The Coach That Killed My Passion

The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

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There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

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To My High School Friends, You're Part Of My Past, And You're Going To Be Part Of My Future

You've all been amazing and I hope that I have the opportunity to tell each and everyone one of you exactly why in person.

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Even though this article is going to be published after Galentine's Day, and I most definitely will be mentioning more than just my gal pals, I figured that this is the best time to give a shoutout to my friends back home. This article is dedicated to the people I grew up with or met just before college, the people who impacted my life in more ways than one and helped shape into the person I am today. Without childhood friends and the groups I joined throughout high school, my life would be so much different and much blander.

We all have those friends

As we go through school year after school year and then some, we all have those friends we can never forget. The people who were there for us at our highest and lowest points, the people who will be there for a lifetime. These are the friends who know exactly what to say and when to say it. They're more than just your best friends. They're the people who will be there within the second of your call, no questions asked, and the people who will be there through it all.

Friends that became family

Growing up with my extended family all the way across the country, holidays and major life-changing events were celebrated with our closest friends. These friends were five or six other families with children around my age, that I got to see plenty during the year, oftentimes practically every week. I spent countless nights at each of their houses, with many of the older kids seeing me as the annoying little sister they had to look after. There were annual trips up to the Poconos and several photo albums made to commemorate them that I still look at to this day.

My mom once posted a picture on FaceBook with the caption "There are friends. There is family. And then there are friends that become family." Looking at the photos that went along with these words, I find that there is nothing truer. While we may not be related by blood, the memories that we have made bond us in ways that are stronger than you could possibly think.

Childhood friends and memories

These are the kids I met, starting in kindergarten and spending at least six hours a day with until middle school. My friends from this part of my life got to know me as the shy girl with a couple of close friends, and eventually the awkward person I became as I grew up and puberty hit. But, they were still able to look past all of that. With these friends, I colored like it was nobody's business and swapped books when it was time to go to the library during school. I ate lunch and played kickball with these kids. While we may talk once in a blue moon or not at all, these are still the first friends I made and the friends that I will never forget.

High school life

Very few kids from my middle school ended up at the same high school as me, so going into my freshman year was quite scary. I knew that I was going to be surrounded by hundreds of strangers and that I was going to need to find a new group of friends to hang out with. But, being apart of a program at my high school lightened the load and help me out quite a bit. I became close with the thirty, eventually twenty, other kids studying animal and botanical sciences with me and look back at the field trips, events, and competitions we participated in for kicks and giggles. I made friends outside the program, of course, getting close with my peers in various classes and electives, finding a group that I could talk about things other than farmer business with.

Eventually, towards the middle of my junior year, I found my niche with five other girls who really got to know me. These were the girls that I could spend hours talking over the phone or texting about dumb things, the girls that I still talk to regularly today even when we're over hundreds of miles apart. I know these girls like the back of my hand and miss them every single day. I look back at the countless photographs and Snapchat videos with a smile on my face and laugh a ton. They're the friends that I look forward to seeing when I go back home, the friends that will forever be in my life. I plan on being at their weddings, even if it means I have to crash the event (inside joke!).

Just a small thank you

Just like I said, this article is dedicated to everyone I mentioned above and more. It's a small show of my appreciation for all of you, along with the joy and laughter that you've given me. It's my way of saying thank you for the most significant memories and years of my life, providing me with the ability to look back at certain places and things, only to burst out laughing or into tears. So, with my whole heart, thank you, everyone. Thank you to everyone who I fought over stupid things with, everyone I laughed so hard I could barely breathe with, everyone I cried over cartoons with, and honestly just everyone who I've had the opportunity to meet and spend time with. You've all been amazing and I hope that I have the opportunity to tell each and everyone one of you exactly why in person.

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