I had an interesting conversation with a young man last week. I have known him for a number of years as he played on a SportsLeader football team as a 7th and 8th grader. He was one of the captains on their city championship team. Now he is an incoming Sophomore at a high school with a very "successful" football program. He decided after much thought that he did not want to play football any longer.
This is a young man who would start as a Sophomore on 95% of varsity high school teams. He is tall, fast, strong, in great shape, very intelligent, has great grades, comes from a very good 2 parent family ... a young man of character who works very hard. Most coaches would pay to have a kid like this in their program.
The reasons were numerous but centered around 2: the other players and the coaches.
He said there were only about 5 players out of over 100 who seemed to have other interests besides drinking, partying, drugs, etc. It was getting harder and harder to be around them and not fall into temptation. "It seems like the more I am around those guys the more they bring me down."
He went to speak with the head coach about this ... He had less than 30 seconds for him ..."So you're a quitter? You know people who quit at football go on to quit at most other things in their life? Well - we'll win with you and we'll win without you." And he walked away from the young man.
I was on the phone with Coach Randy Traeger a few hours before this ... He said, "Our players are a reflection of us as coaches".
This scenario seems to prove it in spades.
He then asked me about his former coach, "Do you stay in touch with Coach X? I loved playing for him."
This young man is moving on to other sports. They will be blessed to have him.
Food for thought.