Although I wasn’t your favorite player, and although I played ‘left bench’ practically the whole season, I want to say thank you. I want to thank you for not believing in me. I want to thank you for playing others before me, although my heart, hustle, and motivation were much greater. I want to thank you for looking past me for just another name on the roster. I want to thank you for not thinking of me when drawing up new plays. I want to thank you for demolishing my passion for the sport that I used to play. I want to thank you for not believing in me.
Had it not been for you, I would have never understood what it was like to feel rejection as a player. Growing up, I developed amazing relationships with all of my other coaches. I would speak to them all on a daily basis about how I could improve, and my love and passion for the sport that I was playing. My coaches would give me their undivided attention, respect, and love. I want to thank you for kicking me off my high horse and making me realize that sometimes life doesn’t hand you ideal situations on the cruise to success.
Had it not been for you, I would never have realized my true passion for a different sport. Early in the season, I realized how much I disliked the sport under which you coached me. You allowed me to give up my passion for this sport, and that gave me the opportunity to focus on the sport that I now play at a collegiate level. Thank you for helping me to realize where my true athletic potential lies.
Had it not been for you, I never would have grown as an athlete and developed my sense of commitment to a team. Although most high school athletes would have quit due to lack of respect and playing time, I managed to lead my team as captain with my mouth closed. My head was held high as I faced the humiliation of being put in the game for the last twenty seconds of a quarter (after being a part of the team for three previous years).
Had it not been for you, I would not know how to fake a smile, and cheer for my teammates while secretly crying on the inside. I learned how to swallow my true emotions, and fake a cheerful, happy version of myself. Sometimes in life, these ‘politically correct’ gestures are crucial to cultivating relationships and respect, so once again, I applaud you.
Most importantly, had it not been for you, I wouldn’t have realized the way I didn’t deserve to be treated. I’m not just a name on a roster, and I’m certainly not one whose passion, effort, and heart deserve to go unnoticed. I am so grateful that you allowed me to recognize the kind of coach I need to push me, inspire me, and believe in me. Unfortunately, you were the opposite of what I needed. Thank you for guiding me into the loving arms of my collegiate coach that I have today. She knows my true potential, she pushes me to and beyond my limits; she cares for me...she believes in me.
And finally, had it not been for you, I would not understand the raw actions of nepotism.
Thank you for not believing in me, Coach.