To The Coach Who Bullied Me In High School

To The Coach Who Bullied Me In High School

When you stopped the game, why was I the only one you screamed at?
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To the coach who bullied me in high school,

Throughout my entire life, I have always loved sports. I couldn't imagine my life without them. If I went one day without being active in some way, shape or form, my day would feel incomplete. That was until I hit high school.

Before I had you as a coach, I've always loved going to practices, no matter what sport it was. Even if I felt like throwing up, I would still push through either a practice or a game, and wait until I got home to pass out either on the couch or my bed. I would come home and typically feel good about my performance that day. I've always had in interest in music and theater, but I knew you would get on me for having any commitments besides you and "your" team. I was warned about you before even officially joining the team, but I loved the sport enough, so I shrugged off everyone else and was still committed to you. I even played for you the day I got hit in the head with a giant rock by another student, because I was the only first baseman, and I didn't want to let you down, even though everyone else thought I was crazy for making that decision. I've also turned down an opportunity to go to a state conference that could have been a huge resume booster, only so that I wouldn't be benched the rest of my senior year.

After finally being able to start varsity, you told me that I had the potential to be a backup pitcher. This was when I had started paying to get lessons, hoping that one day you would let me pitch a game. No, I didn't expect to do it much since I had already had another starting position, and was a backup but when both my mom and I were taking money out of our pockets weekly for lessons, I expected to at least get to do it a little. You didn't even give me that opportunity until the last game, 21 games into the season, against the worst team in the league. By that time, I had quit going to lessons because I no longer saw a point in wasting the money, only to get let down each game. This was when I got scolded for not practicing any. Maybe I would have practiced if I had gotten an actual opportunity to do it in a game, rather than completely wearing out our starter, making her pitch double headers by herself, multiple times.

Typically, a teenage girl would be worried about other players bullying her. Yes, this was true with me as well, but what I was more worried about was you bullying me. We were winning by 8 runs, and all of a sudden, had a bad inning, allowing way too many runs to be scored. Yes, I will admit that should not have happened, but when you stopped the game, why was I the only one you screamed at? I will never forget the words you said to me that day, "What the hell is the matter with you Lipani? Did you forget how to play the game? Step it up or you're out of the game!" I was used to getting blamed, because there's no better person to blame for a messed up play than the first baseman. Never did I think it would be to that extent though. Not to mention this was in front of everybody's parents, and it was not quietly said either. Did you forget that there were 5 mistakes made previous to mine, that were probably more crucial?

There was a double header that day, and you decided to sit me out the second game for crying, and my head not completely being there. Of course, I'm going to cry and be upset when you completely embarrassed me in front of my parents, my best friend, as well as all of the other parents that were there that day. From that point on, I was terrified to go to practices, or games, and I was so close to quitting, with just a couple short weeks left in my final season. At that point, I didn't even care, I just wanted to be done with you, and no longer treated like one less from the rest of the team.

Maybe I would have tried playing in college or travel ball if it wasn't for you. You've taken away a lot of my confidence when it comes to sports. People told me I was a good player, but I didn't believe them because you've torn me down so many times. Even at the awards banquet, your favorite memory of me was of me tripping over my shoe and having to crawl to the base to get the out. Maybe you were trying to be funny (and I'll admit it kind of was), but you had nothing better to say? Everyone else got great things said about them and mine was that? Even to this day, I still get a nervous feeling in my stomach whenever I see you around.

Even though you've made my time with you a living nightmare, you have taught me that I am a stronger and better person than how you treated me. I deserve to be respected, and If I can get through you being my coach for 4 years, I can get through just about anything tough that comes my way.

Cover Image Credit: stocksnap.io

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Will The Seahawks Extend Bobby Wagner?

The star veteran linebacker will turn 29 in June.

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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.

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