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Passions in Poetry

I'm so mad, I could burst

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Titia Geertman
Member Ascendant
since 05-07-2001
Posts 5297

0 posted 06-26-2008 09:11 PM       View Profile for Titia Geertman   Email Titia Geertman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Titia Geertman's Home Page   View IP for Titia Geertman

For those who don't know: my daugher Lynn plays softball in the Dutch National team and was supposed to go to the Olympics in August.
Recently Lynn has had two operations on her knee (which was badly injured several years ago in Prague), but was recovering quite fast and well.

Yesterday, three days after their return from the four week training trip to States and three weeks before the final selection was supposed to be anounced, Lynn got a call from her coach, telling her she has been kicked out of the Dutch National Softball Team.

Reason: coach said Lynn had not shown her enough in the games played, that she had recovered enough from her two operation on her knee.


Just after her operation in March, coach told her to take all the time she needed to recover, because she wanted her in Beijing and so Lynn did. Her knee was holding beautifully and she participated for 100% in all the heavy training sessions for four weeks, didn't select her to play in the first four games and after that only one time (in which game Lynn played very well)and a few loose innings. So how on earth could she have shown the coach more if she wasn't selected and therefor didn't have the opportunity to show she was fit indeed. Damn, these were only training games. No one ever protests to a coach when not being selected for a game, because that's simply not done. One respects the coach's choice and Lynn did just that.

How cowardly and terribly rude of this coach to give her this deadly message by phone in stead of a face to face talk, knowing how it would hurt Lynn, because softball is her life and this was her last year as active player.
And why not wait with this message, till next month, when the final selection is to be anounced. There are still 6 others in this team who won't be going to Beijing. So whatever reason is there to kick Lynn out now. That's something our simple minds can't grasp.

Lynn said she would have been disappointed, but could have understand and accepted it when she had not been selected (with 6 others) on the day the selection was to be anounced, but hearing it this way (by phone damn it) hurts her deep to the bone, because she just can't understand the reason why now, on this moment.

Ok, I needed to let this out of my system, but I can assure you, I vent and rant much better in Dutch, because in my native language I know all the apropriate curses too.

Like scattered words will flow

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Member Rara Avis
since 01-27-2008
Posts 9055
Lumpy oatmeal makes me crazy!

1 posted 06-26-2008 11:46 PM       View Profile for Alison   Email Alison   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alison

How totally unfair and how devastating for your daughter.  You must be feeling so helpless right now.  Please, give Lynn a hug from me.

Member Elite
since 09-21-1999
Posts 3657
Sycamore, IL, USA

2 posted 06-27-2008 03:28 PM       View Profile for sandgrain   Email sandgrain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for sandgrain

Horrors!!!  After all Lynn's been through and put forth to do a good job in spite of her set back, this hurts me, too.  Coach must have been frustrated about something and took it out on Lynn.  I'm so sorry to hear this.

Even I would help you curse in your native tongue I don't even know.  But for this, I'd learn. LOL

God bless!

Perhaps there'll be problems at the Olympics (I pray not)that Lynn's being protected from.
Member Elite
since 12-31-2005
Posts 2710

3 posted 06-27-2008 04:48 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

I believe that coaches are employed to use their professional judgement to select the best team and protect individual players from further injury and that they generally do that to the best of their ability. Inevitably some people are going to be disappointed and disgruntled with the selections they make but ultimately if the coach thinks you’re fit and good enough you play - if you’re not you don’t.

Who knows?

Perhaps your daughter simply hasn’t shown that she’s over the injury, and maybe the coach feels that the risk of playing someone who isn’t 100% is too great, for the team and the player concerned. It could be that the coach is so sure that your daughter isn’t going to be ready that she feels it would be better to tell her now instead of building her hopes up. It could be that the other places are still up for grabs and the coach is leaving the final selection as late as possible which is why your daughter is being told before the others.

One thing’s for sure you aren’t going to learn the answers lashing out at the coach in a backwater forum on an internet poetry site, where the coach isn't given a chance to defend her actions or offer the other side of the story. Frankly I can't see any merit in asking the opinion of a bunch of poets who, however well intentioned, don‘t know anything about the coaches decision, why not simply ask the coach to explain?

Just my honest opinion.

Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart

4 posted 06-27-2008 09:33 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine question, dear friend. What keeps you and your daughter from having a face to face conversation with the coach?

I would certainly like to display my dismay and discontent one to one, and not have it be over the phone. I may not know at this point that you would have to travel some way, or other reasons might be that it cannot be done, but if your daughter Lynn could travel to all of the events, and those events being the cause of her bad knee...I would most certainly like a one on one confrontation as to why this decision was made.

Maybe it has been a higher decision than the coach...perhaps his/her peers have said, "if she plays with a bad knee, she's a liability" but if that is the case, m'friend, she should have been told that up front, and it was wrong of "all of them" to keep her spirits up, unless it was for the entire team's sake that they thought that Lynn would be there for them...

and pushed those players to their better limits.

I don't know, but I do know that you and your daughter are under a very heavy period of frustration, anger, and disappointment. I'm so sorry for this happening to your lovely daughter, but I would most certainly push for a better answer, and if nothing else, an apology from her coach and the coach's peers as to why this came about, the way it did.

Totally heartless!

Titia Geertman
Member Ascendant
since 05-07-2001
Posts 5297

5 posted 06-28-2008 01:21 AM       View Profile for Titia Geertman   Email Titia Geertman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Titia Geertman's Home Page   View IP for Titia Geertman

My misunderstanding, coach told her face to face, but the only reason she gave was that Lynn hadn't shown enough in the games. But how could she, she wasn't even selected to play. Lynn isn't a nobody in softball land, she has played almost a 100 international games. She has been chosen second best Dutch player several times. She is a member of the National team since 1998 with an exeption of one year when the same coach (who was deputy coach then) didn't select her (after a clash with Lynn's girlfriend/partner who's in the organisation of the natioanl league).

The coach knew all about Lynn's knee when she specially urged her to join the National team again last year. She said she wanted her in Beijing because of her batting skill (she's a righthand thrower and a lefthand batter, 2nd base). Lynn's knee collapsed again in the first four week USA training tour in March and after returning home she had her second operation after which her knee recovered very quickly and was holding very well. She participated for the ful 100% in trainingsessions. So why didn't the coach select her to play as many games as she could, then Lynn could have shown her how her knee was doing. She didn't answer that question when asked.

There are three other players in the selection whom she didn't even select to play a single game at all in the last training tour. Why didn't she throw them out as well three weeks before the anouncement of the final selection.

It's not because Lynn's my daughter, it's the unfairness of it all that makes me mad.
She knew all along about Lynn's knee, so why has she asked her in the first place to join the team and urged her to join when Lynn wasn't sure yet.
Because joining the National team again, meant she had to give up her coaching a young team, meant she had to cut back in working hours in her full time job (getting less money in her pocket) in order to be able to participate in the three times a week trainingsessions.

We're beginning to think this coach (she's American by the way) used Lynn in a faul play to get even with Lynn's partner over that clash they had. But we will never hear the real reason and truth behind this all.

Lynn's hurt badly, but she will live through it, she's a strong, beautiful woman.

Like scattered words will flow
Member Elite
since 09-21-1999
Posts 3657
Sycamore, IL, USA

6 posted 07-01-2008 05:50 PM       View Profile for sandgrain   Email sandgrain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for sandgrain

A strong beautiful woman, like her mom.

Thanks and God bless,
Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860

7 posted 07-13-2008 03:43 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     Your daughter sounds marvelous, a lively and spirited player, a bright and eager competitor, a fine person overall.  Everything you say about this coach and everything your daughter fears may certainly be true, neither you nor your daughter sound as though you are less that practical Nederlanders who make good sound and unsentimental judgements, and not at all given to flights of fancy.  But when I look over what I see you've written down, I see another possible story to explain the situation, and I wonder if I might run it by somebody with a more intimate knowledge of the situation than I.

     I see a coach who sees a very talented player in the later years of her national amateur career.  The player has done a very fine job through her entire career, but the wear and tear of highly competitive sports have begun to wear on her body.  The coach sees that this player would make a fine addition to the national team if her body can support her skill, her will and her determination to play the fine game she has been able to play in the past.  So the coach takes a chance.  Is this before or after the first injury?  I have lost track.  But as much of a blow as this initial injury has been been to your fine daughter, it has been perhaps a blow to the coach as well.  Has the coach by now stuck her own neck out by inviting your daughter to put in the time and effort in training for the team?

     Whatever the sacrifice, your daughter has made in terms of finances and physical effort and time, the coach too has invested effort.  She has invested a certain amount of the confidence that other people have in her professional judgement.  Coaches must guard this very carefully, because it is what they must depend upon to finance their life's labor, and the coach has made a special investment with your daughter because of the quarrel with your daughter's life partner.  A coach can't afford to be seen as being petty, you know, to put personal quarrels above the good of the team.  Her reputation rests on this as well.  

     Your daughter is now perhaps working out with the team, carefully.  The coach is urging your daughter to be careful and to take her time.  She wants your daughter to work out for the team, for the sake of the team, for the sake of your daughter, and certainly for her own sake.  If she can he said to make a difficult judgement about using your daughter at the end of her career and make it work for the good of the team, this will make her look very skilled, very competent, very professional.  This will work, however, only if your daughter can gain the cooperation of her body.  The bodies of athletes have minds of their own.

     A second injury is very bad news for everybody.  Nobody wants to imagine what such a thing might mean for the team.  The coach tells your daughter to take care and come back slowly, which is excellent advice, but she is very nervous about actually using her to play innings.
The coach is in a difficult position here.  This second injury may very possibly mean that your daughter's body is overstressed—though perhaps not, nobody has been given a copy of the newspapers for the next six or eight months to read at their leisure, so nobody really knows.

     Should the coach put the team's chances at risk by playing somebody who may be lost to injury during a demanding playing schedule, one where all the flaws in the makeup of the team may well be exposed?  Should she put her own reputation on the line as well, when she may be able to improve the odds for the team and herself and her reputation by including somebody else?

     There is, I think, no good choice here.  The one she must think of first, however, is what is best for the team.  Two injuries closely spaced together in one player nearing the end of her career may be too much risk for the team to carry into this difficult a contest, no matter how much the coach may hope the player would be able to contribute if she were to stay healthy.  I would venture to say that she would find saying so to your daughter difficult because both of them had wanted your daughter to be able to play, each for different reasons.  Remember, it's possible that the coach lost a real coup here, a real potential recognition of her brilliance as a coach when she found that it simply wasn't going to work out.  She would have lost out as well.

     Getting back at your daughter's partner would have been nothing in comparison, I suspect, and wouldn't have accounted for some of the reaction that you describe in the coach.

     Of course, The coach could have done everything you assumed, and my reading could be claptrap.  But if your daughter respected her as much as she did, I suspect that something else might have been going on, something more worthy of your daughter and of the coach she respect (ed) until recently.  What do you think?

Respectfully yours, BobK.
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839

8 posted 07-13-2008 04:17 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

awwwwwwwwwwww....Titia? I'm so sorry you guys are disappointed. Have my lovin'hugs?

I'm sorry to say, althought I am with you on your right to rant in this space...sigh.

It's a team sport.

And injuries are not only expected, but anticipated. It's just part of the deal of sport. So please, give your daughter a kiss from me too, and tell her, and this is truth--that if you allow an injury to heal properly, it's actually stronger, afterwards.

She'll be back out there.

And I know you will be too.

Lovin' hugs

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