. . . .bench my child. Why can’t any of you see just how inconsistent your statement and actions are? PLEASE! I want to know!! Desperately!
My daughter “swung” varsity volleyball last year and we knew (she knew) that she should not expect to play much at all – in varsity games. After another season of club, where she played on a top ranked club team in our state . .. almost going to Junior Olympic National Championships for the third year in a row . . .she makes varsity out right this year. Now the head coach had changed, so the coach who had seen my daughter play the most . . . knew the level she’d been playing at for 3-4 years, was gone.
And we understand the “honor the seniors” sentiment that runs through most high schools and in high school sports. While my daughter is an excellent outside hitter (that’s what she’s always played in club) no other sport worships height (not even basketball) as much as volleyball. So, being small compared to the average high school volleyball player (my girl is only 5’4”) she’s deemed “small” by the average coach who’ll assign girls to positions based strictly on height . . .regardless of what the girl shows in ability on the court. The conventional wisdom in volleyball is that your middles and outside hitters HAVE TO BE tall – no matter if a smaller girl hits with more power or gets the ball “in” more than the taller girl.
So my daughter is relegated to the back row for defense. As unfair as this is, she accepts it as a fact of life in volleyball. Well, all four seniors on her team are small girls. Guess who gets all the playing time.
So, in her team’s quest for states, in my state, her team had to travel a HUGE distance to play this past weekend . . . . around three hundred miles . . . one way. My girl is in her most important year academically – her junior year – with a tremendous amount of school work on her plate. In other words, to be on this volleyball team requires an incredible sacrifice on her part.
Prior to the big trip, her team warms up with a scrimmage locally. As I walked around during the real matches on Saturday, I WISH I had a dime for every parent who saw the scrimmage that told me how incredibly well my daughter had played in the scrimmage. Why were they telling me this? Maybe because they could tell in my eyes that I wanted to strangle someone – anyone – anyone who was responsible for her public humiliation that came due to her COMPLETE benching over the course of three matches that were played this past Saturday. She travelled a total of around 600 miles to be benched!!!! Outside, as I was getting ready to drive back (she was riding with the team) – she was basically inconsolable, bent over with body racking sobs of pain, humiliation and anger.
There are no words in the English language that anyone can string together, in any order, that could even begin to remotely explain why adults would heap this type . . . this level, of emotional and spiritual abuse on a child . . . . .no words . . . . none!
And here’s one more reason why this abuse is so bad. Her team was KILLING their opponents by very wide margins. You play volleyball games till 25 points. Her team was winning some games 25 -9 or25-7 !!!! There was absolutely NO reason why you wouldn’t sub a girl in – who’s travelling 600 miles – when the scores are this lop-sided. None whatsoever! To not put a player in this type of situation is to SCREAM to the world that you, as a coach, believe that THIS player . . .who you selected to be on the team . . . is such an incredibly horrid volleyball player that you actually fear that, while YOUR team is winning 17 -3, that IF you put this other player in, the other team, which is being destroyed, would suddenly gain such self-confidence in seeing this horrifically bad volleyball player step onto the court, that you now feel you can rally and rip off 16 straight points and win the game. Fearing that possibility . . which I would say you’d have a higher probability of being hit by lightening then this team coming back to win, you, as a coach, will choose to devastate a child’s self-esteem . . . .rather than take that chance!!
And I make my point about the scrimmage a couple of days earlier than this crime against my child because no right thinking, sane, person should EVER come up to me and tell me how great my daughter is playing in one game . . . .a meaningless game . . . and then be willing to witness her public humiliation in other games. PLEASE! Can’t you see how your one statement just simply can’t be made IF the coaching staff is then going to turn around . . .within 72 hours, and publically ABUSE that same player in another game. Save your breath. You know what you’re witnessing happening to my child is as abusive as it can get to a young person WITHOUT cops being called . Just leave me alone and go back to the bleachers and thank God that, for some reason, the coach has decided NOT to abuse your kid in the same manner he/she’s abusing mine!!