A letter from kid to coach – “Dear Coach”
One Letter for the behavior of the coach against the kids. One Letter that all coaches MUST read.
I wanted to say a big thank you for everything you are learning me, for sailing but as well for life.
You know for me, you are a very important person in my life, that not only you are teaching me how to correct my sailing methods, you are teaching me how to be a good person in life and you are shaping my character.
You are always like a father to me, like a teacher, whom I have to learn a lot. For this reason, I would like you to be extra careful on how you treat me and how is your behavior against me.
I want you to know and have always in your mind, that am a just a little kid. I could be your kid. And as like each kid is different, I differ from the others.
Don’t you forget to take into consideration, that apart from my sailing abilities I am a human after all.
I am not a “sailing machine”, am human with feelings, with my own abilities, my concerns, my problems, like you after all as a human I believe, and I wanted you to face me as a human.
I am at an age, that every adult who tries to teach me, is very important to me. Am at an age, where basically I have no idea about anything and I have a whole word in front of me to learn.
For this reason, Dear Coach, I remind you again to be extra careful on how you treat me and how is your behavior against me. And because I want to be a responsible person, I would like to emphasis on what am asking you.
I have already told you that am different than others, and this is not a disadvantage.
Maybe I have something to offer that you already haven’t notice yet. Thus I want you to use my abilities and help me reduce my weaknesses.
You know, each time you referring to my weaknesses, you make me feel useless, that I do not have anything positive to offer.
Besides, it is in your responsibilities to find out my strong points and my weaknesses and to help me become better.
Before you start the pep talks and shouting, something that I noticed that many coaches are doing, I wanted you to remember the difference we have in age and experience. You will need to adjust your orders/coaching, at my level of understanding. If I don’t follow your orders / coaching it means that simply you didn’t explain them to me in a way that I can understand.
When you shout at me, with offensive and disrespectful “names”, making me feel bad in front of my parents, my co-athletes, my friends, my opponents, the first thing you are achieving is to destroy my self-confidence, and I want to hide. Don’t you expect that after this I will do better … Maybe your orders were not clear enough from the beginning, maybe you made me confused, maybe I was deconstructing when you were trying to repeat the same order again and again, and am trying to focus to apply your methods and orders.
Maybe I was too shy to ask you again to repeat the way you showed me. Because every time I would ask you, you will make me feel bad, or shout at me, making me feel useless to understand the “simple for you orders”. So is better if I stay silent, believing that am useless, and that my understanding level is really low.
Moreover, Dear Coach, I wanted you to support me more, in loses and in winnings. When you get mad, after one “bad race”, when celebrate as if we won the world championship after one simple winning, you make me feel that I have to do sailing for you and NOT for me. And for me, at this age, is to enjoy the game, to get better, and then the result. Don’t you dare to teach me to give everything for success please. At this stage is pointless.
Because if I do it for you instead of me, I do not have motivation to success. Am getting full of stress in order to please you, so you will not feel failure and to celebrate my winnings, more than me.
I carry big weight and stress because I feel responsible for the happiness of someone else, and am still at an age that am not even responsible for myself. Do you think that I like that? I like to lose? I don’t like success?
I wanted as well to add, Dear Coach, to understand that maybe I will not be ever world champion. Don’t you dare destroy my confidence, my dreams, pushing me cross my limits, since I haven’t pass my “first steps” yet. Teach me how I put goals, how I go step by step, slow but steady, how do I build confidence, so I can get better and better, and at the end of the day I will not give up what I love the most.
Make me, dear coach, to love the sport for the correct reasons, the reasons that I have decided to start. Make me to feel important, for me, for you, for the club. Make me to want to get better. Make me to feel different, that I will have the same chances as others in life. Even is slow steps, one day I will achieve my goals and pass my limits.
For this, I remind you again. For me you are one of the most important persons in my life, my shape of my character, and for this reason I would like you to be extra careful.