I am a member of the HHS girls soccer team. Being on the team I get an inside scoop of all things girls soccer at this school. This year has been a little less than traditional because of the pandemic.
To start off the season we normally start conditioning in October and have tryouts the last week of January. This year we were not able to have any conditioning and the team looked very rough and out of shape. So to start off our season we had to focus on getting in shape and game ready in a very short amount of time.
In addition to being physically not ready for the quick approaching season the team was also struggling internally. The team was suffering from a loss of 13 seniors who graduated in the previous year. This loss created a whole in the leadership on our team and made a need for 13 new players on the varsity squad who were greeted by some not so welcoming returning varsity players.
While this internal conflict was an ongoing struggle our first game was fast approaching. One week after our first practice tensions were starting to decrease while new and strong leadership emerged in our newly named captains. With only two more weeks left until our first game it was time to look at what position everyone would play as well as who worked well together on the field.
The team also gained a new assistant coach this year. This coach’s eagerness to build an amazing team had gotten the better of him when he decided to focus on who would be starting in our first game too early. Normally, starters are named in our team huddle five minutes before they would go on the field to play in the game. Instead this new coach decided to talk to everyone individually a week and a half before our first game.
In these individual talks he would tell you if you were starting or not. If you were starting he would tell you what position you were starting and then would go into detail about who was sitting on the bench to take your place in a game and explain that they were your competition and you had to continuously prove yourself a better player than this person. If you were a benchwarmer he would tell you who started over you and then told you if you wanted to start, you had to prove yourself a better player than that person.
These individual talks divided the team in to half with high tensions between the benchwarmers and starters. Instead of everyone being supportive, happy, and encouraging of one another; everyone just looked at each other as competition instead of team mates. This over-eager coach who put his players against each other has gone more than half the season with only one win. Was this win a fluke? Yes, most likely.