There is a fine line between love and hate.
They occupy very near proximity areas in the brain, actually. But the opinion Coach Compton had of me went beyond basic dichotomous emotions; I experienced pure, raw fear and anxiety at not being able to live up to expectations. At this point in my life, it had become obvious that my self-worth was reflected in my performance academically and competitively.
I was selected for the best team in Oklahoma and one of the premier teams in the nation stroked the ego of needing to be the best and exceed expectations.
However, along with it came undue stress that I cannot even begin to describe.
In recreational soccer, most kids play just for fun. I would say less than half of them end up playing competitively because of the costs, travel, time commitment, and lack of skill. Competitive soccer is a whole different beast.
Granted, we were ten, but the experience that I am about to tell will shock and utterly dismay most people who have children.
After the team had been selected, Coach Compton took no time in establishing what sort of team this would be. One of the very first team oriented activities we did was to go to a local college where he coached and have a week long training camp with our new teammates and several older teams from the same club. I remember the day I came home from that camp; I collapsed on the floor and just began to cry like I had never cried before.