Don’t Make Ladies’ Issues Your Issue

| Related | May 17, 2017

(My husband is coaching a middle school soccer team. It’s not a competitive league so the rules are all kids play every game.)

Coach: “[Girl], I’m putting you in next.”

Girl: “Can I sit out? I don’t feel well.”

Coach: “I guess. I’ll put you in the next substitution.”

Girl: “No, I mean sit out the game. I really don’t feel well.”

Coach: “Why didn’t you stay home?”

Girl: “Because my dad kept saying I’d feel better. But I don’t.”

(At this point he realizes she’s sitting on the bench, arms clasped over her stomach. She’s sort of hunched over.)

Coach: “Do you feel like you’re going to throw up?”

Girl: “No. If it’s that big a deal I can play for a little while… But I just don’t feel well. I’m probably not coming to practice tomorrow. My mom will be home by then.”

(Finally he gets the idea and lets her sit out the whole game. As soon as the game is over, her dad storms over to the bench.)

Dad: “Why didn’t my daughter play? Every child is supposed to play every game. There’s a reason she’s in this league and not the competitive one.”

Coach: “She says she doesn’t feel well.”

Dad: “She just needed a little encouragement. You are supposed to push them to excel. She needs to get out there and try.”

Coach: “Her stomach is bothering her.”

Dad: “She would have been fine if she just tried. [Girl]! What exactly is bothering you?”

(The poor kid turns ten different shades of red and mumbles:)

Girl: “Nothing.”

(Finally my husband has had enough. He motions for me to lead Girl away and he gets really close to the dad and whispers:)

Coach: “Sometimes girls this age have physical issues they don’t want to discuss with their male coach. I’m not pushing them. Do you want to ask your daughter if THAT is why she doesn’t feel well?”

(The dad starts to stutter, glances at his daughter, at the moms gathering up their kids, the refs who are watching the whole encounter, and finally manages to say:)

Dad: “No. Hey, [Girl], let’s go home and you can rest or something.”

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