The Coach That Couldn't Steal My Passion

The Coach That Couldn't Steal My Passion

An Open Letter to the coach that made me a better player and ultimately a better man.
1605
views

I recently read a letter about a coach that killed the passion of a young basketball player. Although I empathize with her because I have experienced many of the same feelings, I did feel the need to respond. A coach should never be the reason why you lose your passion for something. A passion for something comes from within and no one should be able to take that away you. I hope that one day this passion she once had comes back and I think it will.

If you choose to participate in sports during elementary school, middle school, High School, and beyond you are going to run into coaches that you do not like. Unfortunately it happens. However, if you truly have a passion for the sport you find a way to push and power through it. If the coach says “You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can’t play for me” it’s your responsibility to ask why? Have a conversation with the coach to see if maybe there is something that you could be working on to get into that starting lineup. When your number is called you go in and do the best you can because, although you don’t like the coach and believe in his philosophy, you owe it to your teammates, to your school, and to yourself to do your best. I am not saying that the person who wrote the original article did not do their best or did not try to have a conversation with their coach. But I am saying that different coaches reach different players and we do not know the whole story.

As a coach myself her article made me think about the impact that I am trying to make on our players but also on the impact my coaches had on me.

In a world where we tend to “give everyone a trophy” I am writing this letter to the coach who pushed me every day, who challenged me mentally, who scolded me at times, but who ultimately made me a better man years later. To this day he is still a mentor of mine and my “coach”.

Growing up I always spent hours upon hours in my driveway working to get better. I too had a desire and a passion to get better every day. You could say I eat, drank, and breathed basketball. Going into high school I was not as mature as most of my friends so when they got moved up to JV as freshmen I was angry, frustrated, upset, jealous, and doubted my ability as a basketball player. That year probably saved my basketball career.

The coach for the freshmen team was intense. I had played for him before in AAU and middle school but this was different. When I came to the first practice he knew I was upset I wasn’t playing JV so he asked me a simple question that I will never forget, “You have two options, complain and feel sorry for yourself, or suck it up and do something about it. Which one are you going to do?” As a former point guard himself he was especially intense on me because I too was a point guard. If plays were ran incorrectly, it was my fault. If we didn’t know what defense we were in, my fault. If I made a bad read, my fault. Trust me, it frustrated the heck out of me. All the while, my group of close friends were playing JV and soaking in all the praise of playing “up”.

The road got even tougher when we traveled to Bloomington North for our first game of the season and to my surprise, I am not even in the starting lineup of the freshmen team! I remember walking out on to floor with tears in my eyes because I felt like I was seeing all my hard work going down the drain. However, when my number was called I went in and played hard like I always did. I Played my minutes in the “B” game and continued to work hard in practice, the weight room, and after hours.

Day by day, practice by practice, game by game, I started noticing improvement because of how hard he was pushing me. He knew what my weaknesses were and he exposed them like other coaches wouldn’t. By the end of that season not only was I starting at point guard but I was also playing some small minutes with the JV. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and I believe that had I not spent that season with the freshmen coach I would never be the person I am today let alone letter three times on the varsity team. He was hard on me, yes, but he taught me lessons that went far beyond the basketball court.

Thank you to the coach that couldn’t kill my passion, because he fueled it.

Cover Image Credit: Wiki Media

Popular Right Now

College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
31921
views

The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Will The Seahawks Extend Bobby Wagner?

The star veteran linebacker will turn 29 in June.

27
views

The Seattle Seahawks have made a few notable moves so far in the 2019 NFL offseason. They traded star pass rusher Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs for significant draft capital and made quarterback Russell Wilson the highest-paid player in NFL history after his self-imposed April 15 deadline for a contract extension. In addition, they selected Ohio State wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in the 2019 NFL Draft after he surprisingly fell to the 64th overall pick at the end of the second round. However, there are still a few questions to be answered. Most notably, will the Seahawks extend veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner?

Seattle drafted two linebackers in Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven in this year's draft. However, Wagner has been one of the NFL's top linebackers throughout his seven-year career and is considered by many to be the best along with Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. Although a versatile player, he is perhaps most known for his elite tackling ability and efficiency in that department. In the 2018 season, he missed only one tackle out of 139 attempts and was given a 139.0 tackling efficiency score from Pro Football Focus, more than double the score of runner-up Jon Bostic. However, he is entering a contract year and approaching his 29th birthday, so Seattle must make a decision on his long-term future.

Wagner is expected to become the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL after being overtaken by five other players of his position since he signed his initial four-year, $43 million contract extension on August 2, 2015. He has been one of the most consistent linebackers in the league and has stayed relatively healthy throughout his career with few character concerns. After Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley set the market for the position with his five-year, $85 million contract, the Seahawks will have to offer a significant amount of dough to their star to keep him. Wagner has stated that he will play the 2019 season as if it is his last in the Emerald City and reports say that he is not keen on taking a hometown discount to stay with the team.

The Seahawks were in a similar situation with veteran safety Earl Thomas last offseason when he held out for a contract extension that paid him his perceived value. We all know how that turned out. Could the same scenario happen with Wagner? All we know for sure is that Seattle has another large decision to make for another veteran star player.

Related Content

Facebook Comments