An Open Letter to the Coach Who Killed my Confidence
Ever since seventh grade I've been running Cross Country in the fall and Track and Field in the winter and spring. In my opinion I've always been a pretty dedicated athlete. I would attend every single practice and every single meet. Unless I was so ill that I couldn't get up. I remember in 10th grade during track season I had the flu and it was one of the coldest days of the season but I still came to our home meet because I didn't want to let my team and my coaches down. I loved running and even though I was only an average runner, I still worked my butt off at practice and in races. Even after breaking my leg I still was eager to practice and race even though my times were slower than previous years.
I always admired all of my coaches. Throughout my time on the teams I encountered maybe 6 or 7 different coaches. Each one of them taught me something new and helped me become a stronger and faster athlete. Even the coach who absolutely destroyed my confidence.
It was my senior year and I was excited to see what my last year on the track and course had to offer. I heard you would be coaching and I was really excited because I had your mom as a coach and she was phenomenal so I figured you would be too. I guess I held my expectations a little too high. You started off nice and then you decided that you didn't like me for whatever reason. Maybe you thought I didn't work hard or maybe you just needed someone to take your own problems out on because you couldn't handle them. You began taking away our teams traditions and started showing favoritism. You held our top runner back in workouts just so your favorite athlete could be on top. You told the team that if you only said good job in a race and nothing else that they were doing a crappy job and needed to work harder. Good job was the only compliment you ever gave me but it wasn't even a compliment. You would cheer as loud as you could for everyone else but I could never seem to hear you cheer for me. You told me and the only other senior on the team that we weren't allowed to continue our team tradition after sectionals where we would make a concoction of nasty food from Golden Corral and make the newest member eat it as an initiation. You picked who ate it and you made it. You told me I wasn't allowed to do the chant I wanted to at sectionals, my last race of my high school career, because your favorite didn't want to. You said that you were making the end of the season slideshow that I had made for the last four years because you were more skilled at making them.
At the banquet I was the only athlete that didn't receive a trophy or an award. You gave MVP to not the fastest runner, not the most involved runner and not the runner who led the entire team all season. You gave it to the one who you favored. Was it because her dad was your boss? Or was it something else? I can never forget the thing you said that absolutely killed my confidence and passion for this sport. During indoor on one of our maintenance days I had stopped for a moment because for some reason the cold air was bothering my leg. You thought you were far enough ahead of me to tell the rest of the group who ran with you "this is what happens when you don't run"�. But I could hear those words loud and clear. I would have never expected a coach to say something like about an athlete who trained as hard as they could and even ran extra workouts just to become stronger. It sucked because the other distance coach was so supportive and respectful to each of his athletes but you couldn't even show the slightest bit of respect.
At the beginning of this letter I said that you had taught me something. That something is that not everyone is going to respect you and treat you the way that you should be treated but with that you need to know your self worth. If you truly believe the way you treated me and some of the other athletes is the way that a coach should act, then you need to find a new job. A coach is respectful, encouraging, treats every athlete equally with equal opportunities. You did not do that.
The athlete who's passion you ruined