a tournament?

recently, or for a few months now, i’ve struggled with getting over a tournament.

i’ve been in a sport cca, which i will call z. i have liked and enjoyed this sport, but when i was made captain before the tournament, i felt pressurized by myself and i told myself that i was not good enough, and i shouldn’t disappoint my teammates and coaches. i liked my coach, platonically, because she was funny and friendly to me.

during the training period, i started to fall into a hole of self-deprecation. i played z. sport mostly because i felt obliged to do so, and to prepare for the tournament.

fast forward to the tournament, for the first game, we won by nine points. however, the next game, the loss was by a huge margin. during that game, i felt further pressurized that i should win, or make the loss a close one, which broke me. i knew from the first goal that the opponent scored that there was no chance to win, and i lost heart to play the game. the coach was probably disappointed at me, which also tore me apart, but i didn’t know what to do.

as i was also struggling with self-worth/ self-esteem then, i impulsively sent a vent email to my coach. maybe it was a sort of excuse to wriggle out of the inability to play well during the second game.

something happened, and the vent email was leaked to the teachers that were in charge of z. sport. before the third game, one of the teachers talked to me, and i pushed her away (metaphorically and physically).

this led on to my form teachers knowing about my current situation, and my parents knowing about it too. this isn’t bad per se, but i much rather prefer it if the coach had kept the email to herself. i asked her if she had leaked the email, but she denied it.

after the tournament, the relationship with the coach had become taut and tense. i did send her a few letters, mostly to apologise for how i acted. i also clung onto the mostly bitter memories of the tournament and the times when the coach pulled me aside to ask how i was. before the tournament, i was mostly happy and callow. now, according to the teachers, i had changed. i found it very hard to move on from the tournament and kept revisiting it. z. sport also became a very touchy topic for me to explain.

i tried to be mostly happy, but i would still come back to the coach and the tournament. i refused to admit that i was the captain, because i thought didn’t deserve to be one, and wondered why the coach selected me, out of everyone else. i revisited the juniors when they had their own tournament, cried during some nights, still struggled with my self-worth, etc. i probably became a worse person after all this.

i’m trying to move on from this tournament and the email leak incident. in the past, i felt really attached to the coach, and even after all of this, i still would trust her, time and again. i do need advice to move on because i can’t do it myself.

thank you for reading, take care of yourselves.


Thanks for sharing @okay. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot, and it’s understandable that you’re feeling overwhelmed.

I think your story is very similar to mine. You’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself to be perfect, and you’re beating yourself up for losing the game. It’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes, and that it’s okay to not be perfect. You’re a good player, and you should be proud of yourself for what you accomplished this season.

When I was younger, I played basketball and I was also captain of my team. Not sure how familiar you are with the game but basically my team was losing by one and I had drawn a foul at the end of the game time. So I needed to sink two free throws to win the game, one free throw to bring it to overtime.

I sank zero. :disappointed:

I was devastated and felt like I was the worst player on earth. Who misses two free throws in an elimination game? :basketball::basketball:

It took me a many days to get over the loss. I talked to my coach and my teammates about how I was feeling. They helped me to realize that it’s okay to lose sometimes. Everyone loses at some point in their lives. The important thing is to learn from your losses and to come back stronger.

The fact that you’re feeling attached to your coach and still trusting her, even after everything that’s happened, is a good sign. It shows that you have a strong relationship with her, and that she is someone you care about and respect.

Is there any chance you can tell her how you feel? Or are there any teammates that you’re close enough with to share your feelings?

If all else fails, maybe an alternative is to let go of this incident and pick up a new hobby / cca. The ball’s in your court now to decide on your next step but please remember that you’re not alone in this, and that our community is here to help. :people_hugging:


Dear @okay,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing your feelings and experiences with us. I’m hearing that you’re going through a challenging time, and I want you to know that our community is here to provide you with support and guidance as you navigate through this journey.

It sounds like the tournament has significantly impacted your emotional well-being, and I want you to know that it’s okay to feel the way you do. I imagine being put in a leadership position can feel like a huge responsibility, and the pressures of being the captain as well as the resulting self-doubt can take a toll on anyone. I’m truly sorry that you’ve been carrying these emotions, and I want you to know that your feelings are valid. I also want to gently remind you that setbacks and failures are a part of life, and it’s okay to feel disappointed or upset about them.

The events that followed, including the sharing of your vent email, have understandably added another layer of complexity to your experience. It’s completely understandable that you would have preferred to handle the issue privately, and I’m here to support you through these feelings.

Your attachment to your coach is an indicator of the positive connection you had before the tournament. Such relationships can be very meaningful and impactful. While it’s natural to have strong feelings, it’s also important to navigate through them in a healthy way. Here are some suggestions that may help you cope and move forward:

  1. Embrace your emotions: Allow yourself to feel and process your emotions related to the tournament and the email leak. It’s normal to experience a range of emotions, and acknowledging them can be a healthy step towards healing. This may look like - sitting with yourself and really paying attention to how you’re feeling. Ask yourself: what emotion am I experiencing? How intensely am I feeling this emotion? Writing out how you’re feeling may also be helpful in processing these emotions, especially if everything feels all too overwhelming at once. I’m attaching a picture of an emotion wheel below that you may wish to refer to as well to help you identify how you’re feeling. Acknowledging, and understanding your emotions is a fundamental first step in moving forward from everything that has transpired.

2. Practise self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Remind yourself that it’s okay to feel vulnerable and seek support when needed. This also includes being mindful of the way you talk to yourself. Negative self-talk can reinforce feelings of self-doubt and hinder your progress. Practice self-compassion and challenge negative thoughts by replacing them with positive and realistic affirmations. This can be challenging to do on your own, so I’m linking a guided thought reframing exercise here you could try for a start. Examples of negative self-talk include “I’m worthless”, “I can’t do anything right”, “I’m not good enough for anything”.

3. Set realistic expectations: This ties in with the above – I’m hearing that you’ve placed an immense amount of pressure on yourself after being made captain, exacerbated by your struggles with self-doubt. While it’s truly admirable that you’ve dedicated so much of yourself to the team and upheld high standards for yourself, I’d like to remind you that nobody is perfect, and that the pressure you’ve placed on yourself as the captain doesn’t define your worth. It’s completely understandable to be feeling discouraged and upset with yourself after a loss, but shifting the perspective and looking at the loss as an opportunity to learn will go a long way in ultimately helping you pick yourself up.

4. Communicate your feelings: You mentioned having sent a few letters to your coach as an apology – how did that go? If you’re comfortable, consider having an open conversation with your coach. Sharing your emotions and attachment can lead to a deeper understanding between both of you. If you don’t feel comfortable enough to have this conversation with your coach, or perhaps not at this juncture, you may also consider writing a letter to your coach expressing your thoughts and feelings. This can be a therapeutic exercise that allows you to release any lingering emotions and gain closure. You can choose to send the letter later on, or keep it for yourself as a personal reflection.

5. Focus on personal growth: Use this experience as an opportunity for personal growth and learning. Reflect on the lessons you’ve learned, the skills you’ve developed, and the strengths you possess. Set new realistic goals for yourself and focus on building your self-esteem and self-worth.

Remember, healing takes time, and it’s okay to seek support from others. If you find it challenging to move on, consider reaching out to a mental health professional who can provide guidance and support tailored to your specific needs.

Your willingness to seek guidance is a sign of your strength and commitment to your well-being. If you ever need to talk or explore these emotions further, know that our community is here for you. Take care of yourself, and remember that you are not alone in this journey.


it’s been a few months since i last posted this. i’m glad to say that i’ve been feeling a lot better. the tournament has not been affecting me much anymore.


that’s good to hear, @okay. how’s your relationship with your coach and teachers now?

Hi @okay, it’s really good to hear from you again!
I’m glad that you’re feeling a lot better since. Was there anything in particular that helped you manage and eventually move on from the incident? :slight_smile:

i haven’t spoken to my coach, nor has she replied to the emails i sent her in an attempt to find closure. the relationship between us probably isn’t very good, but i’ve made peace with that already.

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i guess it was rewatching a show, and getting into the fandom of said show. i suppose this helps me shift my mind to somewhere else much more pleasant rather than dwelling on the tournament and the email incident.