Letter To Me As A Young Player

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Hi there

I bet you’re surprised to hear from me 😉  I wanted to give you a bit of advice before it’s too late and I suspect that I am the only one you will listen to.

Let’s get the biggest thing out of the way first.  You aren’t as good a player as you think you are.  Yes, I know what you’re thinking, so let me say it again.  You aren’t as good as you think you are.

But it isn’t all bad news.  There are lots of things you are right about.  Coaches love players who always practice and play hard, and you did a great job with that.  And standing at the front of the warmup area gives really does give the coach the impression that you’re itching to get on whatever the circumstances.  For those things you will be proud of yourself when you look back.

A couple of other things, not so much.  I remember one time when you were sure that you deserved more chance to play (you didn’t) and decided that the best way to convince your coach that you were deserving of that extra playing time (you weren’t) was to make some small protests.  I seem to remember wearing strange coloured socks, not tucking your shirt in and constantly walking around with an angry demeanour.  Obviously you know that the coach was not persuaded by any of that carry on, but it might surprise you to know that on top of that he thought you were being childish, selfish and a poor team player.  It turns out that the only way to convince a coach you should play more is to work harder and to play better.  Who knew?

There was another time when you were older and should have known better.  You pulled a similar trick when you didn’t get to start in an important match.  That time, by your actions, you only made the coach surer that he had made the right decision.  And you missed out on enjoying a great team victory and your (significant) contribution to it.  That particular act of churlishness will bother you for quite a time.

As you can see, you have will (could?) have some mixed fixed feelings about your playing career.  Unless this note catches you in time. Good luck with everything.  I’ll check back if something else important crosses my mind.

Keep smiling.

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