turmoil anymore. I could not allow myself to get my hopes up for nothing any longer, and I certainly could not take someone making rude comments to me about my body for one more day. You ruined the sport that I loved and made me feel as though I was not good enough, not just playing wise, but all around. Because once you’re made to feel like you are not good enough in one aspect of your life, that feeling begins to fin its way into other places in your life as well.

However this may have come across, I do not harbor any harsh feelings against you—I simply wish you could have given me the chance I worked hard for and could have shown me just half of the respect I always gave to you. I want to thank you for the opportunity, because—not only have I learned valuable life lessons through this experience—but I gained some of the most wonderful friends and teammates who have supported me throughout all of this. They are incredible people, and I strongly suggest you do not treat them the way you treated me, or else you might lose them too.

Other than that—respectfully—thanks for nothing.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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