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2017-10-22 17:39
By Kim Kang-hee

My school soccer team has two coaches, the head coach from England and the assistant coach from America. Under the leadership of the British coach, we practiced only one formation that focused on booting the ball up to the striker. When the striker was injured, however, we ran into a problem, and the British head coach simply substituted the striker. During practice, one player asked, “Can we work on passing instead of dribbling?” The British coach shook his head, turning his smile into cringing, and said, “Why would you not follow my orders? This is the second time you haven’t shown me respect. I’m the coach and I’ve coached for 30 years.”

During the last tournament, the American assistant coach took the role of the head coach because the British coach had to teach his senior class. The American coach told us to try out new formations. Instead of having one striker, we would have three strikers with three midfielders and four defenders. The defense formation also changed to a diamond shape. This formation worked out successfully and the team created more opportunities for the strikers and shut down the through balls that killed us in our previous games. After the game, I asked my coach, “Why didn’t we try out new formations earlier in the season?”

“That’s the difference between British and American soccer,” said my assistant coach from America.

Her answer startled me. Throughout the season, I have wondered why the team culture of this year was so different from the previous two years. I compared the styles of my coaches to figure out the differences. The British coach, who wanted to be treated with respect, valued tradition and manners, while the American coaches wanted to have a more friendly relationship with the players.

These differences confused the players, and we went to seek advice from the American coach. As soon as we stepped into her apartment, we expressed our longing for the good memories of last year. “You guys are frustrated, and I understand. But there’s nothing wrong with how the British coach trains you. You can’t expect him to change his style because that’s how he has been the last 30 years. You just have to accept him,” the coach said.

Upon listening to her, I realized talking to the current coach wouldn’t solve anything, and it would only make us seem disrespectful.

Instead, we decided to embrace the differences and accept the British coach’s style. The result was positive. Towards the end of the season, the British coach developed a father-daughter relationship with one of the players and became much closer to us.

From these two coaches, I learned two things. One, I cannot avoid differences in life. Two, to embrace the difference, I need to agree to disagree.

 

The writer (kanghee130112@gmail.com) is a junior at Taejon Christian International School. 

  • 폰트크기작게
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