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.

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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Why Senior Year Is Not That Dramatic

Spoiler: this year is not the best year of your life.

As the second semester of classes begin, Twitter and Facebook is flooded with odes to senior year of high school. These long, heartfelt messages urge seniors to make the most of senior year because it is the best year of your life. Senior year is glorified as the most exciting year of your life. Truly your life will only go downhill because you won't be able to go to Friday night football games.

However, I disagree.

For most people, including myself, senior year of high school was not the best year of my life. Sure, it was pretty cool, but not as dramatic as everyone makes it out to be. Three years after you graduate high school, I doubt you're going to reminiscing about senior year of high school. I don't miss freezing at high school football games that really weren't that fun most of the time. I also don't miss having only five minutes to walk from class to class. Not to mention trying to navigate the unnecessarily crowded hallways.

For me, the best years are to come. First, being able to make your own class schedule is amazing. If you're a night owl like me, having my first class start at 11 p.m. is life-changing for me. You don't need to ask to go to the bathroom anymore. You don't have to have classes every day if you don't want to. Overall, you have more freedom.

So here's a little letter with some good advice for all high school seniors:

Dear Seniors,

This probably isn't the best year of your life. You're the top of the totem pole in high school, but honestly, just wait until you get to college. You'll wonder why you were so worried that senior year was ending. This year will be full of lasts, but that isn't a bad thing. Years from now you're not going to miss your high school homecoming in your school gym with bad music and overly expensive dress. (The boy you go with probably isn't going to matter either). Graduation isn't that dramatic. It's a privilege that many don't get to have, so appreciate it. Your real friends you'll still talk to after graduation day and the others will slowly fade away and it really won't bother you. However, I will say, enjoy the carefree nature of high school. It's stressful, don't get me wrong, but the stresses of student loans and getting a job after college isn't looming directly on you...yet.

Senior year isn't as important a milestone as everyone may think. You'll move on to the next adventure. Enjoy your year but don't feel the need to stress out if you're not having enough fun or not going out enough. Senior year will slowly start to blend together with the other three years of high school.

Have fun and remember, senior year is not that dramatic.


Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Dear Future Self: Ride The Wave Of Life, Roll With The Punches, And Enjoy This Journey

I hope you're happy and successful.

This week I decided to write an open letter to my future self. I decided to do this not only so I could look back on this article, but for other people to read as well. The advice I give to my future self can be heard by anyone. If you think that younger people's opinion doesn't matter as much because they don't have as much life experience or knowledge I encourage you to read the rest of this article. Who knows, maybe you can even learn something from a teenage girl?

Dear, Older Hailey,

I'm not sure where you are or what you're doing. I don't know if you'll be reading this while still in school, or maybe even afterwards. Maybe you don't even remember writing this in the years past. I know I should say I hope you're happy, but I'm more inclined to say I hope you're successful. I'm pretty sure that says something about where my heart is set. I'm not sure if this mindset is good or bad, I'm just hoping is that it gets me places.

Wherever the place you are in now, I do hope your happy, but, I hope it's the type of happy that's based on success. If you need some advice from younger you, just remember that not all times are good. You're not always happy, and if you were you wouldn't be human. Respect the grind and respect failure.

The road of life is not a straight line leading to a fork in the road where one path leads to success and one leads to failure. Instead, it's more like a rumbled mess, with dead ends and failures, but eventually, I hope it leads you to success.

I'm not sure if you're still involved with sports, but if you are, I hope you're having fun and not treating it like a job. I'm only saying this because this is what I fear may happen if I do end up in collegiate athletics. So, if you are in a sport, appreciate the grind and how good you feel being healthy.

Appreciate the team around you and do your best to see the fun in sports, don't lose that light. If you're not participating in sports I really hope you're still active. If you ever end up away from fitness, I encourage you to come back. High school you knows that when you're active you're in a better place mentally (and physically). So remember those fun times and if you get bored with a fitness routine, try something new!

I hope you're still continuously learning, and I never hope that you get to the point in your life when you think you know everything. Because the truth is, you never do. I hope you continue to be interested by endless topics in life, whether this be for school or just for fun. Never lose the love of learning, knowledge is power (even if that sounds extremely cheesy).

Lastly, as I'm writing this, I'm starting to become worried that you will see me as ignorant or stupid for even trying to write this article at all. So I hope you get away from self criticism whether that be criticism of your past self for something that can't be changed, or criticism in the present time.

Along with worrying about judgement, I hope you start to worry less about what others think of you. As I'm writing this, I believe I'm pretty good at not caring, but in reality I know that my teenage nature makes me worry about what others think.

Really, I just hope you start worrying less in general, you can't change the past and the future is never as bad as it seems. So ride the wave of life, roll with the punches and continue on this journey.

Love,

Younger Hailey

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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