Every coach worth her salt is trying hard to recruit you off the team, because the only way to improve is to recruit better student-athletes than you.
But better has multiple meanings. Yes, better on the playing field, but also better in the classroom. Better for the team’s culture. Better friends. Better citizens.
Last year I went to Geneseo to watch our men’s hockey team play in the SUNYAC Championship. Geneseo had large pictures hanging of each class: freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The freshmen class was more than double the senior class, of which the meaning is clear: Lots of student-athletes don’t want to do what it takes to win a SUNYAC Championship.
The way I’m seeing it there are two postures you can take towards this reality:
You can be afraid that someone else is going to take your spot. You can talk down to them, belittle them, and spread rumors about them. You can be convinced that your coach doesn’t know what she’s doing.
Or you can embrace reality. You can say, “Good, bring in better people than me. It’s the quickest way for all of us to improve.”