An Open Letter To The Coach Who Kept Me In The Game
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An Open Letter To The Coach Who Kept Me In The Game

You prevented me from stepping away forever.

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An Open Letter To The Coach Who Kept Me In The Game

To the coach who kept me in the game,

Thank you. I've wanted to thank you for some time but I haven't been able to find the words. I stepped off the field for the last time eight months ago and now I am in college almost five hours from home. I have a completely different life away from soccer. But the impact you made on my life is nothing short of huge.

When I met you for the first time I was angry. I was furious at my parents for forcing me to join the team. I was 16 years old and at this point I had already fallen out of love with the sport that had been my life since I was 5. This made me even angrier. I had given up on soccer but you somehow brought me back.

Before I came to play for you, I had a coach who destroyed my love for the game. This coach was the reason for my hatred toward the sport. He told me over and over how I was going to be an asset to the team. Numerous times he told me how excited he was to finally have me playing for him.

That was simply not true.

As the season progressed he quit speaking to me. I barely played and he never coached me. He was always looking at everyone else and helping them improve their game but I was forgotten. I would ask him for advice on what I could do after practice and he would brush me aside. Slowly, I started to pull back. I quit being excited for practices. I would dread the thought of soccer season with him. When it would end, I'd rejoice. My family grew frustrated because they knew this wasn't me. My confidence was dwindling and when I did get playing time I never performed to the best of my abilities because he made me believe that I wasn't good enough.

Then I met you.

Upon meeting me, you made me feel welcomed. You pushed me at practices and openly called out my mistakes. I needed that. I needed to be coached and criticized. You put me in a new position that I learned to love. You'd talk with me one on one and give me ideas on how to best play my position on that day. Soon enough I was starting not only for the club team but my high school team as well. You made me feel like I mattered and was an asset to the team. When I wasn't playing my best, you'd call me out. But not in a bad or mean way. You knew when I wasn't giving you my best and always knew I could be better. You saw my potential and wanted me to give you nothing but my everything every time I stepped onto the field.

Around eight months ago, my high school team won the state championship. If it wasn't for you, I most likely wouldn't have been a part of that because I would have quit a year or two before. However, I was there because you instilled confidence in me, believed in me, and best of all, you helped me fall back in love with the game.

Sincerely,
Skaggs

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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