Honesty, Vulnerability, and Motivation: What I Learned from Teen Girls

I had a good cry yesterday. It’s been awhile since I’ve had one… to be honest, I have been a little numb. But I was finally able to have the emotional release that I have been needing. Some of you don’t know me personally, so for a little backstory, I coach teen girls on a softball team and yesterday we had a Zoom chat. This chat was about what motivates the girls to play on a competitive team and I was struck on many levels by their responses. Some talked about how sports help them with their self-esteem and others talked about the supportive family atmosphere we have created. Those are obviously positive motivation factors. What really got me emotional were that some of the girls stated that their motivation to play was to prove to others that they were worthy enough to be on the field. These statements were heartbreaking once you realize that the people who were telling them that they weren’t worthy on the field were adults and coaches. It was a great reminder that our young people are constantly listening to our words and take them to heart more than we are aware of. I could feel their pain but I was also very proud of their vulnerability… that’s where growth happens.