C'mon, athletic coaches, let's stop playing favorites
Have you ever felt the scream of frustration constantly burning in the back of your mind, following you everywhere as if it's haunting you with complete agonizing worthlessness, keeping its grip tight as it slowly knocks down every last chance you have at confidence, power and the mental ability to push yourself to play at the very best of your abilities?
Teens everywhere are faced with favoritism on sports teams, and I feel that it's something that shouldn't be allowed because it's unfair not only to the team but to the teens who work hard for what they want and aren't given the fair chance.
Favoritism seems to be growing in all different sports but why we are letting it spread puzzles me. Why are we letting the fairness and equality that all teams should have slip right past our attention when all it takes is a simple change of mind to stop it?
Every teenager deserves the right to try out for whichever sports teams they desire, and once they have actually made the team, they know they have earned their spot. If a person has worked hard for their spot on a sports team you would think that person would be happy and excited to play as much as possible, wouldn't you? That person would have a boost of confidence knowing they accomplished something they had been persistently working for, and had been given the opportunity to progress through practices and game experiences.
But for some teens, the ability to play on a certain sports team falls into the hands of someone else. Whether it's their own parent, a relative, a close family friend, or even a friend's parent serving as a coach, some teens are given the chance to be on a team without earning it -- due to favoritism by a coach. From my perspective, I wouldn't want to be one of those teens, because I love the feeling of knowing I've worked for my spot and earned it.
I have been affected by favoritism from a past volleyball coach, and I can honestly say that it took a lot out of my self-confidence. However, I'm now on a team where everyone is treated equally, and I must say, knowing that every player there has earned their spot just as I have, makes it so much easier to play and respect everyone.
A good friend of mine was also a victim of favoritism. Her coach would favor her own daughter on the team in countless ways, letting her play the position everyone worked for, even though her daughter didn't work as hard as the other players did and definitely didn't try to improve. When I asked my friend how she felt about all this, she said, "I feel like I can't quit, because I'd be letting my teammates, my friends down, and I'd be giving up on my dreams by not looking past the coach's mistakes."
Think about it, though, is it really worth staying on a team with a coach that treats you worse than you deserve?
A team is not made up of just one person; like Ken Blanchard once said, "None of us is as smart as all of us." To play as a team everyone must respect and work well with each other, and how can you work well with or respect someone who hasn't earned the right to be there?
I love the way Babe Ruth once put it: "The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the team won't be worth a dime."
You never know whether the coach can see what he or she is doing or not, when it comes to favoritism. Maybe it's just a miscommunication, or it is perhaps possible that the coach is fully aware of what she's doing but didn't think anyone was noticing? Either way, it won't hurt to try talking to the coach. I think it's time players, coaches and even parents become more aware of favoritism on sports teams and start speaking out.
Don't let favoritism stand in the way of your own goals and success just because you're too scared to say something. I hope coaches can see and become more aware of this problem. They should ask themselves, is it really worth it?
Danielle Collier is a sophomore at Northridge High School. She loves volleyball, shopping, writing and traveling. Email her at email@example.com.