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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Being Ugly

What it means to me

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Due to a series of ongoing events throughout my semester, I've reconsidered what it means for someone to truly be ugly. Though it is often used in terms of appearance, I do not see it as such-- now more than ever. Ugliness runs deeper than appearance-- it runs within one's soul and festers into other areas of one's life, particularly in their treatment of others.

I view ugliness as someone's conscious capacity and implementation of malice. Taking time and energy out of your day to hurt someone else, that's what I view as ugly. Some offenses are more minor than others, however, it is still a conscious effort to hurt or affect someone else negatively-- and that's the source of the problem. I truly wonder what causes that sort of behavior in someone, as I, along with most people, simply do not invest time or energy into hating or plotting against others. It seems like a full-time job.

I can theorize all sorts of reasons as to why someone would act this way: hate, jealousy, vengeance, etc. Yet, all of these reasons don't hit the root reason. It almost seems that some people are just innately ugly in their soul. This alludes to the timeless debate of whether one's personality is due to nature or nurture. Again, although our surroundings and environment do have a large effect in our behavior, that alibi only goes so far when multiple people are placed in the same environment, in the same situation, and only some are willing to cross moral boundaries in order to hurt the others. Just because an environment applies pressure to people, does not mean everyone is going to act out in malice, and it certainly does not give everyone an excuse to do so. Some people are simply conniving and, well, ugly inside.

If you have ever encountered people like this, I know from personal experience that it is such a drag. You have an enemy, essentially, whether you chose to or not, however based on their hatred towards you, they are now considered an enemy, a hater, and any other associated term. Know that they will do anything in their power to bring you down, even if it requires bending the truth and creating elaborate schemes, but you have to keep on doing you. Let them obsess over ways to bring you down. At the end of the day, their time and energy is being invested into bringing you down, while yours is being used to build yourself up. They will fall by default. So, keep your head high, act in grace, and make your money. They can sip on their Haterade and watch from below.

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