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Resources Feb 01, 2016

Chapter 20: DELIVER BAD NEWS – ROOKIE: Surviving Your Freshman Year of College Soccer

ROOKIE Cover JPEGSomewhere along the line there’s a chance that you’ll stumble into some real trouble. I hope that’s not the case, but life happens. Whether that trouble involves your R.A. or your biology professor or the local police force, rest assured that your coach will find out. Remember that bubble we talked about? Yeah, he’s going to find out.

In these moments, one of the scariest things you will have to do is tell your coach. Do it anyway and do it right away. Here’s why:

First of all, your coach hates surprises. When it comes to problems of significant magnitude, your coach’s boss, the Athletic Director, is going to end up being involved. Your coach wants the chance to tell the A.D. before the A.D. tells him. The coach wants the chance to say, “We’ve had this problem, I felt you should know, and this is how I plan on handling it.” It shows the A.D. that the coach hasn’t lost control of his program, and that’s a big deal. When the A.D. knows about these things before the coach does, the coach looks less than professional and he doesn’t appreciate the person who made him look that way.

Bringing the news to your coach also gives you a chance to control the story before all of the rumors start swirling around. There comes a time and a place to put all your cards on the table and just confess your sins. This is that time and place.

Finally, and this is important, you’ve got to give the coach a chance to help you. When you go into his office and unload your story, yeah, you’ll probably have to face some consequences. But you know what, you’ll survive them. What’s far more important is that you give your coach a chance to be your ally so that you can face this difficult time together. If you don’t recruit him as your ally, he may be left with no choice but to cut his losses and desert you. No matter what the problem is, you’re much better off having the coach on your side, so get him involved sooner rather than later.

Coaches are programmed to take care of their players. You’ve got to give him that chance. When you go to him first and accept responsibility for your mistakes, it shows that you are putting your trust in him to take care of you, and that’s going to help your cause.

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