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Remember girls, the game is only beginning

October 08, 2005|by Coach Scott Myers

To the editor:

As a former coach of the Clear Spring girls varsity soccer team, I was saddened when I heard of the suspension of 14 players from this year's team for extracurricular activities. The very first thought that raced through my head was that I could very well have been the head coach of this soccer team. What would I do in this situation? How would I respond to the parents and players?

I want to encourage the parents and players of the 14 girls involved to remember that their response to this crisis is more important than the soccer season, lost scholarships or being dismissed from any club or society. It's about a lesson that if responded to correctly could change their lives profoundly.

I once heard it said that in America, we have freedom of choice, not freedom of consequence. Young adults are faced with tough choices every day in high school that help them develop and mature into older adults. The consequences of good choices are rewards and positive reinforcement; the consequences of poor choices are usually punishments and other unpleasant circumstances. Whether winning or losing, we can have success with proper response to either situation.

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During my short coaching tenure, I witnessed undefeated teams walk off the field with arrogance and pride. In the same season, I watched as a winless team exited the field with dignity, knowing that they had given their very best. The difference between these two teams was not so much their talent and experience as it was their response to the outcome of the contest.

My hope and word of advice to the young ladies involved is to accept this suspension with honesty and integrity. Being involved in something they knew could end their season was a poor choice. But pointing the finger and blaming others would be a far greater tragedy. Right now, these 14 players have a large group of people watching how they perform through this challenge. More people are following this event than any other event I have seen in Clear Spring for a long time.

My challenge to all of these players -suspended and unsuspended - is to handle yourself with dignity and self-respect.

Parents, these young ladies are watching how you respond most to the situation at hand. Even though it is painful to see your children suffer through this hardship, you must help them to see the long-term value of accepting responsibility instead of dwelling on the short term punishment.

Try not to focus so much on who did what or where was this person or that person. Instead, focus your attention on your child who needs you the most. Talk to them about their own involvement and how they need to respond to the situation. Now is when they need your encouragement. Teach them the proper response.

I have already started to hear the murmurings of finger-pointing and possible lawsuits. I hope and pray these are all just unnecessary rumors and that the people of Clear Spring can show all of the onlookers of what we as a community are made. Let's not add insult to injury.

To the head coach and the assistant coach, I give my utmost support for the remainder of the season. These two gentlemen have put a lot of blood and sweat into this program and deserve our best. I hope the school and community will come behind this new varsity team and its two fine coaches.

To the remaining players, I give you the same advice that I told the players who competed before you. In order to have a successful season you must do three things: 1) Always give 100 percent of your effort, on and off the field. 2) Respect yourself and others by being a good sport. Win with grace, lose with dignity. 3) No matter what, let nothing break your team unity.

The game is not over yet!

Coach Scott Myers
Clear Spring

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