Saturday, June 18, 2016

Role Models

I feel like I really let some people down today, including myself.  As a teacher/coach I strive to set a good example for my students and athletes.  I kind of pride myself on it.  Sometimes I have to remind them to do what I say, not what I do, but I really like that I can usually tell them to do what I do.  Treat people with respect and courtesy.  Smile at everyone you meet.  Be more enthusiastic for the success of others than you are about your own.  Admit to yourself that you aren't perfect, you make mistakes and we all learn from them.  Aim to be your best self, to work hard, and to always put your best foot forward.  You never know who's watching, who's following you, looking to you for answers.

Today at my indoor soccer game I hurt my leg (yet again) and at half time I kind of lost it.  I starting this wimpy silent crying and wouldn't talk to anyone because I was so mad at my body for letting me down yet again.  Truthfully, it's my fault.  I haven't been working out like I should, haven't been doing my strengthening and stabilizing exercises, I've just been relying on soccer to keep me in shape.  Also, after being out of the game for so long, I just hopped on 4 teams like it was nothing.  Instead of wading back into it and playing just one team at a time, I joined a 3 coed teams and a women's team all at once.  Rookie mistake.

After throwing my little pity party, I guess the tears dried up, but I was just so angry!  There was another girl in our box that refused to play because she was hurt, so now I'm playing injured.  Then these new guys on the team all think they're hot stuff and they can just take the ball, 5 vs 1, and go score.  Sometimes you have to pass the ball; sometimes you have to trust other people.  Instead, these little whippersnappers spent their time trying to show off and take on the world on their own.  At the end of the game, we were down 3-5.  Since women get two points for scoring and men only get one, I tried to get the girls to play some offense, but that means the boys have to drop back and be defense.  You can't have all the glory when we have a minute left and need to score two points.  But what do they do instead?  Try to take on the whole team solo, dribble around, waste time, and we lose the game.

None of this is important.  What's important is that during all of this stupidity, bull-headedness, and macho testosterone-fueled foolishness, I was being a real jerk.  When I was on the sidelines I was throwing my hands in the air and smacking the wall.  On the field (right next to the fans seating) I was muttering cranky sarcastic remarks, rolling my eyes, and cussing when the guys messed up (over and over again).  When we had wide open opportunities wasted because of their selfishness, I'd raise my voice at them or throw my hands up in the air and make sure people knew I was upset.

At the end of the game, I'm walking off the field to pick up my player card, and one of my players (let's say Jane) from my high school team greets me and tells me I played a good game.  Shit.  Of all the players, of all the days....
Jane is a little hot headed and a little big headed.  When she's not playing well her attitude goes straight in the drain.  She will throw a fit, talk back to her coaches, her teammates, and generally snowballs out of control.  Her indoor coach and I have been talking about how to get her selfish and poor attitude under control.  Here was my chance!!!!  Here was the moment to show her that no matter how bad things are, now matter how bad the team or the game is, you stay in it!  You keep a positive attitude, you lift up your teammates, and when you're in trouble, they lift you up as well.  Here was my moment to show her what it looks like, not to just be a good player, but a good teammate... and I acted like a total ass.
I had no idea what to do.  I hugged her and apologized for my rotten behavior.  She tried to comfort me and tell me it's okay to be mad when your team does poorly, but I assured her it isn't.  I told her I should've relaxed and enjoyed the game, as I usually tell people, it's just a recreational league and it's not like you really get anything for winning.  I just got carried away and I let myself be a poor sport.  I told her I was sorry she had to see me act like that.

One thing I tell my students and players is that it's okay to make mistakes.  They're going to happen.  What's important is that you learn from them.  But I can't let it go!  I feel like such a jerk and I can't believe I let myself act like such a child.  What a wakeup call!!!  The good thing is I can maybe use this experience to share with others and maybe someone else can learn from me.  Maybe I will learn to shut up and act like a lady because you just never know who is watching you.

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