Story 2

Gender: Female
Grade Level of Event: College
Sport Played: Hockey
Your Story: My story is about my experience playing for my college’s female hockey team. I was very excited to play hockey in college. I had been playing since I was five and many former teammates of mine were going to be on the team. The beginning of the season was great. I was having a great time working out everyday, and though we weren’t winning our games, we were competing, and that’s all that really mattered to me.

Things started to change very quickly, though. I started getting less and less playtime without being given a reason at all. I assumed I just wasn’t playing well enough or that my coach didn’t think I was putting in enough effort, so I would give 110% at all games and practices…I wasn’t even dressing for games, still not being given a reason or having anyone talk to me about it.

I asked my coach numerous times if I could talk with them about what was going on only to be told “yes” then being avoided by them so that they wouldn’t have to talk to me…

When I was finally able to talk with my coach about what was happening, only because my mom stopped them…and told them that they needed to talk with me…I was told by my coach that my depression was having a “negative effect” on my teammates…My coach thought that I was suicidal and never said one word to me about it. Never even asked how I was doing. No one did. The coach claimed that my “teammates were so worried” about me, yet none of them said a word to me about it either….Being told by someone with that kind of power that they could see you were struggling and them not reaching out once felt like someone had ripped a hole in my chest. I was not cared about on the team by the coaches or many of the players…. After this talk, I went back to my room and proceeded to throw up because of how upsetting it was being told that my mental health was a burden to my team.

My roommates who were also on the team and some of the few people who actually tried to help me get through my struggles, held my hair back and offered me water while this was happening. Them, having struggles with mental heath as well, told me how sorry they were that I had to go through that, and I appreciate and love them so much for being the few people who actually cared.

When I went in and told the coach that I wouldn’t be returning for the next semester, I was overjoyed with happiness. I hope that the coach will realize how the way that they act impacts players and change their ways…. I’m sorry to anyone who has gone through similar experiences with a coach and I want you to know you are not alone.