I never thought bad coaches existed.
I just thought that there were coaches that people didn't get along with. It's inevitable that coaches and team members are going to clash, so I went through my sports always just showing respect and letting everything roll off my back. Until high school approached. I was constantly crying, getting down on myself, and dreading the next time I had to go to a gym and spend two to three hours getting embarrassed and personally attacked in front of my peers. After three years of playing under a bad coach during the summer and practicing intermittently with him during the school year, I approached my senior year where I would inevitably have to play for his team for a whole season where I would be sitting on the bench. I was finally pushed to quit the sport I loved and I planned to never look back.
Now, two years later, I say thank you, coach.
Thank you for helping me learn and recognize the difference between constructive criticism, which is what I now receive, and unnecessary attacks. This has helped me in all aspects of my life, and has made me a stronger person than I ever thought I could be. I accept criticism and it makes me better. I reject anything that falls in line with what you did or said to me, because I know that if I hang around that kind of negativity I will end up quitting what I love to do.
Thank you for making it so that by the time I hit college I realized that no matter how hard a practice was, no matter how tough I thought times were getting, and no matter how badly my club team loses, I know it can't be worse than those three years.
Thank you for pushing me towards rock bottom, to where I could only go up. For showing me that sometimes a situation just won't get better and it is OK to remove yourself from it.
Thank you for teaching me that just because you are authority you do not necessarily deserve respect. And thank you for teaching me that I should command respect for myself, especially from authority.
Thank you for helping me to see who my real friends are and what a team should not look like.
Thank you for making sure that every time I step on the court now it is to prove you wrong.
Thank you for making me quit the sport I love, because now that I am playing again I will never take it for granted.
Thank you for being the bad coach you are.
Because it taught me just as much as any good coach ever will.