An Unspoken Trust

As coaches, we are tasked with many roles for the good of the game, the players and the sport. At any time we find ourselves as a motivator, a nurturer, disciplinarian, confidant, friend or foe. Finding balance at times is as elusive as a four-leaf clover, other times it seems to all fall into place. For the most part, our jobs hover right in the middle of the two extremes. But when things do go sideways, those moments will stand out forever in our recollections.

We spend so much time building our players, investing in their sense of self and pushing them in their confidence both on the pitch and off that a natural trust begins to emerge between coach and player. At best, this is like a living breathing entity that must be fed and nurtured daily or it will atrophy and wither away. Our actions and words have such an impact on how our players invest in their game and their team and we must be diligent always to be worthy of that trust.

This week, I failed one of our players as a coach and  I am learning a very painful but hopefully, valuable lesson from the moment. The moment itself was unfortunate, but the idea that I did not live up to the unspoken promise of always moving players forward will always be with me. While the player will probably always remember the time when…and continue on in their sport, it will remain a moment that defined when I failed a player and friend for me. The immediate fallout from the occurrence has implications to several other players that the effected player works with, so the moment will continue into our weekend and the reminder of it will continue.

The damage has been done, as I tell my players, it is what we do in the aftermath of disaster that determines our depth and character. So, for now, I feel I begin again and try to do better as I move forward. Still, the sadness of the week permeates everything right now.

till I see you on the pitch

j

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