Your Stories

When you tell your story
you become a voice for change

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.

Gender: Male
Grade Level of Event: Freshman in College Division 1
Sport Played: Football
Your Story: The abuse started slow and some early things I could shake off or convince myself it’s college football, then abuse became more blatant. How can an offensive lineman be abused? The Coach would spit and hit me over the head repeatedly, kick me when I was on the ground after a bad block and run the stairs of the stadium without water breaks. It even got to the point that this man would hit me from behind and knock me on the ground calling me names. I did a 1v1, no matter who won or lost, he would call me a loser, the most worthless player he has ever seen. The thing about this abuse is that I began to believe that this was all true and stopped caring. It drove me to do things that are unspeakable and made me believe that I should never play football again. I have the lasting effects from the horrible abuse suffered at the hands of this Coach. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety disorder, lifelong scars. As I start the healing journey I realized that football is important to me and have found a new home to play college football. I still have panic attacks doing 1v1 but the new Coaches understand my trauma and are willing to help me to be a better player. This has been a long journey to healing and I am still healing. I will not let this Coach define me. I will be the only one who defines me.