Over this last soccer season, I have started to think as an athlete. When does criticism become harassment? I know as an athlete you are going to get remarks on the way you are performing in practices and games. But is it okay for a coach to always tell you that you are out of shape on a daily basis privately and in front of the team singling you out? Is it okay for a coach to break down a person's confidence and reduce them to tears?
Personally, I feel that you build tough skin if you are able to take comments about yourself. But if you are breaking a person down and then not letting them play at all, it is not okay by me. Also, if you feel that if you were to go to the athletic department or school administration to report what you would consider inappropriate behavior by a coach, and your complaints wouldn’t even be considered, nevertheless action being taken, this is not cool by me. Nobody should have to feel that they have nobody to turn to or just have to take criticism that belittles them and makes them feel next to nothing.
Yet I cannot do anything myself because I am viewing the situation from the outside in. I feel that I need to bring this to the surface as my significant other is the athlete I’ve been discussing. I hope this blog entry helps her to go to the faculty and get something done. As for the coach, he will continue breaking peoples’ characters and spirits. So if you have gone through or had to deal with this, do not stand for it. I am not saying a coach should not be allowed to level criticism, but only if it's constructive and not destroying a player’s confidence. In the end, it’s all about making a player a better athlete and person.