Source Article: To the Coach that killed my passion.
I wish I could say I have never been that coach for anyone, but I’m pretty sure I have been. In fact, I’m pretty sure I could rattle off at least four names from just one team!
As a coach, I need you to know that with each season, I learn more about what doesn’t work than what does. I hope that with each season I take at least a small step toward becoming a great coach. That said, I’m sorry if you are a casualty, or catalyst to one of those lessons.
As a coach, I need you to know that I am learning that being a good coach requires more than just an technical knowledge of the game. It requires that I get to know my players. Actually know them. Who they are. What they like. What they want to do with their lives beyond school and the court. Something I’m still working on. I’m really beginning to understand that I have a responsibility that extends far beyond the court. I have a responsibility to model to you what healthy interaction with adults, and more importantly, adult males, should look like. This is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.
As a coach, I need you to know that sometimes being a good coach means I have to be the bad guy. I have to deliver the bad news. I have to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. I have to explain why you might not be getting the court time you want, why you might not play the position you want, or worst of all, why you might not even make the team.
As a coach, I need you to know that those conversations are never fun. At least not for me. I don’t enjoy seeing the look of disappointment and anguish that inevitably crosses you face. Nor do I enjoy the feeling that I’m taking something away from you when I know you’ve worked hard toward that goal. It’s doesn’t get easier. If anything, it’s gets harder.
As a coach, I want you to know that while I understand the inevitable feelings of resentment and heartbreak, the decisions leading up to those conversations are not easy to make and are never personal. While you might be looking at the small piece of the puzzle you have in front of you, I have to look at the entire picture. Often times, what I see and what you see will be vastly different. That doesn’t mean what you see is wrong, by the way. It just means we are looking at the same canvas through different lenses. Often times, I have to make decisions now with a mind for the future based on what I see in front of me now.
As a coach, more than anything else, I want you to know that even if we parted ways on bad terms, even if you walked away feeling like I didn’t respect you, or give you a fair shake of the dice, I still want you to succeed beyond the court. I still want to hear you’re doing well. I still want to know that while you’re volleyball dream might not have been realized, at least not through me, I still want to hear that you’re chasing your other dreams.
If I have been that coach for you, I want you to know that I’m sorry. It was not my goal, nor intent to steal your passion. In fact, it is the exact opposite. If you left my team feeling like a failure, then I have failed also. I know I will fail many more times in this aspect, but my sincere hope is when I hang up my coaching shoes, when I finally walk away from an active role in teaching young women to play the game I came to love many, many years ago, my successes far outweigh my failures. In that regard, only time and my players can be the judge.