Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dear Soccer Coaches

I have not been able to get Tuesday night out of my mind.  With a couple of days behind me, I am still troubled.
I contacted you about the conflicts with the dance and soccer schedule ahead of time.  Dance is a year long activity that she has been working on since last September. Her recital is June 9, which accounts for 10 total days of conflicts with soccer.  We attempted to work with you and each of her dance teachers to see what the best approach would be.  Your response was:  
I completely understand that all these girls have other commitments, but playing time is based on attendance and effort. 
If she can get to practices by 7:45 that would be great! 
Please let me share with you what Chloe’s day looked like on Tuesday.  She set her alarm and got up at 4:30 am so that she could work on her schoolwork because she knew she had a busy night and wanted to make the effort to get to soccer, per your comment about effort above. We did not know she set her alarm - it was done on her own.  She is in the middle of her yearly exams at school this week.  She has a severe dyslexia, among other learning differences, that makes school and exams much more difficult for her than for her school mates. 
I picked her up at 3:30 to go straight to her tutor, which she has to have for above learning issues.  When I picked her up at 5, I had her dinner ready and she ate part of it in the car while she changed into her dance clothes.  She danced from 5:30- 7:30.  I picked her up at dance, 2 minutes from our house, to drive the 20 minutes up to soccer practice.  (I thought I could get there in 15.)  She ate the rest of her dinner while she changed into her soccer gear and talked about how proud of her the coaches would be because she made such a huge effort to get to practice.  She had me drop her as close as possible, and ran all the way to where you were practicing.  
“YOU ARE REALLY LATE. TAKE A LAP” is the greeting she got  in front of her entire team and parents. 
Chloe is not an over scheduled child.  She does dance and soccer.  That’s it.  It just so happens that there are 10 days in the entire year where the two overlap.  She has looked forward to this soccer season all winter.  She was at the dome for winter training every week since January 2. Each week, she was hoping to meet the new coaches because they kept being told we will get the coaches soon. She has been at all the practices this spring with the exception of one when she was sick - including the ones in the rain when not many girls showed up. 
This is an 11 year old girls team.  It is not college, high school, or even an elite team. She will probably never play in college as you did.  But she will put in more effort than most.  And give more energy than most.  And she started this season with extreme enthusiasm and commitment. 
When the parents were told that we were getting coaches that had never coached before, I WAS NOT one of the parents complaining.  I said, “sometimes it’s good to have the new young ones because they have new ideas and are usually energetic and are not set in their ways.”  I said this understanding that you had plenty of experience as a player, and understanding that you would learn as the season goes. Additionally, I understood that you didn’t have children of your own, and would not have that insight to help guide you. 
And so I write this letter with the utmost respect. The girls are thrilled you are here.  They are excited for a new season. They think it is really cool that you have played so much and really look up to you.  They want to please you, and want to do good for you. You are a role model now. Please try to remember that these girls are eleven and have a lot going on in their lives.  There are school pressures and social pressures, family pressures and extra curricular pressures.  They are absolutely committed and excited to learn what you have to teach them.  If you start to think they aren’t committed or you are frustrated with them, please take a minute to remember the day Chloe had and the effort she put in to get there.
Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you sent this letter to the coaches too. And to Chloe.