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15barcam's avatar

What can I do to change my coach's mind about me (details inside)

Asked by 15barcam (724 points ) August 27th, 2013

I’m a junior in high school and have been on the volleyball team for the last two years. Although I’m not the world’s best player or anything, partly because I’m short, I’m a pretty decent passer. The last two years I, along with three of my friends, was one of the best players on the teams that I was put on. The coach never had a problem with me and always told me he saw a future for me in his program.
All of a sudden, this year the coach seems to think I’m absolutly awful, even though I’ve gotten way better every year! He put me on JV , while taking all of my friends up to varsity, even though there easily could have been room on varsity for one more. Some of the people he took up had exactly the same skill level as me in the position I was trying out for!
He told me I would be the first person he would bring up if he ever needed someone on varsity. Well guess what? When someone was needed on varsity in the position I play, he brought up a girl from the freshman team who is worse than me. I’m so offended and sad. I’ve had a great attitude the entire season, despite having to play at a level that is extremely low. Nothing I do seems to impress him, and no matter how well I play or how hard I try he still seems to think that I’m an awful player. I’m not an over confident person, but I KNOW he is underestimating me and he won’t even give me a chance. He refuses to acknoledge anything I do right! What should I do in this situation? Should I confront him in a polite way?

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9 Answers

rojo's avatar

Believe it or not, there is a lot of politics involved in HS sports. It is like my mother always says “It’s not what you know but who you know”.

I have seen it happen over and over again. Someones parents are more important or forceful than a better athlete and so their kid gets the playing time.

I cannot give you any advice as to what to do about it. Sorry.

snowberry's avatar

I’m guessing that it’s as @rojo said. It’s about politics. You could try asking the coach, but it sounds like he’d deny it. It might be a better idea to do the very best you can in high school, and try out for the volley ball team in college. Or better yet, see if there’s a community v-ball team you could play on now, and do that instead of a high school sports team since you’re not happy there.

rojo's avatar

as @snowberry look elsewhere. Look at the competetive or travel teams in the area. Most of the time the players on these teams are better coached and trained than those in the school district, in fact, the high schools depend on them to get quality players.

pleiades's avatar

Earn it!

rojo's avatar

@pleiades if only it were that simple. I have seen kids much better qualified to participate in a particular athletic event sit on the sidelines so that Mr. “X“s kid could get some playing time.
There was one kid on my sons competetive soccer team who, when playing HS ball, scored everytime he was put on the field. He was put in when the coach wanted or needed a score and immediately pulled back out when he accomplished it. Most of his time was bench time. He knew what was going on. He called himself the team whore, only worth using when the priviledged few couldn’t do it themselves.

funkdaddy's avatar

I don’t know if “confront” is the way to think about it. You just want to ask him what you could do to get moved up to varsity. If you want him to be honest (and are ready for honest criticism) then tell him you’d like his honest feedback on your play and what you need to work on. No one is as good as they can be.

It lets him know you want to be considered and also gives you something concrete you can work on. He’ll notice if you improve those things.

Team sports are hardly ever about talent alone, interactions are just as important. Coaches are building teams that play well together. Look at it from their perspective and see where you can fit in with the people around you that will make you happy.

One coach I had took a second and asked me why I played baseball. I didn’t have a good answer right away.

Why do you play volleyball? Think it over and tell him.

@rojo – obviously I don’t know the situation, but if someone on one of my soccer teams was scoring every time they got on the field, and I ever heard them refer to themselves as the team whore, that doesn’t sound like someone I’d want to play with or coach on either count

rojo's avatar

@funkdaddy I am just the opposite. I would not play for a coach who did that and if I were the principal and knew about it, we would be looking for a new coach.

The kid was a highly thought of member of a competitive team for several years. He played almost every game for most of the game. His coach and trainer, along with his teammates thought very highly of him as a person and of his abilities as an individual and as a team player.

The fault, if that is the correct word, lies 100% on the shoulders of the HS coach. It is he who brought about these feelings and comments by his callus attitude of using the player when he needed relief without awarding him the benefits of additional playing time. BTW, after a year of this, he did walk away. He was not rude or combatative, he simply said he did not want to play HS soccer anymore. He was asked by the coach to come back at least three times that I know of but refused.
He did, however, continue to play competitive soccer until his graduation.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I’d walk into his office pissed off and say

“What’s your problem and why did you break your promise? You’re screwing with my High School years. Stop it now and make good on your word. Don’t be a liar. I’m not sitting by while you break your word to me for the sake of a pet freshmen.”

Privately of course. Get in there and show some moxy.

Or…

Have this conversation with your Counselor. Perhaps they could intervene, or recommend a course of action. Either way, it would be wise… very wise to discuss the issue with your parents, and your Counselor BEFORE confronting the coach. You don’t want this to come off as a surprise. Perhaps even write it down and mail yourself a letter just to ensure that no one accuses you of flying off the handle without forethought.

snowberry's avatar

Good idea @RealEyesRealizeRealLies Only if you mail yourself a letter, DO NOT OPEN IT! It’s only proof if it hasn’t been opened.

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