Quitting a Sport

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by littlepatriot, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. littlepatriot

    littlepatriot Member

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    Hey guys-
    This has been something that's been bugging me for a long time. Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved basketball. You could always catch me shooting in my spare time. There was honestly no sport I loved more. That is, until I hit high school.

    I've had a very rough start in high school basketball. Freshman year, I made the JV team (school is too small for a freshman team.) I didn't play much, maybe a total of ~15 minutes for a 20 game season. My sophomore year, everything went downhill. Bottom line is I lost any respect I had for my coach. She played favorites and degrade the ones she didn't like. For some background: I get the ball in a 3 on 2 drill. Not seeing any teammates open, I took the ball all the way and scored over our large post player. All of my teammates congratulated me on a good move. My coach storms up and goes 'littlepatriot, what the h*ll do you think you're doing? Are you better than everyone else here?' I stayed silent, I've never been one to speak rudely to an adult. She continues, 'If you're going to be a ballhog, then you might as well make yourself comfortable. I don't have the time for players like you. Get to the back of the line.' Humiliated, I apologized to her and jogged to the back of the line.

    Next play, a teammate makes the exact same play. Coach jumps up and congratulates her on an aggressive play, saying that's exactly what we need on this team.

    Halfway through the season I had still hardly played, so I decided to speak with her. I asked her if I could speak with her privately after practice and she agreed. During our meeting, I explained that I felt like I was working harder than anyone on the team, both inside and outside of practice. I wasn't accusatory and tried my best to remain respectful despite the anger I was feeling. Unfortunately, she told me that I wasn't a good enough player and would be third-string for the rest of the season. I thanked her and walked out. I played less than 10 minutes the rest of the season.

    Honestly, I'm not a very good player, and I do know that. I'm a decent shooter who is always willing to make the hustle plays, i.e. diving after every loose ball, and I'm a decent defender because of my speed, but that's about where my talent ends. If I do try out, I'll probably end up on JV as a junior and cut by my senior year.

    I am also not the only one with this feeling. Around 80% of our varsity team plans on filing a petition if she is named the varsity head coach this year. (Our previous coach left for a private school a few months ago.) Our assistant coach has gone so far as to say that she would be unwilling to help out next year if she's named head coach, because she doesn't want to have to balance coaching us and babysitting her.

    So I guess I'm just looking for advice here. What would you do? Would you play again? Would it even be worth it?

    Thank you everyone for reading my rant. I'd also like to apologize if I have come off as a bitter, whining teenager with a thin skin. That was not my intention in the slightest.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
     
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I'm going to assume that the base of your question has to do whether it's a good idea to stay in a sport or quit the sport and how that will effect an application for a ROTC Scholarship since this is a board that deals with ROTC.

    Are you involved in any other athletics in your school or is basketball the only sport?

    Athletics is a large part of the scholarship application Academics/Athletics/Leadership.

    Your not the first to have issues with a coach and you will certainly not be the last. The decision to stay or leave is totally up to you, but you will want to make sure you try and be involved in athletics of some likd at school to make sure you round out your application.

    The thing is, you could substitute just about any job or military service and have the exact same story depending on your boss or command. This is something that is not exclusive to sports and coaches that take things way to serious. If you do someday commission you will undoubtedly run into a similar situation during your career, it's something everyone has to learn to deal with. Consider this good practice.

    I can relate to your story, my older son played tennis in high school, JV the first two years and Varsity the second two. The Varsity coach was a piece of work, after the first day of practice he told about ten players that they were worthless and to go to the far court and just hit balls, no coaching, just go do it on your own and don't expect to play.....you can stay if you want. Son and a couple others almost quit right then but decided to stay around and not show the coach they were quitters. We all sort of thought he was testing them to see who really wanted to put in the work, Nope...he was just a jerk, never gave them any coaching and just ignored them. Son decided to stay just to be a thorn in his side and because he enjoyed playing tennis, every now and then he would beat one of the coaches favorites when he would give him a chance to play them, he loved it cause it really ticked off the coach but as usual he was sent back to the far court.

    I have to say I think this really had the unintended result of him being much more able to roll with what was thrown at him in the future. He as been active Army for a little over 3 years now and from some of the stories I've heard, this ability to roll with it has come in very handy.

    If you enjoy playing, if even just at practice, and you enjoy your teammates, think about staying for what it is and don't let the coach get you down. As long as she has not cut you, don't give her the satisfaction of quitting on your own.

    I coached for years and always hated seeing coaches like this, they take the fun out of the sports.

    EDIT: I noticed from one of your other posts that you are involved in several other sports in school besides basketball, if leaving the basketball team would give you more time to focus on other aspects of school and you continue to stay in the other sports, quitting the basketball team would not hurt you in the application process.
     
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  3. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    I agree with everything Jcleppe said, including the part about some coaches and bosses being jerks (my language, not his). Find another winter sport if you can. My son played freshman and then jv basketball. In his senior year he was offered a slot on the varsity. Instead he decided he preferred lifting weights and hurling metal objects. So he joined the indoor track team as a shotputter.

    No need to make any excuses about why you changed sports. You took it as far as you could and thought you could contribute somewhere else. If the coach is on a power trip, chances are it's well known locally. And don't ask her for a letter of recommendation.
     
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  4. littlepatriot

    littlepatriot Member

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    @Jcleppe

    Totally agree on the fact I'll deal with people like this the rest of my life. Last summer, I had a softball coach the same way. Told me and my sister after a game we were worthless, had no future in softball, awful attitudes, whole nine yards. So sorry your son had to go through the same experience- it's not fun.

    Yes, I am also involved in varsity cross country (will be on varsity all 4 years) and softball (JV first 2 years, varsity last 2.) I also play competitive travel softball year round.

    And the sad thing is, I honestly don't respect my teammates much either. They have no issues skipping practices, trashing their teammates behind their backs, and kissing up for playing time. Not trying to provide excuses, only reality. I'm torn between staying as a big 'up-yours' to her or leaving and watching the team backstab each other until they all fall apart. Again, harsh, but sadly true.

    @EDelahanty sadly basketball is the only winter sport available at my school. There's less than 150 people in my class.

    If I do quit, I plan on lifting and hitting every day after school to prepare for softball season, along with attending travel softball practices. I would also like to help coach, or even head coach a youth basketball league team.
     
  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Sounds like a plan.

    Don't feel sorry for my son, he got his moment. He enjoyed playing tennis and didn't let the coach bother him, he also played club tennis where he did well with supportive coaches.

    During his senior year on varsity, (still playing on the far court) the regular season had ended and they were getting ready for districts, son and others were not allowed to even try out for a spot. Coach wanted his #2 singles player to have a warm up match so he said at open practice that he wanted him to play someone easy to warm up so he yelled out my son's name (Yes in front of everyone), even told his player not to take it easy on my son, play him hard and don't give up any points.

    Well....they played their match in front of the whole team, my son beat him 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in straight sets. He shook the players hand, walked by the coach and said "Good luck at Districts Coach" That was the last school tennis match he played. Oh and the #2 player lost at districts and the team did not advance.

    After the season was completely over my son had a talk with the Athletic Director and very respectfully told him what had gone on over the season, that was the last season he coached the team.

    Karma, it's a wonderful thing.

    Best of luck in whatever you decide to do, just keep active and you'll be fine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Team attitude starts at the top with the coaches, remember this if and when you commission as an officer. The same holds true in the military.
     
    EDelahanty likes this.
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    True everywhere. For a few years I would work with the youth in our church once a week. Each year I would have a lesson on leadership. I'd always start with "What's the first thing a leader has to do". The answers varied.... have someone make you the leader... give an order... make a plan. My reply in every case was "No, you have to get people to want to follow you". Leaders with the right attitude accomplish that easily.
     
  8. littlepatriot

    littlepatriot Member

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    And therein lies our problem. She's done nothing to lead us or anything to earn our respect. She's let the better players with and attitudes walk all over her, which leads to inflated egos and feelings of superiority over fellow team members. Likewise, she berated the players who wanted to lead, even if all it entailed was simply getting up so the girls in the game could sit, or giving them the last of your water. The true leaders were pushed to the background and it was a downward spiral from there.

    True leaders inspire those below them to do their best for them no matter the situation and that was the case.
     
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  9. JMS

    JMS Member

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    Good advice above.
    I emphasize EDelahanty's point about not making excuses about stopping basketball. You are not quitting... as in mid season.. you simply are choosing to concentrate on other things since you are not a basketball superstar. It may sound like 'spin,' but simply not showing up for try-outs is not 'quitting.' It is making a choice.
    I think being an athlete is important, but no need to be a three or four season athlete. And I think high level local club sports can look very good on a resume. Clubs can offer many sports options schools do not offer... e.g. summer swim leagues.
    maybe your winter is better used for academics and school clubs.
    I think you will be just fine without basketball.
     
  10. zachcleigh

    zachcleigh Member

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    Sorry to hear about your coach. I have no experience with unfair coaches so in that regard I'll just wish you the best of luck.

    In regards of quitting.. Weigh the pros and cons. If you feel like you've done all you can do and you are fighting an up hill battle maybe dropping basketball is a proper choice. Use the time on another sport and work towards varsity letters and being team captain if possible.

    I dont mean to insult or offend, but when talking about those around you most if not all of what i read was negative. Lead your team and find ways to encourage them to come to practice. Show that you care about their outcome not just your own. Practice hard. Lead by example. Practice being the leader now.

    I wish you luck in your endeavors.
    -Meredith
     
  11. ginko

    ginko Member

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    My DS was in a similar situation with his high school basketball. He had little respect for the coach but always did his best. He also stayed away from marijuana and alcohol which made him an oddball on the team. Unfortunately, he had no other sport and he stuck it out all four years. Hope for the Army scholarship is what kept him strong through his varsity season. My son loved basketball and now he won't watch a game. The lesson he gleaned from athletics was not a good one. I know the military sees it as a character building experience but that assumption is made in hopes that there is quality leadership in place. My son learned that the bad guys win and the good guys are a pariah. My advice is to play an individual sport.
     
  12. littlepatriot

    littlepatriot Member

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    I'd have to respectfully disagree with this. I think team sports are great for kids in the teenage years. Like your son, many of the girls on my team have issues with underage drinking. To see 15, 16, 17 year old girls doing this doesn't rub well with someone like me, who has several close family members that suffer from alcoholism. However, I still think that team sports are great the majority of the time. They teach a level of teamwork and togetherness that will never be taught in a classroom.
     
  13. Jcc123

    Jcc123 Member

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    I have to agree with Ginko. My DS learned some very negative lessons playing on a 9-under all-star baseball team that led him to avoid team sports the rest of his school "career". He did, however, excel in gymnastics, swimming, triathlon, cycling and running. He has never once regretted his decision to forego team sports, and it hasn't held him back one iota. I would argue that total avoidance of the "everyone's a winner" culture of youth sports did him a world of good. In most of his sports, if you're not the best, you go home empty-handed. Valuable lessons to be learned there as well.
     
  14. littlepatriot

    littlepatriot Member

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    Well, it's been over 3 months since I've started this thread so I thought I'd provide an update.

    I ended up deciding to go out for the team this year. I knew that if I didn't go out, I would always consider myself a quitter.

    I also realized that many of my problems came from the fact that I was too quick to blame others, such as my coaches and teammates, when things weren't going great. Taking responsibility for my actions was huge.

    Going out turned out to be the best decision I could have made! I made the varsity squad my junior year and I'm working crazy hard, but having the time of my life.

    Moral of the story?

    Never give up guys. Even when it seems like nothing is going right, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel that can be reached as long as you are willing to work your butt off each and every day. Never, ever quit.

    Thank you all for the advice you gave me. Hopefully my story will inspire others in the same situation!
     
  15. zachcleigh

    zachcleigh Member

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    Hooyah littlepatriot
     

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