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A FINAL NOTE FROM THE COACH

Posted by BOB TWIDLE on Oct 14 2006 at 05:00PM PDT
This note will serve as my last entry to this 7 year diary of my coaching experience with the 90A girls - young women now. I take my hat off to this determined goup of athletes who stayed the course and produced the proud result of their 2006 season. In the end, as is consistent with most team issues, adults determined the team's destiny by both negative interference, and in some cases lack of positive interference, support and contribution. Some coaches reach this point far sooner than I have for many of the same reasons. My running theme has always been "Have faith in your coach to do the right thing". Decisions made by a coach are often difficult and are driven by a complex set of circumstances. Those circumstances often involve the private issues of individuals that are no one's business but those involved. Hence "faith" and "trust" is paramount. My role as coach is to protect and nurture the development of each and every young athlete in my care through the considerable influence that I control in their lives. Secondarily my role is to protect the team entity and encourage and develop the team to a positive competitive result. This year I was put in a position where I had to put all of this at risk to correct a very wrong situation. Perhaps one of the least popular decisions I have ever made - but it was "the right thing to do". Essentially I was damned if I did and damned if i didn't - and all driven by the failure of adults focussed on narrow (and sometimes selfish) goals. I have served as a volunteer in several organizations over many years, and I haven't felt more disappointed, more abandoned, and more disrespected as this year brought from the adults (both team and club) who influenced the "rewards" in my role. I have always kept an open door policy and accepted criticism readily. This is the only way that I can manage misunderstandings. A locked communication door builds bombs and I developed a very thick skin to manage opinions. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and never has a player suffered because of adult issues. I have never wavered from my fundamental principles. Some can live with those and some cannot. On the premise of those principles I elected to step aside rather than have my reputation further trodden on. In the end I am satisfied that I did my job - albeit at great final cost. My only regret is the abandonment of my players, all of whom I hold dear, and especially those who got caught up in "adult issues", invisible to most. Lastly, I have always encouraged my players to develop their own coaching skills and carry on the game to new players through their adulthood. To my players, I hope that you have learned from me and enjoy the rewards that await you. I look forward to watching you excel in your soccer and as adults building a better world. BT

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