To The Coach That Never Believed In Me

To The Coach That Never Believed In Me

Here's to the one who told me I was not worth fighting for without even saying a word.
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To the coach that never believed in me:

You taught me lessons that will stand the test of time. You showed me exactly where I should go with my life. And you told me to never give up. All of the times you said I was great, I would succeed, and that I was a leader were all lies that built up to create the biggest one of all: you believed in me.

I grew up with a ball in every room of my house (yes, even the bathrooms) since I was four. That was all that was on my mind. In school, at home, and every place in between, I could not get my mind off of the next time I would be on that field. I would imagine every touch on the ball because seeing the possibility turned it into a reality on game day. I would fall asleep at night dreaming of the goals I could score and the smile on your face that we just achieved the highest level of success: victory.

This “game” that I would play was more than just Saturday mornings. It was a way of life and a group of the most incredible people I could have ever asked for, starting with you. Little did you know that even while you didn’t believe in me, I hung on every word you said. I believed that you would lead us to great things. I believed that you would demonstrate how to be a better player and a better person. I believed that you had the keys I needed to unlock the next level of this “game”. I believed in you. The reality of the situation is that I was the leader that you never were, even though you pretended to be.

It is because of you that I never quit. It was always one more sprint, one more core series, or one more shot because that was the difference between those who won and those who lost. I didn’t care if others quit on me because they didn't understand or they didn't care to see the passion I had for this game. I knew that quitting was not an option. I was not allowed to give up, even when my skin turned different colors, even when my white jersey was bloodied to red, and even when others made it easy to walk away. I never quit. The difference here is while I never gave up on you, you gave up on me. That was the painful truth of the situation. That is what kept me up at night for weeks. That is what drove me to where I am today because quitting is still not an option.

I know exactly where I am supposed to be today because of you. You were the one who launched me on the career path for which there is no other option but pure victory. I am here because of you. I am here to protect athletes from the toxic ways of your lies. I am here to be the sideline mom many have lost due to your never-ending schedules filled with hundred degree weekends and frost-bitten toes. I am here to be a light for the athletes that you only show darkness to. No, I am not God and do not pretend to be. But I am a light that shows them the world is not filled entirely with people like you. There is more to life than this game that has consumed me. Others may not see it now, but there is always someone who is on their side. No one else may understand how painful this process is, the only way to succeed is to stand back up and charge towards victory; no matter how many times you may be knocked down.

Cover Image Credit: Abigail Forsyth Photography

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

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.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

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.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Self-Reflection Is Always Beneficial

Always ask yourself how you can improve your life.

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Self reflection is an important part of growing up. It is important to sit back and think about who you are and who you strive to be. I think that dwelling on the past too much can be extremely harmful, but that a little bit of reflecting on your past can be great.

Think about it, every choice you have made in your life so far has led to where you are now. Every single choice, no matter how small it may have seemed, has had a major impact on your entire life. The choices we make definitely change the path that we take.

Most likely, every friend you made changed your outlook something. Every place you went to will remain in your memories. Maybe you experienced something because of certain choices that led you to learn a valuable lesson.

Maybe those dreadful things of your past needed to happen to allow you to grow. No one deserves to hurt, but sometimes hurting then healing can be replenishing.

I think we should value our lives because they are so unique. No one on this earth will have had the same experiences you have. Even if someone was following you around 27/4 or was literally joined at the hip with you, they would not have the same life as you, because their thoughts would be different from yours and their perspective would be different as well.

You will never get the same day twice, so it is important to make every day the best you can make it. Try to laugh in stressful situations. Try to breathe when there seems to be no air left for you. It is vital to keep moving forward. If you look back, you'll trip on everything in front of you. Do not look into your past and examine your mistakes negatively. We grow from mistakes. We live and we learn. Use those mistakes as a study guide to become a better you. Use your past to your advantage and try to give yourself a better future.

It is important to know that life is a roller-coaster with twist and turns, peaks, and sudden drops that will make you feel sick to your stomach and scared for what's waiting at the bottom. But if you fear life, you will never enjoy the fun parts.

Look back and examine yourself but don't write a novel about your mistakes. Move past them and live a better life. Spread love, be kind, and be grateful for what you have overcome. Those hurdles you went through have only made you stronger.

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