Thanks, but no thanks, coach.

As I sit watching the game tonight, I suddenly have a flashback to the worst coach I ever got to play under.

It was grade ten basketball.  We were on our way out of town for a tournament.  Now, I was excited about this tournament! I may not be a strong offensive player, but since I wasn’t, I was shuffled to be a defensive, which tended to be this coaches favorite place to shuffle players he didn’t want to push for play time.  More defensive, less play time for me.  But out of town tournaments were different, since we had to pitch in for gas money and hotel money, we were all guaranteed at least ten minutes of play time.  Perfect!

First period, ten minutes in, …. no play…

five minutes left… no play…

Half time.  Get told to play better, haven’t played yet.

Second period, lets go!… still no play…

Comes down to the last five minutes, coach calls me to replace the star, sweet!

I go on for 17 seconds, I get called back off, he told the main star what he wanted, she had to go back on.  She had been playing the whole time.  What … the…. heck?

End of game. I got 17 seconds of play time.  That night I got a ride home from my coach because I had something I had to attend the next day.  I wouldn’t get any more play time this tournament.

“You’re not allowed to be mad at me”

“I didn’t get to play.  You said we all get equal playing time at out of town tournaments”

“I  had to so we could have a stronger chance to win”

“But we didn’t win, not even close”.  The score was over 20 points difference.

“Your still not allowed to be mad”

This coach who I had trusted, gave me the worst example of a mentor that I will never forget. I will never tell a child that they aren’t allowed to play in a game for my own agenda. I will never not keep a promise or a written rule to anyone. I will never tell someone they aren’t allowed to feel an emotion about an unfair situation.

After that weekend I told my mother it wasn’t worth playing on his team anymore.

I joined up with other teams, where we got to play and it was for fun, and we had great fun! And I never really looked back.

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